These Spartys are smarties: Meet the 2015 valedictorians

Here’s a look at Bainbridge High School’s brightest students from the class of 2015 who crossed the stage on June 13.

Bainbridge High's valedictorians for the Class of 2015: Emma Spickard

College applications, studying, tests, prom, finals, graduation … the to-do list could go on for graduating seniors. Yet, somehow, between all of the end-of-year activities, Bainbridge High School’s eight valedictorians had some time to reflect. Here’s a look at Bainbridge High School’s brightest students of the class of 2015 who crossed the stage on June 13.

Alexina Boudreaux-Allen, 17

College: University of Southern California where she will attend engineering school.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“I think the best thing I’ve learned in high school is to put yourself out there. I’ve changed a lot over high school. My goal for the rest of my life is to be open and connect with as many people and go to as many places as possible.”

What’s your secret to success?

“My secret to success with school was having a quiet place to do homework. There’s been times where I stayed home instead of hanging out with friends. Balance, I guess that’s the secret.”

Favorite quote?

“Never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“My most meaningful experience was visiting Camp Siberia. I went into it not expecting anything. Living on Bainbridge, you’re sheltered. You don’t realize it until you get out there and experience it. There were so many things I didn’t know about that were amazing to experience.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“Charissa Moore. She’s my favorite teacher not just because of my freshman biology class. She was always cheery. She is like the one teacher at the school where her room is always full with a line out the door on break. She just knows so much and is so young at heart and she’s funny. She does so many things at the same time, I don’t know how she does it.”

Emma Spickard, 18

College: University of Washington, honors program where she will major in public health.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“I think never underestimating the power of my curiosity and how hard work and passion go hand in hand. Even on the days it doesn’t seem worth it, there’s always something you can learn.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I definitely think hard work. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. It’s a combination of hard work and knowing what I want, but also finding the balance.”

Favorite quote?

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“When I was in my freshman year, I found this boarding school in Canada called St. Michaels. I couldn’t explain to myself why I wanted to go. I [finally] recognized it was the people and Bainbridge Island that made it special. It was entirely the best decision I made to stay at Bainbridge High School. It’s how you choose to challenge yourself. I think Bainbridge Island is the perfect community for being challenged while at the same time receiving support and being able to access that.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“I honestly couldn’t choose just one. I have had such an amazing array of teachers that I couldn’t possibly declare only one to be my favorite. I know that’s kind of cheating, but BHS has such a caring and dedicated group of teachers; we’re incredibly lucky. Although, after hearing Mr. McLean would name his next child Emma after the three Emma’s in his honors pre-Calc class last year, I think he’s won my vote.”

Carter Kraus, 18

College: University of Washington where he will likely major in bioengineering.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“Probably if you do what is asked of you, and don’t shortchange yourself, I guess, in the long run that hard work pays off.”

What’s your secret to success?

“Doing the work that’s asked of you, and there’s a reason teachers give it to you. I try not to put things off.”

Favorite quote?

“You can’t change or manipulate anything.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“Making final four for baseball. Just any district tournament in the fall. For me, baseball and golf are both things I’ve been doing since I was little. To have such a great year your senior year with all your friends is just great. We won the state championship this year, so that was a really big deal.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“Dan McLean and Derek Lovelace. Mr. McLean was just old school, very simple and very organized. I loved his dry sense of humor. He’s a very bright guy. Being around him was just fun. He made math very easy to learn for me. Mr. Lovelace was a whole new style. He was an athlete. So he drew interesting parallels connecting sports and mathematics. It was a weird concept, but it worked really well for me.”

Edward O’Mara, 18

College: Bennington College in Vermont where he plans to pursue a music career path.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“The secret to success would be to not take anything too seriously. Remember that relative to almost everything, everything is almost nothing.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I think the best thing that high school has taught me is you’re always going to have a problem with the person you were a year ago, so enjoy the present because you’ll hate it later.”

Favorite quote?

“The universe is shaped exactly like the earth if you go straight long enough, you’ll end up where you were.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“I would have to say at prom when we elected Emily Garfunkel as prom queen. This year she contracted and was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. She missed a huge amount of school, but she’s still worked it out to get her credits — a really, really impressive achievement. It was a huge surprise for her. A lot of people hadn’t seen her in a really long time. She was really floored by it. It was really exciting.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“I’ve had a lot of good teachers. I am a really huge fan of Mr. Jason Uitvlugt. He taught me to look at things more relatively and more objectively than I have before.”

Chad Roberts, 18

College: University of Washington where he will major in pre-med and go to medical school.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“The best thing that I’ve learned is my career goal. I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned at Bainbridge High School is thank God for lunch. Thank God for a 30-minute break.”

What’s your secret to success?

“My secret to success other than not being lazy, I guess it really comes down to doing all the work. Just prepare yourself. Practice note-taking. Don’t take five-minute breaks or an hour break. Don’t goof off.”

Favorite quote?

“That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“I’ve got quite a few, but this one sticks out in my head: prom. The food; it was delicious. It was the best 8 ounces of prime rib I’ve ever had. The actual prom was OK — I got to talk to a lot of friends.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“Benedict de Guzman. He was a teacher I’ve had for three years. I think that Mr. de Guzman is my favorite choice because it’s really fun to be in his class, and he wasn’t afraid to let me joke in class. He’s also a nice guy all-around. I just became friends with him more than other teachers from over the years.”

Nick Stahl, 18

College: California Institute of the Arts where he plans to study jazz saxophone.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“I would say probably if you’re committed to something, you can find the support to succeed in it, even if it’s not obvious.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I guess being able to get a pretty good picture of what’s being asked of me and doing something creative, and also being thorough.”

Favorite quote?

“When you begin to see the possibilities in music, you desire to do something good to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“Winning state solo ensemble. In high school, winning at state was kind of the moment I moved into the category of mentor.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“Ashley Crandell and Steve Johnson. They’re really exemplary. The give the kind of respect that I would want to see just as I become an adult. They really care about their students both academically and as people, which isn’t always as prevalent as it should be.”

Haylee Derrickson, 18

College: Carleton College where she plans to major in math while studying Spanish and social studies.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“I guess I’ve learned a little bit more about how I fit into the world around me. Just having a new perspective.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I think tea and running. I frequent the bakeries on the island. Running is like my meditation. I can write my essay in my head if I need to focus.”

Favorite quote?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“It’s always the little moments, too, so it’s hard. We’re reading credos in my humanities class. We’re all just kids trying to figure out what we believe in. Having a glimpse of who they [my classmates] are and what they think they are and who I know them as — it’s just a good way to say goodbye to everyone.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“I love the teachers at this high school. I can have one from every department. That’s such a hard question. Mr. Lawrence Holland because it’s so clear how much he cares about what he’s teaching and that he cares about his students. He’s so smart; you can tell he knows so much. I wish I could see into his mind of how history is this clear picture and how it’s connected to today. He’s just a really caring, dedicated guy, and he’s really a great teacher. He definitely helped me as a writer.”

Riley Irish, 18

College: Carleton College. Undecided major.

Best thing you’ve learned in high school?

“I think the best thing I’ve learned in high school is to see what it means to be a student and a scholar through this process of trying to be the best student I can be, it’s more of what I’m taking out of it. Maybe that’s why we need this process — to get that perspective.”

What’s your secret to success?

“I think I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. I was a strong perfectionist when I started high school. One thing that helped me is having great habits. I think I’ve always prioritized my schoolwork first before athletics or other activities. I had that goal of focusing and made the habits that made that possible in the end.”

Favorite quote?

“I kind of hold myself to a higher standard. My own quotes are about others.”

Most memorable high school moment?

“This is a really difficult question. In the last two weeks, we’ve been sharing our credos — it’s been powerful and really memorable. It’s sharing what you believe and how you see the world. To have people reflect with you is a very powerful experience to have. This high school does leave you with a lot of great memories.”

Who is your favorite teacher and why?

“Mr. Lawrence Holland. He’s a pretty reserved guy; he’s pretty quiet, but he does his job very well. He genuinely cares about his students and their success. He’s just a very committed guy. He’s been a great role model for me. He’s been a pretty strong influence.”

 

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