• Parents: Cara and Greg Goetzinger.
• School: Carthage High School.
• Planned career field: Anthropology/archaeology.
• Long-term goals: I would like to become an archaeologist who focuses on linguistic discoveries, but I am open to other possibilities. I would also like to eventually move to Europe.
• Tips for freshmen for academic success: Learn how to manage your time and find the best study methods for your own needs. Try to get out of your comfort zone and definitely get involved, whether in study-related activities or not. Any extracurricular activity is beneficial to focus on your daily events and avoid stagnation.
• Inspirational educator: My mother is a teacher and she inspired me to persevere in my work. She encountered many difficulties in her career path, but she overcame them admirably. She provides for my family, along with my father, and she contributes to the lives and development of others, especially since she works in early childhood education. She has always been consistent in her efforts; she teaches about helping the next generation and really cares about them, and I find that inspiring.
• Parents: Ravindranadh Parimi and Savitha Kumari Satyasi.
• School: Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School.
• Planned career field: Medicine.
• Long-term goals: In addition to becoming a doctor, I want to do scientific research and hope to have a tangible impact in my local and global communities. Specifically, I would like to bioengineer microorganisms to fight human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant infections.
• Tips for freshmen for academic success: As a student, you hear a lot of people say that if you do well in school, you will get into a good university. Unfortunately, this is not the case in today’s college admissions process. For this reason, I advise any high school student reading this not to be narrow-minded by simply getting good grades; rather, I want you to explore your passions beyond school and be an active member of your society, while maintaining good grades. Of course, only good grades will get you into a decent college, but I suspect you’d like to get into a high-caliber liberal arts/research college or receive generous scholarships.
• Inspirational educator: Dr. Christopher Rupar, my AP Physics and Chemistry teacher, was by far one of the best teachers I have had. I know I annoy him sometimes when I keep asking him questions or asking him for more practice problems after school, but Dr. Rupar didn’t once hesitate to help me. If ever I was confused, he would take the time, be it five minutes or two class periods, to fully explain the subject.
Beyond that, Dr. Rupar showed me that education revolves around the application of knowledge in the world. In addition to focusing on the curriculum, Dr. Rupar also promotes our learning through hands-on lab experiences, allowing us to visualize real-world issues that exist in our textbooks. Moreover, during the lectures, Dr. Rupar asks many interesting scientific questions or teaches concepts through short demonstrations, which encourages us to explore the subject further. Throughout this process, I have been inspired by Dr. Rupar to explore the passion and impact I can bring with my applied knowledge.
As I strive for academic excellence and pursue scientific research, I will pursue this principle of passion that Dr. Rupar demonstrated throughout his years of teaching.
• Parents: John and Sara Imhof.
• School: St. Mary’s Colgan.
• Planned career field: Undecided.
• Long-term goals: I plan to attend Pittsburg State University and earn a college degree. Then I will start my career and work to make a positive impact in the world. I hope to get married and start a family. I also hope to maintain healthy finances, be debt free, and save money for retirement.
• Tips for freshmen for academic success: I would advise freshmen to stay organized and practice good time management. Staying in control of your work and balancing your responsibilities reduces a lot of stress and allows you to get involved and have a productive and enjoyable time in high school. I would also emphasize the importance of prioritizing sleep, staying active, and getting out often. These things can make a big difference in performance and mood.
• Inspirational educator: My English teacher, Mrs. Dickey, inspired, motivated and challenged me to excel academically. She is a smart, kind and loving educator who works hard to help each of her students reach their potential. I learned many valuable lessons in his class, which was one of the most involved and rigorous classes I have taken. She holds her students to high standards, but that pushed me to strive for greatness and never settle for mediocrity.
Mrs. Dickey is dedicated to providing her students with an exceptional education and developing them into healthy, competent adults and lifelong learners. She helped me to continually improve. Ms. Dickey challenged me to work hard, manage my time carefully, and become a better reader, writer, and communicator. She taught me to look deeper than at the surface level and to reflect and seek knowledge. She also taught me the importance of attention to detail and the value of faith, happiness and purpose.
I enjoyed his course and am grateful for its positive impact. She made me a better, stronger and more balanced person. His example inspires me to live a full life, think critically, and make a difference in the world.
• Parents: Jason and Christina Dickinson.
• School: Webb City High School.
• Planned career field: Nuclear engineering.
• Long-term goals: Go to Missouri S&T, major in nuclear engineering and later get a master’s degree.
• Tips for freshmen for academic success: Don’t put off your work.
• Inspirational educator: Mr. Randall Hayes teaches calculus and other advanced math courses. He conducts himself in the right manner and is very competent. He communicates the content of the class very well, while mixing his signature humor to ease the difficulty of his class. Mr. Hayes is both knowledgeable and approachable which, added to his individual investment in his students, combine to make a very memorable and inspiring teacher.
• Parents: Micky and Mary Sue Painter.
• School: Pittsburgh High School (Kansas).
• Planned career field: Legal.
• Long-term goals: I will be attending NYU for my undergraduate studies. Then I plan to go to law school and preferably practice in New York or Washington, DC
• Tips for freshmen for academic success: Turn in each assignment. Most classes that are “difficult” only seem so because there is a lot of homework. If you complete everything, you will most likely end up with a good grade. When you think you’re not doing something because it’s hard, remember that a 70% will affect your grade better than 0%.
• Inspirational educator: Going into first grade, my least favorite subject was social studies. Then I went to Mrs. Giffin’s class. AP US history was the first course I signed up for after being warned by many students to absolutely never do it, so naturally I expected to have a hell of a year, but on top of that, I decided it would be a stroke of genius to also pile AP government into my schedule instead of taking it to senior year as usual. Needless to say I was scared.
However, to my surprise, these classes turned out to be some of my favorites throughout my high school career, and it was all because of my teacher.
She didn’t impose any rules on us, but her expectations were set in stone and the students followed them because we didn’t want to let her down. Mrs. Giffin taught me to work hard as a way of life instead of just stumbling through a heavy workload in misery. Also, the way she presented information about our government reinforced my decision to go into law school.
I will be forever grateful for how she inspired, challenged and motivated me to excel academically.