Serenity Achurra

She’s been at Oasis since its beginning. Graduating Senior Serenity Achurra started at the school as a Kindergartner when it first opened in 2011.

“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the school's evolution and experiencing my own significant growth,” said Achurra. 

Her time at the school has had its ups and downs but it is a time she will cherish. 

“I have transformed from struggling academically to achieving a level of success that I thought was beyond my reach. I’ve faced difficult times and hardships but I’ll cherish my time at Oasis as it has shaped me into the person I am today,” she said.

That success includes graduating with both her High School diploma and an associate of arts degree from Western Nevada College in May. 

“It’s a proud moment for me, and I’m really excited to receive my diploma and continue my educational journey at the University of Nevada Reno,” she said. “I am really passionate about early childhood education and development, so I’m going to pursue that field and minor in psychology. I feel that having a deeper understanding of human behavior will enhance my ability to support and connect with children.”

Looking back at her time at Oasis, Thursdays will always have a special place in Achurra’s memory.

“My most cherished memory from Oasis is Pizza Thursday. It wasn’t the pizza that made the days so special, Pizza Thursday was the day that my grandmother, the pizza lady, would light up my day with her presence,” Achurra explained.

That time together was extra special.

“I relished the opportunity to visit her and enjoy a slice of pizza. Those Thursdays were a delightful blend of familial love and the simple pleasure of a warm pizza,” she said.

The senior also has a lot of teachers and mentors she would like to thank for their help and guidance. 

“Both Mrs. Sue Marsh and Mrs. Katy Loop were the initial sparks that ignited my academic fire. They nurtured my capabilities and helped me overcome challenges. Mrs. Loop was instrumental in helping me achieve my goal of reading a chapter book in first grade,” she said.

Achurra has a few more teachers that were pivotal in her academic success.

“Ms. Nancy Williams played a pivotal role in my success. She recognized my potential and consistently pushed me to excel. She encouraged me to do my best. I am also extremely grateful for Mrs. Amy O’Flaherty. She created a safe and supportive environment where I felt heard and valued. Her unwavering support and fun-filled classroom atmosphere significantly enhanced my educational journey,” added Achurra.

During COVID, Achurra was finishing her eighth grade year and starting her freshman year of high school. It’s during those challenging years that math became her favorite core subject.

“My favorite classes have been math with Mr. Jake Lewis and Mr. Evan Brandt,” she said. “Those years were strenuous, but Mr. Lewis and Mr. Brandt made learning fun and engaging. Math was not always my favorite subject until I had Mr. Lewis.”

She’d also like to recognize Counselor Andy Lenon for all his help during high school.

“Mr. Lenon is committed to helping students succeed, managing to always remember the small things and continually encouraging me and others to do our best,” she said.

Achurra has been very active in co-curricular activities during high school. She has been part of and held leadership positions in National Honor Society, Student Council, FFA, We the People, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball. 

“I’ve had the privilege to participate in a wide range of activities. These diverse experiences have not only broadened my horizons, but also contributed to my personal and academic growth,” she said.

Finally, she has advice for future students.

“Make sure you prioritize and take care of yourself. Whether it’s getting sleep, eating, or taking breaks when needed, your well-being is important. High school is tough. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and take on the challenge. That’s where growth happens. Embrace the ups and downs and enjoy the journey,” said Achurra.