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Meet the Valedictorians

Q&A with the top of the class

Valedictorian+Sam+Orloff+speaks+about+the+structure+of+Park%27s+high+school+building.+There+were+five+valedictorians+in+the+2017+graduating+class.
Valedictorian Sam Orloff speaks about the structure of Park's high school building. There were five valedictorians in the 2017 graduating class.

Valedictorian Sam Orloff speaks about the structure of Park's high school building. There were five valedictorians in the 2017 graduating class.

Josh Halper

Josh Halper

Valedictorian Sam Orloff speaks about the structure of Park's high school building. There were five valedictorians in the 2017 graduating class.

Annabella Strathman and Esther Gendler

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Sam Orloff

What are your plans for next year?

“University of Pennsylvania.”

How do you feel about leaving high school?

“I’m excited, right, to go and go to college and get out of the Twin Cities a little. But it’s bittersweet, and I think that’s true for everybody. I’m excited.”

How do you feel about being a valedictorian?

“Well it’s super exciting I think that it’s a nice way for hard work to be rewarded.”

Advice for underclassmen?

“My advice would be to really make sure that you are doing the things that you love. That you aren’t just doing too many things because you think it looks good on your resume, really do the things that you are passionate about.”

 

Matthew Meyer

How do you feel about being a valedictorian?

“It’s exciting to be able to represent the school.”

How do you feel about leaving high school?

“I’m kind of excited, I’m excited to be able to start a new part of my life. But I will definitely miss it.”

What are your plans for next year?

“I’m going to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.”

What activities did you in high school?

“I played baseball and hockey throughout high school.”

What advice do you have for underclassmen?

“Make sure you go to class and pay attention and do what you are supposed to for each class.”

What do you think the main contribution to your valecitorianship was?

“I just made sure I didn’t miss class and that I did my assignments.”

 

Jayne Stevenson

How do you feel about being valedictorian?

“It feels nice, but it wasn’t really something that makes me different from other students. I mean it’s nice because I worked really hard in high school, but I don’t think it’s any sort of title that makes me any different or special from other people, but it’s still nice to be able to speak in front of the class before I don’t see them for a long time.”

How do you feel about leaving high school?

“I’m excited to leave high school. I have great friends here that I hope to stay in touch with because they are some of the most important people in my life, but I’m really excited to get to go to college and to act on my passions and be able to really look for education specifically in the field that I want to be in.”

Any fun facts about you?

“I can’t snap.”

Advice for underclassmen?

“I think I would just tell underclassman just make sure you have important people in your life. They can be a good support system for you if you are going to put your grades and put school as a priority in your life. Everyone has their priorities, and for some people that is grades. If that is you, make sure you have a good support system with other people or exercise to have some outlet.”

 

 

Aaron Councilman

How do you feel about being a valedictorian?

“It’s kind of nice because it’s a recognition for the work we’ve put in that has gotten us here, I think that everyone has put in work, but I think we’ve all, all the valedictorians have gone through things that’s been hard at times so I think it’s kind of nice to see that it’s a recognition for it.”

What do you think your biggest high school accomplishment has been?

“I think probably the biggest accomplishment that I’d say, probably for a lot of seniors, is just managing to balance school and our lives, and managing to be able to still find time to do things we enjoy outside of school because especially in higher level classes and after awhile it almost becomes an expectation you’ll do well, it becomes difficult to balance and I think I’ve managed to do that to my satisfaction which I’m happy with.”

How do you feel about leaving high school?

“It’s hard because there’s a part which is kind of exciting because we’ve been working through this public school system for 13 years now, so it’s going to be a big change, but it’s also kind of this thing we’ve been forward to for so long so it’s kind of fun, but it also means it’s going to change a lot.”

What are your plans for next year?

“I’m attending the college of science and engineering at the University of Minnesota.”

What activities did you take part in in high school?

“I’m involved in math team and science olympiad and then also NHS. I also outside of school do recreational dance.”

Advice for underclassmen?

“Find classes and activities you enjoy, it makes high school so much easier.”

 

Jesse Schwartz

How do you feel about being a valedictorian?

“I think it’s pretty cool I didn’t think I was going to get it on multiple occasions, but I worked hard and got it.”

What are your feelings about leaving high school?

“I’m happy about it, I’m so done. You can quote me on that.”

What are some of your favorite high school memories?

“I have a few of them. One would definitely be Freshman year, Sam Orloff ripped his jeans at the knee in my English class. There was a nail sticking out of Ms. Keekley’s desk and it ripped all the way around. He had one ‘jort’ and one full length jean.”

“Another would be one time I thought someone was trying to sell me drugs, but it was actually just a snickers bar. I was so shocked. I genuinely thought someone was trying to sell me drugs, but it was just a Snickers bar.’

What specifically stands out about Park for you?

“St. Louis Park has been a cool experience for me because it’s the first public school. It’s also the only public school I’ve ever gone to so I don’t really know a lot about other public schools, but considering my friends from other schools, I feel like we have a very tight-knit community here. Everyone sort of knows each other, even if you don’t really know each other.”

Advice for underclassmen?

“My advice would be don’t put too much work into anything, because then you will miss out on sleep, or not do something for another class. So if something is too much work, you can back off and take an L on one thing to get W’s on other things. That’s my advice.”

What activities did you participate in?

“I played baseball freshman year, that was a mistake. I played soccer freshman through junior year, and ultimate frisbee sophomore through senior year. Those are the sports. I did JSU (jewish Student union) every year, I did the Park Spark sophomore to senior year, Israel Advocacy club sophomore to senior year, I helped found the feminism club this year, so I was active in that.”

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Meet the Valedictorians