MCHS Junior Mea-Cia Preece has learned to not only rely on herself but on other people as well,

HYRUM – The Logan Cache Rich Credit Union Student Spotlight Mountain Crest High School Junior Mea-Cia Preece is described as brave, fearless and “fiercely resilient” by MCHS administrators, faculty and staff.

“She’s not afraid to be herself,” MCHS Principal Denise Mouritsen said. “No matter what situation she’s in she will stand up for anything she believes in and she will stick up for anybody.”

Although Preece has had to overcome three intense tragedies in the past year, according to Mouritsen, she has been able to have the motivation to go to school, get great grades and face new challenges.

Preece said she finds motivation in living life to the fullest.

“You only have one life so you better live it to your fullest,” Preece said.

MCHS Student Spotlight Mea-Cia Preece with her mom, Heather Preece and dad, Dustin Preece.

In June 2023, Preece lost her parents to an apparent murder-suicide when her father Dustin Preece shot her mother Heather Preece and then took his own life.

With the love and support of those closest to her including her best friend, Preece processed her losses but in November, Preece experienced loss yet again when her best friend unexpectedly lost her life in an automobile accident.

Mouritsen said Preece had to learn to trust adults and to be able to ask for help and rely on other people in her life as well as herself for guidance and support.

“Mea-Cia didn’t love me before,” Mouritsen said. “She learned that it’s ok, like we can build the trust and be open.”

Cache County School District Family Facilitator and Counselor Alayna Baker said although the presence of the system in place by the school and the district are prevalent in Preece’s life, it’s Preece’s resilience and willingness to move forward that has created a support system that works for her and the people around her. 

“She’s just so herself and so unique that once she kind of opened up to us and we kind of opened up to her and allowed her to just be whoever and whatever she needs to be, I think we really found such a good connection at Mountain Crest,” Baker said.

Mouritsen and Baker said that Preece is so much more than just a good student. 

“She really brings so much, not just to the student body but to our faculty,” Baker said. “She is just the greatest light that we get to see.”

Baker said Preece has a special soul, unique, compassionate and “fiercely resilient.”

“She’s kind, she’s compassionate, she’s kind of funky, kinda sassy, kind of fierce in her own way,” Baker said. “She really is a part of Mountain Crest that we are grateful to have her there.”

Mouritsen said Preece was not scared and faces new challenges with excitement and a willingness to overcome those challenges.

MCHS Student Spotlight Junior Mea-Cia Preece has overcome three tragedies in the past year but is still a positive light.

“She puts on that brave face and is willing to do everything,” Mouritsen said. “I think really she’s unstoppable in whatever she wants to become.”

Baker said Preece is a positive influence on the administrators, faculty and staff with her positivity and selflessness.

“I don’t think she knows the positive influence on their day every time she comes in,” Baker said. “She’ll leave positive Post-it notes telling the faculty, administrators and staff to have great days or she leaves pieces of art in their offices.”

In addition to being a good student, Preece excels in other hobbies as well. Mouritsen said Preece joined the MCHS wrestling team and faced that challenge with grace. Baker said Preece is a gifted skier being a part of the Cache Valley Ski Team.

Preece said her favorite subject and area of growth is art. She said she likes to try new things and likes to keep trying again and again until she masters that area of art. 

“She’s fantastic at art,” Mouritsen said. 

Baker said art has helped Preece because it gives her the ability to express what she needs to express without having to find the words.

Preece likes to express herself through art, make-up, clothing and her hair.

“She’s been through so much in her life but sometimes there aren’t great words to describe that,” Baker said. “Having the ability feel and to show your emotions and how you’re feeling and what’s kind of going on in your life through a piece of artwork is something that she does have a tremendous gift.”

Mouritsen said Preece likes to express herself through her make-up, clothing and hair being her genuine self. 

Preece said she would tell other students to be themselves because conforming to the wants of others won’t be enough no matter how hard they try. 

“It doesn’t matter if you change yourself to how someone else wants you to be because they are still going to judge you,” Preece said. “Everyone is going to judge you whether you’re what they want you to be or not.”

Preece hopes to become a business owner selling her own art and selling stocks because she doesn’t want to conform to the nine-to-five job model. 

Mouritsen is confident Preece will achieve her dreams.

“She’s going to make it,” Mouritsen said. “We’re going to see her in the headlines of doing something amazing some day.”

Baker said she was glad to hear Preece was selected as the MCHS Student Spotlight because although she hasn’t had a perfect year, she has still excelled and overcome multiple challenges while being a positive light to others.

“She is a student that I wouldn’t say has had a perfect year,” Baker said. “The fact that she hasn’t had a perfect year and she has responded in the way that she has, I think, says a lot about her.”

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