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Hickman and Rock Bridge High School valedictorians tell all

Thursday, May 29, 2008 | 10:06 p.m. CDT; updated 2:41 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This article has been changed to correct the time of Hickman High School's graduation. It is 2 p.m.

COLUMBIA — Marching band, cars that won’t start, skimping on sleep — ah, high school. Many people can relate.

In honor of this weekend’s high school commencements, we asked the nine valedictorians at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools a few questions about their years in school and their lives to come. Here’s what they said:

To become a valedictorian

Students at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools must have the highest grade point average in their graduating class for eight continuous semesters. Hickman also requires that students have a minimum of five honors or Advanced Placement classes, and meet the equirements of the College Preparatory Studies Certificate.

If you go

Hickman High School: Commencement is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena. About 550 students are graduating. Rock Bridge High School: Commencement is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. About 550 students are graduating.

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HEATHER BETHEL

Hickman High School

Post-graduation plans: Washington University in St. Louis, to study math and minor in French

Q: What was the most memorable thing that happened to you throughout your years in high school?

A: At the end of my junior year, my English teacher told us that the most important thing to remember in an English class is that anything can be described as a metaphor for life.

TRACY FETTERLY

Hickman High School

Post-graduation plans: Vanderbilt University, to study science; medical school is a possibility

Q: What is your fondest memory of your high school career?

A: I’m really big into music here, and overall, it’s probably the experiences I had in marching band. Particularly at one competition my junior year, when we placed the highest that Hickman has ever placed at this competition. And it was the best team feeling I’ve ever had, because as 150 kids stood gathered together on a track, it was announced. It wasn’t even an academic thing, but we put so much work into it.

ALLISON JAMISON-LUCY

Rock Bridge High School

Post-graduation plans: Grinnell College, to study biology with plans for medical school

Q: What is the most valuable piece of information you’ve learned in high school and that you will take with you after graduation?

A: Sleep deprivation is the most effective form of time management. It’s important to learn in high school that there are two ways to fit more into a day: one, screw around less, or, more likely, stay up later.

JUN LIANG

Rock Bridge High School

Post-graduation plans: Dartmouth College

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened to you during your four years at Rock Bridge?

A: My friend’s car wouldn’t start, and we had about six or seven guys there helping to jump it. Even with jumper cables and another car, we couldn’t do it for, like, half an hour, while other people were watching us. This guy in a truck drove by and started the car in a couple of seconds. It was pretty embarrassing, and afterwards we couldn’t get the hood closed.

ALEXANDRA LITOFSKY

Rock Bridge High School

Post-graduation plans: Case Western Reserve University, to study environmental engineering

Q: What do you want future Rock Bridge students to remember about the class of 2008?

A: I think we had an awesome class. Of course people are going to remember sports things, but we’re a pretty smart class, too. Kids in our class are going to do a lot of great things.

JOSEPH NEAL

Rock Bridge High School

Post-graduation plans: MU, to study mechanical and aerospace engineering

Q: What is the one thing you wish a senior would have told you about high school as an incoming freshman?

A: I would like to have known about the huge amount of schoolwork that I was going to have to juggle by taking AP and honors classes. Also, that getting involved in as many activities as possible will really make your high school career a lot more fulfilling. Plus, just to go and enjoy high school. Rock Bridge is one of the best in the nation, and you only go through high school once, so do all you can to have fun.

ALEX TAYLOR

Hickman High School

Post-graduation plans: MU, to study both French horn performance and biology; medical school is a possibility

Q: What is your fondest memory of your high school career?

A: My favorite memory of high school was the last couple of weeks, because we have been done with it. It’s just a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and the fact that we finally completed one of the most enriching and also grueling experiences of our lives. It’s finally been laid back, and I think it has allowed everybody to be kind of retrospective and reminiscent and think of all those good memories, and have a lot more of a positive attitude toward Hickman, perhaps, than during the year. And marching band!

SPENCER “MAX” VALE

Hickman High School

Post-graduation plans: MU, to study biochemistry and music with plans to attend medical school in neuroscience

Q: What do you want future Hickman students to remember about the class of 2008?

A: I think to be remembered as a group of hard workers who had a good time. I think this year we made, the class as a whole, a big impact on the community in terms of volunteering through a lot of different organizations. That’s one of the amazing things about Hickman, is that there are so many clubs and activities that do volunteer work.

JACLYN YAEGER

Hickman High School

Post-graduation plans: MU, to study biology with plans to attend medical school to become a dermatologist

Q: What is the most valuable piece of information you learned in high school and that you will take with you after graduation?

A: What grade you receive in a class isn’t necessarily the most important thing, but what you get out of the class, the knowledge you get. It’s not going to matter what grades you get from the class — it’s going to matter what you’ve learned.


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