Hard work pays off for top academic graduates

   Hard work, overcoming obstacles and determination is what it has taken for seniors at the top of their class to excel academically. Through high school, these young adults are faced with new, and probably some of their hardest challenges, but they have also grown wiser and more mature.

   “Since freshman year, my only goal has been to pass my classes. While I enjoy getting good grades, I don’t feel like that has been a goal of mine,” senior Emmaleigh Kowal said. “It was never in my mind to go into a class and get straight A’s, it was just to go in, do my best, and hope I pass.”

Valedictorian Lauren Kreisel
Salutatorian Gabrielle Porter

   “My main goal in high school is to graduate; high school is exhausting and I’m just trying to get to the end with the best grades I can get without stressing too much. I want to enjoy my last two weeks,” senior Darby Mostaffa said.

   “My primary academic goal was to try and get all A’s, and I’ve had one B and two A-s during high school, so I’d say I’ve done pretty well,” senior Gabrielle Porter said.

   Porter was ranked second in the graduating class after the first semester. Lauren Kreisel was ranked first. Good grades can boost confidence and being a senior with a great report card can be very helpful for their future.

   “I plan on going to UCM. The major would be political science. My passion for government would be the main reason for that,” senior Joseph Montez said.

   “I intend to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City to pursue a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Pre-Law. I was inspired to be a lawyer by my advanced government class, and the passion I have for politics and making a change for the better in this world and society,” Lauren Kreisel said.

   “I plan to attend the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla for a degree in engineering. I was inspired by my skills when it came to fixing things and finding solutions and this degree is good for financial reasons,” senior Seth Huffman said.

   “[I plan to go to] the University of Central Missouri for English in hopes to either be a teacher or journalist. My biggest inspiration is Mrs. Adler, she has pushed me so hard and has taken care of me the past two years. It really shows that she wants the best for her students and I hope to do the same for my future students if that’s what I end up doing after college,” Mostaffa said.

   Although being academically successful is a very good thing, some difficult tasks also had to be done to get to where they are now.

   “The biggest challenge for me would probably be just being prepared for tests, keeping my mind right, and staying in a good setting,” Montez said.

   “Simply just balancing a busy schedule,” Huffman said.

   “My biggest challenge of being academically successful would have to be the bullying that has come along with it,” Kreisel said. “From a young age, other students and classmates would critique me very hard. They would laugh and make fun when I made a mistake, and they would hold me to a very high standard that no high school student should be held to. I dealt with these people and discovered my own self worth.”

   “I can’t really say that I have made any sacrifices. Freshman and sophomore year I was definitely more willing to sacrifice sleep to get my assignments finished, but after that I had more free time in school so I rarely did homework at my actual house,” Kowal said. “If I did make any sacrifices, they never felt like sacrifices – it was just something that I did. I kind of regret putting so much work into things seeing as other people are getting the same grade for far less work.”

   Even with all of their struggles and hurdles, each one of these soon-to-be adults have done whatever possible to push through their year with a strong and positive mindset. Some even wanted to give a little bit of advice or kind words for their peers and younger students in high school.

   “High school is hard, but you get what you put in. So if you put in more, you’ll have a better outlook,” Montez said.

   “Stay on top of your assignments and try not to procrastinate, it makes it less successful in the long run,” Porter said.

   “Do not let someone make you feel ashamed for the gifts that you have been given. Not everyone is naturally smart and talented, but you should be proud that you are and that you have an immense amount of opportunities to be successful,” Kreisel said.