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June 9, 2014
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Graduation 2014: Truckee’s top achievers have mixed feelings about moving on

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The next chapter will soon be written for Truckee High School’s seniors.

Of 123 graduates, one will do so with the distinction of valedictorian (Rebecca “Becca” Berelson) and two as salutatorian (Quinn Parker and Lorenzo Vigano).

Graduation takes place 11 a.m., Saturday, June 14, at Surprise Stadium at 11725 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

Recently, the students was asked to answer a few questions about graduation and future plans. Read what they had to say below:

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Rebecca “Becca” Berelson, valedictorian

Post graduation plans? UC Berkeley, College of Letters and Science as a regent and chancellor scholar. Interested in media studies and Spanish.

What are your feelings going into graduation? “I’m really excited. (Also) it’s bittersweet. It’s really, really rewarding to be done and to be in this position, but it’s also really scary knowing that Mom and Dad aren’t there to help me out when I need it.”

What is the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Probably just to try and stay balanced. Being in this position means a lot of studying and hard work went into this, but I also made sure that I had jobs on the side, and I was doing extracurriculars. I made time for my friends and for things that I’m really passionate about and like to do.”

What will you miss most about Truckee High? “Definitely being able to see my friends so easily. I know at Berkeley I’ll have to call my friends and have them meet me places because it’s such a big school. UC Berkeley in actuality is bigger than Truckee in population, so it’s going to be very different. Here it’s like, Oh, yeah, of course, I know where my best friend will be; she’ll always be at her locker at this time.”

What advice would you give to incoming freshman? “Because high school is so focused on getting your degree and going onto college, my biggest advice is to maintain that present attitude, making sure that you stay in the moment and that you really enjoy the rallies and that fun, geeky stuff that you do in high school.”

If you had the chance to do your high school career over, would you do anything differently? “I would have definitely had tried to do an exchange program. I was looking at it and I was like, Oh, that’d be fun to go to Spain for a semester, a year or something, but it was like, Oh, I’ll miss my friends. Now that it’s over, I’m like they would have waited for me. I wish I had gone and done something really awesome.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “My lofty goal is to be an anchor for a news broadcasting company, but that may not happen in 10 years. Mostly, I just want to make sure I’m making a difference in the world and helping people that need it more than I do, so I want to do some volunteer work and some traveling after college.”

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Quinn Parker, salutatorian

Post graduation plans? Princeton University. Major undeclared, but interested in biological sciences.

What are your feelings going into graduation? “Excited, but a little bittersweet, I guess, because I’ve lived here my whole life, so it’s kind of leaving behind everything that I’ve grown up with.”

What is the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Probably to persevere both in sports and school. If something didn’t turn out how I hoped the first time, then I needed to try again, and I needed to try harder.”

What will you miss most about Truckee High? “The small town feeling of it — knowing everybody in our grade and always having people that are into the same things you do like going hiking in the mountains or out to the docks. It’s just a real family feeling to it.”

What advice would you give to incoming freshman? “Don’t sell yourself short. If you have something you want to do, then go after it.”

If you had the chance to do your high school career over, would you do anything differently? “I don’t think I would do anything differently. I think it all turned out pretty well.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “In 10 years I would like to be out of graduate school and on my way to becoming a physical therapist or an athletic trainer.”

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Lorenzo Vigano, salutatorian

Post graduation plans? MIT to study biological engineering, but majors aren’t declared until sophomore year.

What are your feelings going into graduation? “Really excited. It’s crazy, (this year) went by so fast. I was so ready to move on and get out of here. I was so excited about it, but as these last few weeks have gone on, I’m realizing I’m going to miss the people and the community.”

What is the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Hard work pays off. If you put work in, you’ll get good out.”

What will you miss most about Truckee High? “I think probably just walking down the hallway and seeing faces that I recognize. Everyone here is just really friendly. … Our high school is so collaborative, and I think we have a really fun spirit.”

What advice would you give to incoming freshman? “Have fun; the four years go by fast.”

If you had the chance to do your high school career over, would you do anything differently? “The only thing I can think of — but it’s just a little thing — is I joined academic team last year and it was one of the most fun extracurriculars I’ve ever done. I wish I would have joined freshman year.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “In scrubs. ... I don’t know where I’ll be — East Coast, West Coast, who knows — but definitely in scrubs, as an M.D., but I’m just not quite sure — a (surgeon)? an ER doc? — what I’m really going for at the moment.”


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