Spotlight Seniors

The Class of 2021 encompasses 530 scholars with many interests, passions, skills, talents, and backgrounds. Get to know some of our exceptional seniors through the Senior Spotlight video series.

Click on the scholar you would like to learn more about or scroll down this page to view them all.

King Nguyen smiles for a photo in the cafeteria.
Judy Omwando poses for a photo next to a railing with flags in the background.
Stuart Fish poses for a photo with flags in the background.
Freddy Esters poses for a portrait photo with blue lockers in the background.
RJ Chakolis smiles as he sits on the bleachers with a football in his hands.
Wardlyn Dualu sits on a rock outside of Hopkins High School for a photo.
JT Zell leans against a railing next to the Hopkins track and field.
Tally Shaver poses for a portrait photo wearing black turtleneck shirt.
Ezana Tedla smiles for a photo with a blue H made of cardboard in the background.


Tally Shaver

Tally Shaver has been president of the club TampAction since her junior year. Their mission is to fight for period equity and to end menstrual stigma.

In the fall, Tally plans to attend the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences to study Biochemistry.

"The thing that I always tell people about Hopkins is just the nurturing environment. The teachers are always there to help you succeed. "

- Tally Shaver, Class of 2021

Tally Shaver poses for a portrait photo wearing black turtleneck shirt.
Tally Shaver wears goggles and looks at liquid in a test tube.
Tally Shaver dances ballet on stage.
Tally Shaver smiles for a photo wearing a black turtleneck.


Freddy Esters

Freddy Esters is a Class of 2021 graduate. He has been involved in Envirothon, Pagan Club, Gender & Sexuality Alliance, Hopkins Black Student Union, Trans Youth Club and Hopkins Indigenous Group. 

After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for agricultural education.

"Being able to leave Hopkins not only being able to advocate for myself but for my community  has meant the world to me and has made a world worth of difference."

- Freddy Esters, Class of 2021

Freddy Esters poses for a portrait photo with blue lockers in the background.
Freddy Esters sits at a desk with a microscope in front of him.
Freddy Esters looks at a model landscape made of cardboard.


Judy Omwando

Judy Omwando came to Hopkins as a sophomore from Kenya. She participated in the English Learner Program because she only spoke a little bit of English at the time. Since then, her English language skills have flourished and she has done well in many rigorous courses. 

Judy has a positive attitude, a great work ethic, and is extremely resourceful. Next year, she plans to attend Kansas State with a focus on pre-dentistry.

"Just be yourself and be proud of what you're doing. As long as it makes you happy and you feel like you're proud of who you're becoming."

- Judy Omwando, Class of 2021

Judy Omwando poses for a photo next to a railing with flags in the background.
Judy Omwando looks at a laptop screen.
Judy Omwando sits at a desk and grabs a bead from a cup of beads.


Stuart Fish

Stuart has been immersed in Chinese language and culture since kindergarten through our XinXing Academy Chinese Immersion program. His worldview expanded even more when he visited China in eighth grade.

Next year, Stuart will be attending Brigham Young University in Utah and working toward a STEM undergraduate in either mechanical engineering, computer engineering, or molecular biology.

"One trait that I feel like I’ve gained a lot here is being global and well-traveled. We got to go to China in eighth grade as a group and I felt like that was a great experience socially and culturally. "

- Stuart Fish, Class of 2021

Stuart Fish poses for a photo on the steps outside the front door of Hopkins High School.
Stuart Fish sits at a pottery wheel.
Stuart Fish poses for a photo with flags in the background.


Wardlyn Dualu

Wardlyn was born in a refugee camp in Ghana before moving to her parents’ home country of Liberia. She came to the U.S. in 2016 and began her Hopkins Path at North Junior High.

Wardlyn excelled in the high schools’ AVID program and has earned herself admission to New York University’s Shanghai Campus in China where she plans to pursue pre-med and biology. Her interest in the medical field was inspired by the brave Liberian doctors that helped her survive when she contracted Ebola in her home country. Her story is an incredible one, and we know Wardlyn will help many others in her future career.

"I feel like Hopkins has always given me an opportunity to express myself and they’ve always just provided a lot of opportunities."

- Wardlyn Dualu, Class of 2021

Wardlyn Dualu stands next to a row of blue lockers to pose for a photo.
Wardlyn Dualu sits on a rock outside of Hopkins High School for a photo.


RJ Chakolis

RJ's Hopkins pride runs deep! He joined the Hopkins Royal family as a Kindergartner and he began competing in varsity football and wrestling during his days at North Junior High. His athletic prowess ended up earning him a state title in wrestling, and scholarship offers to play football at both St. Thomas More Prep, and Texas Christian University. After graduation, RJ plans to accept one of his scholarships to pursue a degree in political science with the goal of becoming an attorney.

"One of the traits from the 2031 graduate that really connects with me is being confident...If you’re not confident in what you’re doing, it doesn’t turn out to be the way you want it to be."

- RJ Chakolis, Class of 2021

RJ Chakolis stands next to the Hopkins Royals scoreboard and holds out a football.
RJ Chakolis smiles as he sits on the bleachers with a football in his hands.
RJ Chakolis holds a football in front of his face.
RJ Chakolis throws a football.


Ezana Tedla

Ezana Tedla is a critical thinker. He claims the freedom his teachers granted him to express his learning in his own way helped shape his ability to think critically. He was then able to sharpen his mind in Debate and Quiz Bowl.

Next year, he will be attending Yale University on a full ride scholarship provided by the QuestBridge program. Right now, Ezana has an undecided major but is interested in putting his debate skills to work in the Yale Political Union and their Global Affairs program.

"Just all those common little experiences over the past twelve years at this point that have just kind of directly shaped me. I’ll always remember the experiences I’ve had here."

-Ezana Tedla

Ezana Tedla smiles for photo with the front doors of Hopkins High School in the background.
Ezana Tedla sits as he looks at a computer screen.
Ezana Tedla smiles for a photo with a blue H made of cardboard in the background.


JT Zell

J.T. is both an exceptional athlete and excellent communicator. He has participated in both varsity track and football during high school and learned the value of community from his teammates and classmates.

As a member of the ProPEL program, J.T. had a multimedia internship with the Minnesota Vikings Entertainment Network during his senior year. He plans to utilize the skills he gained from his mentorship to pursue a major in journalism next year at the University of Minnesota.

"Learning from my friends and all my classmates about their past and how they were brought up has definitely helped me be more empathetic in how I treat people and that’s got to be the biggest thing Hopkins has taught me."

- JT Zell

JT Zell leans against a railing next to the Hopkins track and field.
JT Zell sits at a desk wearing a mask and talking to a teacher.
JT Zell is in the mid-air of a pole vault.
A group of pole vaulters sit on the pole vaulting mat and smile for a photo.


King Nguyen

King has been a student council member since tenth grade and spent his senior year as the council chair of public relations. He used his platform to create and promote authentically inclusive school events that reflected the high school’s diverse student voice.

Next year, he plans to attend Chapman University in California where he will pursue a degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing.

"[As a student council member,] we’ve done a great job to include student voices more and take in their opinions to make better events catered to the student body."

- King Nguyen, Class of 2021

King Nguyen smiles for a photo in the cafeteria.
King Nguyen sits at a table with a pen in one hand writing on a notepad.
King Nguyen smiles for a photo.
King Nguyen smiles for a photo.