BGPS seniors reflect, offer advice to next year's freshmen

June 15, 2017 Joe Vajgrt

BGPS Seniors reflect, offer advice to next year's freshmen

June 15, 2017

More than 1,000 seniors will graduate from Battle Ground Public Schools this week, and we’re proud of and impressed by each and every one of them! We asked a few outstanding graduates about their favorite high school memories , what advice they’d give to next year’s freshman class, and what their plans are now that they’ve completed their high school education. Below are their responses, in their own words. 
Timothy Basarab, Summit View High School
My favorite high school memory was having conversations and building relationships with the teachers at Summit View. They are all so great; they're supportive, genuine, intelligent, hardworking, funny, and they all have their own awesome personalities. 
My advice to incoming freshmen is to keep your head up. High school really is what you decide to make it. If you come with a bad attitude, then don't expect good results. But if you come in with a good attitude and personality, then you will enjoy it and you will build great memories and relationships with other students and teachers. 
My post-graduation plans are, God willing, to build a career, possibly seek further education via college, travel some more, go on a mission trip, and build a house and a family someday. 

Hana Wyles, Battle Ground High Schoo
​​My favorite memory from high school was winning 3rd place at the 4A Volleyball state tournament. 
The advice I would give to freshmen is to get involved in as many clubs, sports, and activities as possible. As cliche as it sounds, your time in high school will fly by, so take every opportunity you can to make memories. 
In the fall, I will attend Dominican University of California on a volleyball scholarship. I was also awarded a Public School Employee scholarship.

Ben Shannon, Battle Ground High School
My favorite memory from high school comes from last year, when I first started working with younger students as a tutor. The tutoring experience as a whole has been very eye opening for me, and I've learned a lot from it. Being able to see the impact I've had in the lives of other students is always a surreal experience, and to me, there is nothing more rewarding. I think I will carry all of my tutoring/mentoring memories with me for a long, long time.
My advice to incoming freshman is to be yourself and remember to aim for the things that are important. I think so often kids can get lost when they get to high school, trying to fit in or "be cool." For me, this notion of being popular and cool has been something which I quickly found to be unimportant. Family, friendships, and academic efforts come first in my life. I hope that all high school students can someday learn this same lesson.
In the fall, I will be attending George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. I plan to study psychology, and one day I hope to earn my master’s degree.

Ashyln Griffith, Prairie High School
My favorite memory was the color wars assembly because it brought our entire senior class together. We won the prize for “most spirited” class, which meant that Principal Drake had to dye his hair orange.
My advice to next year’s freshmen is to dedicate yourself to studies all four years of high school. Reach out to those classmates that you might not usually interact with. Making a lot of friends can be good, but having a few solid friendships that you know you can rely on is what will get you through your high school years. Stay true to who you are and let personality shine instead of conforming to what others want you to be.
In the fall, I’m going to WSU-Vancouver. I want to major in psychology and minor in biology. My goal is to someday become an occupational therapist and work with special needs kids. 
Ethan Rouse, Prairie High School
My favorite memories from high school were playing on the Falcons basketball team. In my four years of playing varsity basketball, my teammates and I developed a great deal of camaraderie. The team became like a second family to me. 

I would tell next year’s freshmen not to just go along with what everyone else wants you to do. Be yourself, and remember that you’re probably going to come out of high school with just a few real friends.
After graduating, I’ll be joining the navy. I ship out sometime in September or October, so I’ll be spending part of the summer with family back in Indiana. I’m also looking forward to playing basketball in a men’s league.

Emily Gonzales, CAM Academy
My favorite high school memory was when a large group of guys from my grade decided to re-enact in the lunchroom a musical that they had come up with in 8th grade. The memories that it brought back to those who remembered how hilarious it had been when they had done it originally, and the weird looks given by the other grades who had no idea what was occurring, was priceless.
My advice to incoming freshman is to enjoy every day of high school and to participate in every event that you can. A lot of times, freshman like to come in with an attitude of "too cool for school dances" or just not wanting to participate in events meant to foster school spirit. I would want them to know that by participating in these events and by possibly making a fool out of themselves in order to show how much they care about our school, they will automatically make their high school experience so much better.
After I graduate, I’m hoping to get a job for the summer before attending Azusa Pacific University in the fall. I am hoping to get my degree as an elementary school teacher with a minor in TESL (teaching English as a second language). Since I had a fairly high GPA, I earned the highest annual academic scholarship that my school offered, as well as an additional $1,000 per year for being eligible for and enrolling in the school's Honors college. 

Victoria (Tori) McCormic, CAM Academy
My favorite high school memory was during this year’s spirit week when the entire high school was gathered in the commons for our assembly. Each grade level was competing against each other for spirit points, and since this was our last spirit assembly as seniors, we wanted to make a grand entrance for our final "hurrah." We entered the commons waving our class flag and marching to the Olympic theme song. While the senior class didn’t end up winning, I still look back at that moment as one of the most satisfying that I experienced while at CAM.

The best advice I could give to future high school students is to find a good group of friends and stick with them. I don't mean any group of friends, I mean a good, quality group with whom you share common, core interests. The only way I have been able to make it through high school is because I was fortunate enough to be surrounded with people who really cared about me and wanted me to succeed. I can attest that without a doubt, having that group made all the difference. Getting into a solid group who pushes you to study harder, but who also pushes you to have fun every once in awhile, is probably the best decision any freshman could make. After all, there is so much to learn from the people who surround you!

After graduating, I plan to attend Boise State University and finish my pre-med studies. I received the Gem (non-resident tuition waiver) scholarship from Boise State, totaling $60,000 over the next four years. After that, I hope to attend medical school and become a doctor of osteopathy, specializing in physical therapy or sports medicine. While I am a little nervous to see how smooth my transition to college goes, I am looking forward to the new experiences and new lessons I will learn as I enter into this new chapter of my life.

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