Weik, Burgess win McCarthy merit award

‘Those who know Hayley will not be surprised if there is a ‘Congresswoman Hayley Weik Merit Award’ in the future’

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Weik, Burgess win McCarthy merit awardBurroughs High School

senior Hayley Weik and teacher Susie Burgess won this year’s Merit Award from the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“The award embodies superior academic achievement while also recognizing positive values students and educators represent every day,” said McCarthy, who presented the awards in a recent ceremony in Antelope Valley. “This event offers our community the opportunity to honor this year’s recipients who inspire the continued advancement of academic success at all levels of education.”

BHS Principal Bryan Auld said that after students who meet the minimum requirements of the award are identified, the list of those names is circulated among staff to solicit nominations. From that list, Hayley was chosen.

“Hayley is one of the most accomplished student leaders to have ever attended Burroughs High School,” said Auld. “It is often said, but rarely this literally. The list of leadership roles she has held is exhaustive.”

She maintains a weighted 3.8 grade-point average while taking a rigorous course load. On top of that she devotes time to school and community activities, athletics and the time-consuming travel and work requirements associated with each.

“What’s more, her interest and effort in student leadership extends beyond our school and community to both a regional and state level,” said her nomination.

“Those who know Hayley will not be surprised if there is a ‘Congresswoman Hayley Weik Merit Award’ in the future.”

Hayley has been class president all four years at Burroughs, in addition to holding leadership positions in California Scholastic Federation, Key Club, Youth Advisory Com-mittee, California Association of Student Leaders and more.

She has been on the varsity tennis team all four years at BHS, and served as captain her junior year.

“Hayley’s extracurricular activities are too numerous to list,” said her nomination. “There are very few days when she is not incredibly busy planning, organizing and executing an activity.”

Hayley said she is most proud of bringing leadership training to BHS. That training drew participation from more than 150 students. “I believe the students at my campus have the capability to change our campus culture, they just need to feel empowered,” she said.

“It is my goal to have the students at Burroughs see an issue and know that they have the power to do something about it.”

Outside of school she has been involved in Girl Scouts for 13 years, and is a recipient of the Gold Award — the highest honor in that organization.

She also managed to carve out time for 15 years of dance classes that helped her procure the lead in two performances.

According to the tradition, Hayley’s win gave her an opportunity to select a teacher who made a positive impact on her to share the award.

“Ms. Burgess inspired me as a sophomore in her Honors English 10 class to get more involved on the campus,” said Hayley.

“She is not your average teacher. She goes out of her way to create a campus climate that stands out from the crowd. Despite the fact that she has many classes to teach, that doesn’t stop her from helping out. Her determination and kind heart make her truly a one-of-a-kind teacher.”

Hayley recalled being nervous, knowing how busy Burgess is, about asking for her help in a speech competition. “To my surprise at the time, Ms. Burgess was more than willing to help me,” she said.

“I later found out that she had won the same competition when she was in high school!”

Burgess said she was surprised, but honored, to be chosen by Hayley.

“She was a joy in class,” said Burgess. “She has tremendous energy and drive, and she brought these traits to our class discussions.

“She’s not just a leader, she’s a giver.”

Burgess said that she believes college will be a wonderful experience for Hayley. “And I hope she continues to channel her energies on behalf of her school and community. Ultimately, I hope to see that she is happy and fulfilled in a career where she gets to positively impact others.

“As a Burroughs alumna, I am highly aware and protective of our legacy. I’m proud that the department’s new generation of teachers has been able to continue a tradition of excellence as we’ve moved into the 21st century.”

Hayley plans to attend Califor-nia State University, Chico, where she will pursue a degree in marketing.

“My goal is to do something to shape the world into a better place.”

Pictured: Hayley Weik (center) and Susie Burgess (left of Hayley) are flanked by the Weik family, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and officials of Sierra Sands Unified School District. -- Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2017-05-26