Maidu High's Miravalle earns diploma in three years

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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Aaron Miravalle is ahead of the class. The Maidu High School Class of 2009 graduate could very well have had another year of high school ahead of him. At age 17, he should just be finishing up his junior year. But because of drive and perseverance, Miravalle has graduated after three years of high school. “I am very proud of myself, but I keep a cool head because I’ve got to keep going,” he said. Miravalle plans on attending the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School this fall with the hopes of becoming a farrier. “Horses are basically my entire life right now,” said Miravalle, full owner of his own horse, Moose. “They have been for a while.” During this time, he’d also like to take a distance-learning course or two, with the plan of attending Sierra College full time come the spring 2010 semester. From there, Miravalle hopes to study agriculture, whether it’s ag business or ag science, or perhaps both, at a four-year university. Miravalle began taking charge of his education early in his high-school career. Miravalle attended Foresthill High School during his freshman year, needed a change and decided to pursue his high school diploma through independent study. As a Maidu High independent-study student, Miravalle felt he had much more control over his education. “You manage your own schedule and set your own pace, and that’s how I came to graduate early,” he said. Miravalle said independent study also helped him grow up a bit. “I like independent study because it’s so much more efficient, and it was enjoyable,” he said. Miravalle, who started at Maidu at the beginning of his sophomore year, met with his adviser, Pollyanna Redman, once a week. “He is energetic, outgoing,” Redman said of Miravalle. “He’s a hard worker, and as far as his talents are concerned, he’s an excellent writer, a woodsman and a rancher.” Redman alerted Miravalle at the start of the 2008-09 school year that his diploma was within reach sooner than expected. “He really set himself a schedule of what he wanted to accomplish the first semester and what he wanted to accomplish in the second semester, and it was pretty impressive to watch,” she said. The past year has been no cakewalk, but the end result is well worth the work. “I went for it, and it was pretty tight, and it all came out like clockwork,” Miravalle said.