KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 22, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Morton Ranch High School’s valedictorian is putting his academics on hold for two years to focus on mission work.
Morton Ranch High School valedictorian Logan John Pedersen
University Put on Hold for Service
Morton Ranch High School’s valedictorian, Logan John Pedersen is putting his University of Texas chemical engineering studies on hold while he enters two years of service through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
“As the valedictorian, it is certainly not typical to put college on hold in anyway,” says Morton Ranch High School Principal Julie Hinson. “There is no better example of giving back than for a student who holds the highest academic rank to take time to serve others prior to finishing personal academic and career goals. This act is beyond inspirational.”
Logan John Pedersen is applying for a Young Teaching Mission and may be assigned to a teaching mission anywhere in the world or he may be called to serve locally. Logan is waiting for his assignment.
“There is always a need for help and support in any family or organization,” says Logan John Pedersen. “The endless tasks in our lives are more enjoyable when we work together and see an impact on the lives around us.”
The Pedersen family moved to Katy the spring of 2007, when Logan was almost three years old. He is one of seven children, all of whom have attended Katy ISD schools. The family did live abroad in India for two years but returned to Katy after Spencer Pedersen’s business trip was complete.
Picture at Baptism of Ashton Pedersen performed by Logan Pedersen as a Priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From left to right Lexi, Aubrey, Oliver, Crystal, Ashton, Logan, Spencer, Weston and William.
Last summer, Logan made the decision to commit to mission work after his graduation as a way to help others.
“I have found peace through following Jesus Christ and want to share that with others,” says Logan. “I want to help others realize that they can turn to Jesus Christ no matter their experience or choices that they have made.”
Following his two-year mission, Logan will attend University of Texas in Austin to finish his degree in chemical engineering.
A Joy for Service
“I hope that my mission will help me grow spiritually as well as help me realize the things that I should focus on to help guide me to live a more full and joyful life,” he says.
Logan has always found joy in attending church and being involved in that spiritual community. At church he’s served as a Deacon, usher, teacher, and priest where he’s administered sacramental bread and water weekly at meetings and even in people’s homes. He’s volunteered at summer youth camps, dances, and conferences.
“Some of my favorite service projects from these school and community activities were helping neighbors with yard work, painting fire hydrants, planting trees, cleaning cemeteries, mucking out homes after water damage from hurricanes or freezes, and cleaning trails at Camp Journey,” says Logan.
In addition to church and service activities, Logan also enjoyed seven years in band where he received numerous musical accomplishments and served in various leadership roles. He participated in solo and ensembles that received 1st division rating and qualified for state. During his senior year he served as Drum Major and earned the John Philip Sousa Music Award.
Logan gives thanks to his many Katy teachers over the years especially his junior high band director Mr. Richard Maher and high school band director Ms. Emma Wade.
“They were constantly encouraging me to do my best and to keep challenging myself as I was trying new things to develop my talents and abilities,” explains Logan. “They showed me it was ok to enjoy the learning process and helped me find joy in discovering that music can inspire us all.”
From left to right Logan Pedersen (soprano saxophone), Alex Valle (alto saxophone), Anthony Uresti (Baritone Saxophone), Alex Demuchest (Tenor Saxophone).
Other activities that Logan participated in include Boy Scouts of America, National Honor Society, English Honor Society, Science National Honor Society (treasurer,) Mu Alpha Theta (treasurer then president,) Rho Kappa (activity coordinator) and Texas Future Music Educators Association (secretary.)
Emotional Resilience Through Tragedy
“We are overjoyed that Logan has achieved the desires of his heart in his academic and extracurricular aspirations and attribute this success to his optimism that God will work miracles in our lives,” says his parents, Spencer and Crystal Pedersen.
The Pedersen family experienced a great tragedy in March 2020 when Logan found his 2 ½ year old brother unresponsive in their family pool. Weston survived the drowning but with major complications.
“Despite the personal challenges that every teen faced during the pandemic and this traumatic event in Logan’s life, he has shown great strength and emotional resilience to never give up on his goals and aspirations,” says his parents.
The Pedersens hope that his mission work will further hone his skills to make him an even more exceptional service-oriented leader His father participated in a similar mission and served in Veracruz, Mexico from 1998-2000.
'Pursue Your Interests Now'
Logan wants his fellow graduating seniors and all Katy students to focus on their interests. “Pursue your interests now,” he says. “Figure out what you are passionate about and where you can make a meaningful impact while you are defining who you are in this pivotal period of your life.”
He also stresses the importance of connecting with family, friends, and the Katy community.
“Service gives us the opportunity to get outside of our own challenges and find happiness in helping others overcome their hardships,” says Logan. “This helps us gain a better perspective on our own life and a hope that we can become whom we want to be.”