Meet Class of 2019 valedictorian and co-salutatorians

Fluvanna County High School Class of 2019

Valedictorian Bayley Leyshon

Parents: Randy Leyshon and Anne-Marie Parrish
Destination after high school: College of William and Mary
Plan of study: English
Dual enrollment/AP credits: 29 with three pending
Activities and achievements:

  • President of Alliance Club;
  • Clubs: BETA, Political Awareness Club (PAC);
  • Theater: participation in five full-length productions and membership in the International Thespian Society;
  • Literary Magazine Club member;
  • Yearbook: copy editor for 2018-19;
  • Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School;
  • Early College Scholars graduate;
  • Biliteracy seal in Spanish;
  • Bragg scholarship: $40,000;
  • 4-H camp: team leader;
  • National Merit Scholar: SAT score of 1500; and
  • Academic Team captain: Battle of the Brains.

Describe your volunteer work.
I completed 15 hours of an internship with Side By Side and Mary Sullivan, an organization that strives to protect and uplift members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially LGBTQ+ youth. I also completed 20 hours of community service with the FCHS Alliance Club as an additional part of my BRVGS senior research project.

I attended six hours of phone banks advocating for a local candidate for Congress during the 2018 election cycle. I also worked the polls in Fluvanna on Election Day in 2018. I participated in the March For Our Lives in 2018.

Why did you choose William and Mary?
My older sister also attends William and Mary, and they had a lot to offer me as a Monroe Scholar and in terms of continuing my extracurricular interests. I love the culture at William and Mary, and I think I will easily be able to find a place to leave my mark.

What will you remember most about being a Fluco?
I will most remember all of the amazing experiences I have had as a Fluco and all the meaningful changes I have been able to make while in Fluvanna. Specifically, I will remember the Alliance Club’s achievement of our rainbow Fluco F symbol this year.

Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents, my older sister, my younger brother, and all the teachers that have helped me get to where I am today. I would specifically like to thank Ms. Osani for feeding my huge appetite for books in sixth grade, Mr. Edgerton for seeing the potential I had and pushing me to be my best through my past five years in theater, and Mrs. Esch for seeing me through every step of my senior year.

What advice would you give to rising eighth graders?
I would tell rising eighth graders not to let anyone put them down or discount them for being who they are. Our individuality is what makes us all important, and I would encourage them to pursue their passions and interests. I also would like to tell rising eighth graders to spend time with those that uplift them and value their presence. Always take care of yourself first.

Describe a funny school memory.
In ninth grade, my friends and I were discussing what we would eat to theoretically survive in the woods, and when pinecones came up as a suggestion I said, “I can’t eat pinecones – I have braces.” For the past four years, that has been my favorite inside joke within my friend group, and we still bring it up constantly.

What are your best school memories?
My best memories of school are every performance I have acted in with the theater department, every ACE match I have attended with my teammates, and all the ways I have seen my closest friends grow and succeed in their pursuits.

What is a Fluco?
A true Fluco is someone who stands up for those who are being put down. A Fluco celebrates differences and individuality while constantly pursuing progress. Though Flucos may move on to larger endeavors, Flucos always remembers their roots and those who helped them get to where they are today.


Co-salutatorian Ashlee Pieno

Parents: Mike and Denise Pieno
Destination after high school: Virginia Tech
Plan of study: Double major in biomedical science and public health on the pre-medicine track
Dual enrollment/AP credits: 22 with nine pending
Activities and achievements:

  • Voice of Democracy school essay winner, 2018;
  • Academic excellence in PVCC Chemistry 111 and 112, 2019;
  • Academic excellence and medal winner in AP statistics, 2019;
  • Interact Club;
  • Beta Club; and
  • Student Government Association, treasurer 2018-19.

Athletics: Indoor and outdoor track, three times All-State in pole vault
Volunteer work: Fluvanna Youth Soccer Association, Humanitarian Experience for Youth, Hands On Fluvanna

Why did you choose Virginia Tech?
I chose Virginia Tech partly because I was raised as a Hokie, but mainly because I love everything that the school stands for. Their motto, “That I May Serve,” speaks volumes to me not only about the school, but also the people there. I also love the campus, and it feels like home to me.

What will you remember most about being a Fluco?
I will remember all the good memories I have made with my teammates during my six years of track.

Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for their guidance and endless encouragement. They have helped me become the best person I could be, and I am grateful for their support in anything I do. I also want to thank Mrs. Hagan for helping me over the last year and half, and being one of the most supportive teachers I have had. I want to thank Coach Brogan and Coach Casto for pushing me to be a better athlete and supporting me on and off the track.

What advice would you give to rising eighth graders?
I would encourage them to get involved in sports and clubs because those are some of things that make high school fun. Also, cherish every moment and enjoy their five years in the high school, because they go by in a blink of an eye.

Describe a funny school memory.
At the beginning of the school year all the SGA officers had to speak during all the class meetings. I was so nervous to speak in front of the senior class that I choked when the microphone was handed to me and I had no idea what to say.

What are your best school memories?
My best memories of school definitely involve track, from the first time I qualified for States in pole vault to having a one-foot personal record at the indoor State meet in February and getting the biggest hug from Coach Casto. I have made countless memories with the people I jump with, and that will be something I will always cherish.

What is a Fluco?
A Fluco is someone who lives in Fluvanna County. They are supportive of everyone here and they are proud to live here. A Fluco is someone who has pride in this county and the people in it.


Co-salutatorian Jared Newman

Parents: Carol and Christopher Newman
Destination after high school: University of Virginia
Plan of study: Biomedical science
Dual enrollment/AP credits: 33 with 12 pending
Activities and achievements: Academic Team


  • Track: three years, captain, All-State 4×100 meter relay, and All-State 4×200 meter relay; and
  • Basketball league: recreational, eight years

Volunteer work:Annual day of service through FCHS called Hands On Fluvanna

Why did you choose the University of Virginia?
The University of Virginia is such a prestigious university. It is very close to home, and for the quality of education I will receive, the tuition is not bad at all.

What will you remember most about being a Fluco?
I will remember how unique our mascot was. Where other schools are powerful animals or figures, we were represented by a shoe. It was something that felt embarrassing in my early youth, but over time I have developed love and pride in my status as a Fluco.

Who would you like to thank?
First of all, my parents. Without them, there would be no me. That being said, the teachers and staff I encountered throughout my journey shaped me and made me the man I am today. To name a few, Ms. Tara Tapscott, Mr. Matthew Morrison, Ms. Victoria Zavadsky, Ms. Carolynne Hagan, Mr. Mitchell Pace, Ms. Sherry Esch and Mr. Chris Roberson. This list is not complete, for there are countless people who helped me get where I am today.

What advice would you give to rising eighth graders?
When I first walked through those grand hallways of the high school, I was intimidated. I would tell rising eighth graders that if you are nervous about coming to the high school, the feeling will pass and you will become comfortable. Find ways to express yourself. The years you spend in that building determine who you will become. Surround yourself with good people and friends that bring out the best in you, and do not doubt yourself. You can do anything if you set your mind to it and really work hard.

Describe a funny school memory.
I am not sure I could pick just one moment. I had many laughs in my years at FCHS. One of the best things about my close knit group of friends is our collective sense of humor. We all feel comfortable enough around each other to really let loose and we all understand each other on a level that others do not. For this reason, it is likely that some people do not laugh at the things that we do, and that is ok. What is important is to find your own ways to laugh and find joy in life.

What are your best school memories?
It would have to be the dances and the pep rallies. For the first few years, our class lacked school spirit. Pep rallies were miserable because few students participated or demonstrated any enthusiasm during the rally; however, when the class developed a higher sense of importance and found their desire to win the spirit stick, the pep rallies became an event that blurred the lines of cliques and allowed all of us to simply be seniors. We were united. Nobody was embarrassed to scream and shout. The dances had a similar effect. When the lights were on and the music was blaring, shyness went out the window and everybody showed off their true selves. I absolutely love the memories I made at homecoming and prom dances at FCHS.

What is a Fluco?
A Fluco is someone who always gives his or her best effort and strives for greatness at every level. Flucos do not care for second place. They have a drive to win and accomplish great things in everything they do.


Co-salutatorian Shenandoah Jonkman

Parents: Mark and Chandra Jonkman
Destination after high school: Marines
Plan of study: Intel
Dual enrollment/AP credits: 13 with 24 pending
Activities and achievements: Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School


  • Cross country: one year;
  • Track: three years; and
  • Swim team: one year.

Volunteer work:

  • Lake Monticello Volunteer Rescue Squad; and
  • The Alyssa House.

Why did you choose the Marines?
I like the way they operate and how tough their training is.

What will you remember most about being a Fluco?
The good times at meets.

Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank the Dillons and the Divers.

What advice would you give to rising eighth graders?
Challenge yourself.

What are your best memories of school?
Post-SOL card games.

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