A Valedictorian Shooting for the Stars

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     I’m a shooting star, leaping through the sky.

     Senior Mary Therese Pamplona has leapt through the school year becoming this year’s Valedictorian based on her four years of hard work and dedication.

     Although her transition from middle school was tricky, Pamplona got the hang of high school life, and right off the bat started to take advanced placement classes, AP European History and AP Art History, during her sophomore year. She also balanced extracurricular activities such as the Morse Code, Red Cross, Environmental Club, and STEM, an area of study pertaining to math and science, on top of her busy schedule.

     “I wasn’t used to the rigor of high school, and the transition from middle school was honestly something I struggled with,” Pamplona recalled. “I got a better hang of it my following years of high school and ended up performing better in them.”

     Although, it was not always about getting good grades that drove Pamplona to do her best. She mentioned how her older brother is a major driving force in her life, and how she tries to emulate his success by doing well with her own school work. English teacher Jeff Meyer, who had both Pamplona and her brother as students, spoke about their similar work ethic and Pamplona’s recent accomplishment of becoming Valedictorian.

     “I’m lucky to have had the privilege to work with Therese since her first day of high school,” Meyer said. “She’s wonderful to have as a student because she cares about learning and growing.”

     According to Pamplona, her success does not just end after high school. She plans on transitioning from being a Morse Tiger into UC Berkeley’s newest undergraduate student. She credits summer programs like COSMOS, a four-week residential opportunity at a university, and Active Voice with giving her a wide variety of opportunities to help her with college applications.

     “I always knew I wanted to go to a university, so I knew I had to push myself to get the best grades I could,” Pamplona said.

     Once at Berkeley, Pamplona has already planned to major as software engineer, and some of her other goals is to make friends with different backgrounds and thrive academically in a new environment. Another goal Pamplona has planned after graduating college is to hopefully become an engineer for Google or Amazon.

     Until then, she is focusing on finishing the school year with good grades, and then finally walking alongside her peers at graduation concluding her high school adventures.