Kayla Gleza is a dedicated scholar and athlete who is ranked No. 1 academically at her school. A decorated athlete, she has maintained a well-rounded schedule that includes several clubs and various community service activities.
Her academic success requires self-discipline as well as an ability to juggle things as well as make sacrifices, she said.
“Kayla doesn’t shy away from any challenge but becomes more focused and determined to succeed,” said her college-prep physics and chemistry teacher, Hans Brockhoff, who described her as one of the handful of students who have truly impressed him during his tenure.
“Whenever she is assigned to a group, others naturally choose her to lead due to her ability to resolve problems, remain goal-oriented and achieve outstanding results,” he said.
Gleza began running in seventh grade after playing soccer and basketball. She is on Peninsula’s varsity track and field team, where her achievements include several top placements at the district and state level.
She likes the combination of individual and team aspects of track.
Her coach, Curtiss Hall, said Gleza has steadily developed into one of the region’s premier sprinters.
“As one of PHS’ most accomplished athletes, she has always demonstrated, in addition to athletic determination, great maturity, sportsmanship and an exceptional sense of commitment,” Hall said.
In addition to athletics, another major focus area for Gleza is DECA. She joined the marketing club last year and has enjoyed competing as well as participating in various projects.
One of her DECA highlights was a mock marketing campaign she and her partner created for a local business, presenting the campaign to a judge and placing fourth at area competition last year.
This year, she was part of a three-person team that placed first, qualifying for state.
“I have a passion for marketing,” she said.
In addition to athletics and rigorous classes, Gleza’s busy schedule includes commitments such as National Honor Society, Key Club and Spanish Club. She’s maintained a perfect GPA at the same time.
Gleza frequently serves in leadership roles and has been described as a quiet but impactful leader.
One example of her leadership is helping organize a Spanish Club at Peninsula with the help of a small group of students and their teacher.
While she hasn’t decided on a university, Gleza plans to attend a school in California and major in business. She hasn’t decided on a final career path but is considering graduate school and a job such as marketing director.