Rotary Students Of The Month – October 2023

Photo Provided By Deer Park Rotary Club
The high school students pictured from left to right are Alayna Demir of Deer Park High School, Taylor Sack or Mary Walker High School, and Jake Gaffaney of Riverside High School.

The Deer Park Rotary Club members picked three students for October’s Student of the Month.

Deer Park School District
Alayna Demir, Student of the Month from Deer Park High School, introduced her mother and father. Her father, Hal, is well known by our club since he owns First Street Bar and Grill, where the Rotary Club meets; her mother, Alyssa, is a fifth-grade teacher at Arcadia Elementary. Alayna holds a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.  She is a member of Link Crew, an introductory program for freshmen coming to the High School from Middle School, and a member of DECA.  DECA is one of her proudest accomplishments in High School. Alayna has been an International finalist against 22 countries this last year and placed in the Top 10 in the international competition. She and her partner competed in Student Based Enterprise Foods against 22,000 other competitors. She is a member and captain of the girls’ soccer team at Deer Park and previously served in ASB leadership. Outside of school, she and her family love to travel. She’s excited that her birthday present this year is a trip to Turkey, the birthplace of her father. She and her family also love their place at Priest River. Alayna is a Homecoming nominee and will be happy with whatever the outcome. After high school, Alayna will play soccer at Yakima Valley College for two years and also complete a four-year program there in nursing. When asked what drew her toward nursing, she told us her large family has many nurses, and it warms her heart to see how they help individuals and communities. She thanked the Rotary for the opportunity to be one of their Students of the Month.

Riverside School District
Jake Gaffaney, Riverside Student of the Month, is the Captain, starting Quarterback and Kicker on Riverside’s Varsity Football Team. He is also on the varsity Basketball team and holds a 4.0 GPA. Jake is ASB Executive Secretary, a member of the National Honor Society, and 1 of 10 seniors who mentor 10 freshmen in College readiness. His classes include AP Literature, AP Calculus, and AP Governmental Politics.  Outside of school, Jake likes boating and spending time with family and friends at their lake house at Deer Lake. He also likes to ski, dirt bike, and hunt. He’s super excited but also nervous about going to South Africa on a Safari Hunt in November. One of the things he likes about Riverside is the feeling of community. It’s called Team Riverside; everyone came together to help during the Elk-Oregon fires. He also really likes CCR/Career Class Readiness. It allowed him to figure out what he wanted to do. His future plans are to go to college, possibly Whitworth University, get a degree in Business and Finance Accounting, and go into Commercial Banking. He thanked the club for recognizing him as a Student of the Month.

Mary Walker School District
Taylor Sack is a senior at Mary Walker High School who has lived in Springdale all of her life.  She loves small towns because they are peaceful, and everyone knows each other. She is hardworking and always tries to be kind and help others. Taylor has a 3.913 GPA, is the ASB Secretary, has been in FFA for 4 years, and served as an officer for the last 3 years. She has competed in Washington State FFA competitions the past 2 years and placed sixth in State last year. Taylor’s favorite class is Metal Art. She loves welding, being in the shop, and working on projects. She is in Upward Bound and serves as Class President, where she enjoys planning senior fundraisers and activities. She has played volleyball, basketball, and softball since the sixth grade and feels sports teach you the responsibility that you carry out the rest of your life. She said she would always live by the rule, “Never do anything to embarrass yourself, your team, or your family.” Outside of school, she likes fishing, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. Taylor plans to stay close to home, attend community college in Spokane, and earn a degree as an ultrasound technician.  She thanked the club and was grateful for this opportunity.

What is the Deer Park Rotary Club?
The Rotary Club of Deer Park is about serving others, building relationships, and developing the next generation of leaders. Its annual fundraising events provide scholarships and educational activities for local students. In addition, every month they select and honor outstanding high school students within our community. Their programs are for more than just club members. For more information or how to make a difference in your community through Rotary, visit:

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