18 valedictorians highlight North Tahoe Class of 2015 | SierraSun.com

18 valedictorians highlight North Tahoe Class of 2015

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The finish line is within sight for North Tahoe High School seniors. Of 70 graduates from the 2014-15 class, 18 will do so this week with the distinction of valedictorian, and one as salutatorian.

Graduates who have earned a grade point average of 4.0 or above are recognized valedictorians, while the top-ranked graduate after valedictorians is named salutatorian, according to the school.

Of the 18 valedictorians, seven are graduating summa cum laude — those who have earned A's in all courses taken toward high school graduation.

As part of the Sierra Sun's commitment to featuring top graduates each school year, those seven recently answered a few questions about their high school career and future plans. Read what they had to say below:

Tara Gallant

Post graduation plans? UC Berkeley to study molecular and cell biology.

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What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm really excited to graduate because I'm looking forward to beginning the next part of my life, but I'm going to miss some things in high school. My favorite things have been playing sports, running cross-country and track, so I'm really going to miss that and all my teammates and coaches."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I'm going to miss running cross-country. Cross-country has definitely been my favorite part of high school, and I've just grown really close with all my teammates and coaches. I really enjoy running, and I'm sad I'm not going to be able to run on the team anymore."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "… That you should always try your hardest to be the best you can be, and that you're not always going to be the best at everything, but you can be the best that you can personally be."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I wouldn't change anything that I did in high school because I enjoyed my high school experience, and I'm glad I did all the activities I chose to do."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "I want to go to medical school after college, so I hope that I will have a job in the medical field, probably as a doctor."

Julia Semmens

Post graduation plans? San Diego State to study environmental engineering, with a plan to minor in either economics or business.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm ready to graduate. I've been in Tahoe for a long time, and I'm excited to go someplace new with new people. I love all my friends here and everyone I know in Tahoe, but I'm excited for a different community."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I'm going to miss the small classes, especially going to San Diego State where we have like thousands of kids in lecture halls, so it's going to be interesting not being one-on-one with teachers and communicating throughout each class. It's going to be different, but I'll adjust."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "… To work with other people to get what you want. You can't do anything alone; you have to communicate and see everyone else's perspectives in order to succeed."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I would start an environmental club, probably Envirolution because we never had that at North Tahoe, and I always kind of thought about doing it, but I never did it."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "Right now I'm thinking about working in sustainable development or water resources, but I'm not really certain about where I'm going to be."

Bonnie Goslin

Post graduation plans? UC Santa Cruz to study biology.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "(It's) bittersweet. I'm going to miss everyone obviously; I have really close friends, but I'm also really excited because I really love Santa Cruz, and I'm really excited to go down there."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I'm going to miss probably jazz band. It was a lot of fun. We became really close, and we were actually very good this year, so that was fun."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "Probably to know when to take things seriously and when to just have fun. You're only going to go to high school once and it's important to remember to have a good time, but also keep good grades and take certain things seriously."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I think I would join more clubs my freshman year because I did nothing my freshman year, and then I did a bunch of stuff sophomore, junior and senior year, so I think I would try to get involved right off the bat."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "I hope to have a job that I like. I want to go into ecology or conservation, maybe, because I really care about the environment, and I want to do something that helps it."

Haley Perkins

Post graduation plans? Cal Poly to study biology.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm really excited. It's really weird that it's here already. I feel like we've really been counting down to it all year, but all of a sudden it's (this) week."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I think I'll miss the community atmosphere. We'll never be in a place again where we've known everyone since we were 5 years old. Knowing everyone for so long just (creates) that feeling of family. In college you're going to be in such a larger community, and you'll have close friends, but it will never be how it is here."

What's the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? "… The importance of being really involved and active when it comes to joining clubs and being involved in both the community and school."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "Maybe this year, senior year, taking a couple less hard classes and spending more time with friends would have been a good idea, especially in the fall semester. (It) was really hard, and I never really left my house ever. It was just homework and college applications all the time."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "I don't know exactly. I would hope to have traveled a lot by then and be in a job that I really like. I'm really interested in either the medical field or engineering."

Ingrid Roske

Post graduation plans? Boston College, with an interest in studying economics.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "It kind of seems surreal to me. It hasn't hit me yet. … By this time next week I'm going to be done with high school. It's crazy. I forget, and then I realize it again, and I'm like, "Whoa, this is not happening.'"

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I'm going to miss my friends in all the groups that I do. I do jazz band and cross country and Nordic (skiing) where my teams are like my families. You just make such close connections with these people who you have been with your whole life and that you do all these sports and activities with."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "… That I've learned is definitely being confident in yourself. If you feel nervous about something, or you don't want to take a class or you're not sure if you should go talk to that person across the room, you always should. Everything is better when you feel confident in yourself and believe in yourself, and then you can do things."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I would probably put myself out there more. … My freshman year I kept it pretty simple and did things I've always done, and then junior and senior year I joined a lot more clubs and took a lot more classes, and so definitely trying to be more adventurous throughout my whole career."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "In 10 years hopefully I will be living in a place that I love and having been able to travel and find new places outside of Tahoe because I've lived here my whole life. … Hopefully, I will have a job that I really enjoy."

Johanna Gur

Post graduation plans? UC Berkeley to study sociology.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm so excited. I haven't got sad about it yet, but I'm sure I will, but as of now, I just can't wait. I feel like high school has been a great, but long four years, and I couldn't be more excited to start school in the fall. Berkeley is my dream school, and so I'm just excited to start the next chapter of my life."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "Probably having teachers who have a personal interest in you. I think it's really nice that the teachers here all genuinely care about us, and I know it's not going to be that way next year. I think having teachers that care so much about us have provided us with a really good environment to learn and to grow, and I'm going to miss that for sure."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "I would say stay(ing) true to yourself. I think it's important to not try too hard to impress others and to be who you want to be and to be comfortable with who you are."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I don't think so. I've had a blast in high school, and I don't think I would change a thing."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "Traveling, and if I'm not traveling, I want to have a great job that I love. I want to be a lawyer as of now, but who knows in 10 years."

Sarah Mowris

Post graduation plans? UC Berkeley to study biology.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm really excited. I feel really ready to be over with high school. It hasn't hit me that I'm going to miss everyone, but I just feel ready."

What will you most miss about North Tahoe High? "I'll probably just miss my fiends and the tight-knit community because everyone is so supportive. It's like a family. … I'm going to miss that, and we're not going to have that in college, where everyone knows you and can help you out."

What's the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? "Probably balancing fun and studying. … I've definitely learned that you have to balance it to prepare yourself for college because in college you're definitely going to want to have fun, but you're going to be studying a lot more, so it's definitely an important skill to have."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "Maybe enjoying my senior year a little bit more because I feel like I took a lot of hard classes, and it went by so fast. I feel like I could have gone back and taken less (advanced) classes and had a little more fun and free time with my friends and family. I feel like all I was doing was homework and studying."

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? "Maybe in medical school or residency. If (that) changes, definitely living in a place that I really want to and having a job."

Top graduates

Here is the full list of North Tahoe High valedictorians for the Class of 2015: Ingrid Roske, Julia Semmens, Haley Perkins, Tara Gallant, Bonnie Goslin, Sarah Mowris, Johanna Gur, Jennay Argiris, Kylie Daniels, Picabo Fraas, Lily Dubuc, Mitchell Myers, Bridget Schroepfer, Sage Chador, Abigail Johnson, Samuel Keechler, Austin Nall, Angela Goslin and Charles Whitney (salutatorian.)

Source: North Tahoe High School

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If you go

What: Class of 2015 Commencement

When: 4 p.m. Thursday, June 11

Where: North Tahoe High School, 2945 Polaris Road

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