Class of ’21 Senior Spotlight: Kahlan Tervalon

Name, city of residence:

Kahlan Tervalon, Morgan Hill

Grade you started at MMS:

Preschool – I’ve been at MMS since the very beginning!

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who do what they believe to be right, even when people oppose them. I am inspired by people who work hard for the things they believe in and who work to inspire others to do the same. I am also inspired by friendship and community.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

My favorite subject in school is statistics, not because the teacher is my mother, but because of the way she teaches her classes. I appreciate the amount of time she puts into them and the specific structure she has for her classes.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would change the distribution of wealth in the world. I would distribute it more evenly so everybody has the basic necessities and the opportunities to do what they would like to.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I would like to visit anywhere in Europe purely for the experience of driving on the other side of the road. I don’t want to be the one driving, but I would love to be in the car. I would also like to see the architecture there because it is so different from America.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

The biggest challenge in my life would be navigating online school and the switch back and forth between online and in person. Spending your entire day in your room sitting at a computer makes it really hard to be motivated and engaged.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job would be a detective, because I would get to help protect people and find justice for those wronged. I would get to help those who are in need and find those who intend to hurt others.

What are your three favorite things?

These would have to be Crunchyroll and Funimation, Archive of Our Own, and Pez candy.

Favorite book:

My favorite book that is not a fanfiction, is Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, because it is a fantasy about a young crew of adventurers in the far future who become the galaxy’s only hope. It is a very cliché plot, but the way it is written and the characters in it make it worth the read.

What do you want to do after high school?

I would like to go to college and get a degree that allows me to do what I love. I would also like to find a career that allows me to help people.

Something that you are proud of – and why:

I am proud of the way that I motivated myself and managed to teach myself guitar. I’m not very good at it but the sheer fact that I managed to keep at it for long enough for me to say that I know how to play is good enough for me.

Something that makes you smile:

It may seem a little small, but reading fluffy fan fictions about my favorite characters always brings a smile to my face.

A favorite MMS memory:

My favorite MMS memories are from elementary school at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose. Many of the kids in my class who have been here since Pre/K have parents that had to stay late to help work on the play, so while the high school was working on stage we would run around outside and play tag. We would spend the hours between when the middle school is let out and the high school is let out playing in the grass around the palm trees and just talking to each other.

Top three most played songs on your favorite playlist:

“The Light Behind Your Eyes” by My Chemical Romance; “Little Miss Perfect” by Taylor Louderman and Write Our Loud; “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor, and finally, the entire Wicked soundtrack.


Alumna Zoë Kelly (’15) interviewed Kahlan for this spotlight feature.

Zoë is living in Philadelphia. She works as a marketing coordinator for UMortgage, a full service mortgage brokerage that recently started up.