Graduation 2015: Incline High School’s top-achievers excited for future | SierraSun.com

Graduation 2015: Incline High School’s top-achievers excited for future

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline High School's seniors are about to embark on the next chapter of their lives.

Of 72 graduating seniors, one will do so with the distinction of valedictorian (Caroline Parkhill) and one as salutatorian (Alexandra "Alex" Resney).

Graduation takes place 5 p.m., Thursday, June 18, in the Incline High School gym at 499 Village Blvd.

As part of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza's commitment to featuring top graduates each school year, the two young women recently answered a few questions about their high school career and future plans:

Caroline Parkhill, valedictorian

Post graduation plans? University of Florida. Major: Business, but it could change.

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What are your feelings going into graduation? "I'm actually really excited for a change and for what lies ahead next year. It's been four years. … I'm going to miss my friends, especially my best friend Brooke. We've been friends since grade 5. We've all been friends since I moved here in fifth grade, and I'm going to miss Incline and especially Lake Tahoe."

What will you miss most about Incline High? "I think honestly the opportunities that we have at the school and the small community. We have support from all the parents and teachers, and if we ever need help, we have it right there. (Also) probably the class size. I'm headed to a school with like 50,000 students, and I'm sure I'm going to have lectures with hundreds of kids, but right now all my classes are under 30 kids, and we have personal relationships with all the teachers and help whenever we need it."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "To work hard and don't squander opportunities that (are) given. Everything pays off in the end."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I'm actually really happy with how high school turned out. … I really did everything I wanted to do. I worked really hard in school, and I made really good friends. Even though I'm sad to leave, I'm happy with the experience that I had in Incline."

What advice would you give to incoming freshman? "To have an open mind and to try everything. We're given so many different things to try at our small school, and if you let things slide, you miss really cool things. For instance, a Africa trip that I went on last month was a chance of a lifetime. I could have turned it down for staying here for a couple weeks, but I had the opportunity to go help kids and build schools for them and see a whole new side of everything, and it's open my mind to studying abroad. You have to say 'yes,' and try things."

Where do hope to see yourself in 10 years? "I do see myself living in a city, probably working for a large firm. I want to do kind of the finance side of something that I have an interest in. … Also, I still want to help people just with the experience I had recently. I don't want to just live in the city, I want to explore, travel and help as much as I can."

Alex Resney, salutatorian

Post graduation plans? Brigham Young University. Major: undeclared.

What are your feelings going into graduation? "I didn't realize it was coming until (Sunday) when we had baccalaureate, and then it was suddenly more real. You're with your class, in your cap and gown, and people are crying as they are giving their speeches, and it became real. It's really bittersweet. I'm really excited to move on and get going, but I'm going to miss everything about it."

What will you miss most about Incline High? "I think walking down the halls and knowing almost everyone. Having small classes where you can ask teachers a question, especially with teachers who know as much as ours do where you can ask them something that's out of left field. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what you are talking about, but they can answer it, and it's OK to go on that tangent."

What's the most important lesson you've learned throughout your high school career? "Being afraid of something isn't bad as long as you're willing to fight to overcome it. I came in here afraid of public speaking, and I still am, but I'm more willing to give speeches now. … Things you're not use to doesn't mean they are bad. It just means you have to try harder."

If you had a chance to do your high school career over again, would you do anything differently? "I wish I had taken a class with Mr. Thornton. He teaches auto and welding and stuff like that, and I think if there was one skill I wish I had, it would definitely be repairing stuff like that, so I'm not stranded on the side of the road. I'd have actual useful information."

What advice would you give to incoming freshman? "Fill up your plate. Do anything that interests you. Just jump in there. You only have four years."

Where do hope to see yourself in 10 years? "I would like to be doing something I love that's a new challenge every day, that's different every day, and just surrounded by people who I love. I think as long as you are happy, you are successful."

If you go

What: Incline High School graduation ceremony

When: 5 p.m. Thursday, June 18

Where: Incline High School, 499 Village Blvd.