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June 6, 2013
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Sweet Sixteen: North Tahoe seniors ready for graduation

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — North Tahoe High School seniors will experience a rite of passage next week — graduation. Of the 74 graduating seniors, 15 will do so with the designation of valedictorian and one as salutatorian.

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

Graduation takes place 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at Laker Stadium at the high school at 2945 Polaris Road in Tahoe City.

All 16 top academic performing students were asked to answer a few questions about their high school career and their future plans. Read what they had to say below:

Rebecca “Riley” Chador, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and riding on its equitation team. Major: medical humanities/pre-med.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Don’t procrastinate.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “I think the people and teachers because they’re really involved and supportive.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Have a good attitude.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, out of school and working as a pediatrician.”

Brianne Dubuc, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? University of Nevada, Reno, with a plan to study either nursing or engineering.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Pay attention in class and don’t goof around.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The sports teams, all my teams (snowboarding, soccer and cheerleading) — just the team aspect, competing, the coaches.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “To get involved with as many things as possible.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Traveling to Europe, South America. If I do nursing, I’d like to go to the Peace Corps.”

Robert “Jake” Hickman, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo. Major: biology. “I’m skiing moguls all winter. I’m trying to make it (the U.S. Ski Team).”

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Perseverance is key.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Being able to ski every day.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Keep up on your school work; it helps in the end.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, skiing or on an island somewhere warm.”

Camille Joubert, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU). Major: civil engineering.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Don’t sweat the small things, it all works out in the end.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Spending time with all my friends”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Make the most of your high school experience.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Probably graduated from college, with a good job that I like and just being successful.”

Sydney Lancaster, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Major: undecided, but leaning toward a math and science field of study.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “The most important thing I learned is just have fun with it and don’t care what other people think.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The close-knit community that we have here, and I’m really going to miss sports (soccer and alpine ski team) and jazz band, and just the whole experience.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Definitely put yourself out there and do what you want to do. Don’t hold back because you’re going to regret it later.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Since I don’t know what I’m majoring in, I don’t know what kind of job that I’m going to have, but I hope to be doing something that I love and traveling a lot. Hopefully, (I’m) still skiing.”

Patrick McElravey, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. and be on its Nordic ski team. Major: “Right now it’s looking like International Studies, (I) kind of want to take the path to work for the U.S. Department of State.”

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “To stay positive. Don’t be afraid to joke about the situations that will arise.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “I’ll miss running cross county for coach Mills. He and I have a good relationship. We’ve run with each other for four years … and he’s taught me more than just how to run.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “It’s not what you do, but it’s what you don’t do that can make you regret or look back as missed opportunities.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Either skiing for the U.S. team or working in an embassy in some facet.”

Nicolo Monforte, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? “I’m pursuing my ski career. I’m going to compete in World Cups next season. I’m on the U.S. ski team. Next year is an Olympic year, so I’m going to start doing Olympic qualifiers in December, and then I’m going to apply to schools in the fall, again.”

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Follow your dreams, do what you want to do and with hard work, you can pretty much accomplish anything. (You) just got to stick with it.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Probably my friends and school sports. (I was on) varsity soccer all four years and Alpine skiing. There’s a comradery.

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Learn from the past, look toward to the future, live in the moment.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, enjoying the outdoors and having fun after a successful ski career and college education.”

Emily Nall, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo. Major: biology.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Managing my time, especially with sports and then coming home and doing homework late at night.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Probably the sports teams. I was on the nordic ski team and then the cross-country team.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Just have fun with it. Stay away from all the drama.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “’Cause I don’t really know what I want to do yet, I’m trying to figure that out once I go and start trying things, so I hope to be doing a job that I like and enjoy, and see where I go from there.”

Danielle Palffy, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? University of Nevada, Reno, for engineering.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “You are your own worst critic.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The drive there because every morning I get to see the sun rise on my way to school, and I get to watch the lake. It’s probably the best view ever.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “To work hard and never think you can’t do something.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “I’m hoping that I’ll have a stable career in the engineering field and have traveling in my future.”

Hannah Perkins, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? University of California, Santa Cruz. Major: biology, with the goal of becoming a doctor.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “That kindness is really the way to handle life. To always be happy and to be kind. Everybody needs to be treated nicely.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Probably the sports (soccer, Nordic and track) teams and jazz band. I love the little families that I’ve made through those.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “You can never go to bed too early. For school I wake up really early for jazz band, and I’m always tired. I think getting a good night’s sleep before helps.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, I’ve graduated from college. If not, I’ll probably still be in medical school.”

Colin Spencer, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, and trying to make its baseball team. Major: undecided.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Do your work and don’t be an idiot.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “Classmates, friends.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Borrow money from pessimists ‘cause they don’t expect it back.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Either a lawyer — some sort of job where you have to argue a lot because I like to argue — or playing baseball somewhere.”

Zoë Thompson, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Major: English, with an interest in either a journalism or teaching career.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Just be yourself, have fun and immerse yourself in as much of the high school experience as you possibly can.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The friends that I’ve had since preschool.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Don’t be afraid to talk to seniors because I feel at the end of the year, seniors always end up with so many freshman friends.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “I would like to be happy and having fun and doing something that I love.”

Jessica Tidd, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? “I’m taking this year to ski race. (I’m) skiing out of Squaw, but I will be traveling all over the country, maybe to some different countries. After that, I’ll probably ski race for some college, but I’m not sure where. (As for a major) I’ve been thinking something medical, but I’m not sure, or a business degree.”

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Always be open to learning new things.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The small community of the school and some the teachers (Mr, Everist, Mrs. J). We’re all pretty close.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Try to get involved in the school, participate in the sports.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, I would have traveled by then and seen more of the world.”

Daniel Vandewiele, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? San Diego State University to study mechanical engineering.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Stay on time and don’t fright about the little things.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The snow.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “It goes really fast (the four years), so pay attention and get an early start.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully, successful with a job I like, maybe out of the country.”

Jackson Wood, valedictorian

What are your post graduation plans? Western Washington University in Bellingham, and row crew there. Major: Pre-med and kineseology.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “Work hard from the beginning.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The nordic team because we’re really tight-knit group of friends. I’ve been on the Nordic team all four years, varsity captain this year.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Fill up your water from the lower drinking fountains — the water’s colder and it’s easier to fill up your water bottle.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Probably finishing up medical school, starting residency.”

Shasta Tresan, salutatorian

What are your post graduation plans? Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc. Double major: saxophone performance with an emphasis in jazz studies and computer science.

What’s the most important lesson you learned throughout your high school career? “If you want to do something, you really need to dedicate yourself to it.”

What will you miss most about North Tahoe High? “The small school experience. Knowing everyone when you walk down the hallways. It’s nice.”

What advice would you give incoming freshman? “Take advantage of everything that’s offered to you. Don’t let opportunities blow past you.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? “Touring the world with a band, eating crazy food, meeting people and playing with awesome musicians.”


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 7, 2013 03:09PM Published Jun 7, 2013 09:08AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.