Helena Magazine

Helena’s Super Seniors

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Helena High School’s top 8 students from the senior class open up about high school and the future


What extracurriculars are you involved in?

I’m involved in math theme, marching band. I was involved in scouts, but I aged out.

What teacher or staff member has been particularly influential for you?

Definitely Mr. Burnside. He is my band director, so I’ve known him for four years now. He’s taught me how to lead, how to be accountable for myself and all sorts of other things. And he’s really nice, but he doesn’t tolerate whenever we act like unruly teenagers.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received?

Refusing to make a choice is a choice unto itself. And it’s usually a wrong choice.

What has this year taught you about being a leader?

Well, this year has taught me to be very, very patient. I served as section leader for the flute section of the marching band. With that, one of our objectives was to promote a culture that was hardworking, but also very positive. To build something like that, it takes a long time. Culture is very hard to influence, but we put in a lot of work. It’s always been a positive environment, but we definitely made it better.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to attend Perdue University and I’m going to study aerospace engineering. I’m going to get my bachelors, and I want to get my masters. Maybe a Ph.D.? But that depends upon if my future employer would pay for it.

How do you plan to spend your summer?

I have no idea. The only set plans? I’m going to be in the Perdue marching band. I have to do band camp for that and that’s going to take all of August. Other than that, I’m going to rest and sort of prepare myself, teach myself things I need to know. It’s a preparation phase.




What extracurriculars are you involved in at school?

I’m involved in my school’s theatre department. I participated in the last four productions that we have put on, and I’m currently involved in our current production, “Into the Woods.” I’m the character of the Wolf. I’m also involved in our school’s math team. We recently won the county tournament. We’ve never won before, so that was cool.

If you could pick a new school mascot, what would it be and why?

I’m thinking ants. Not really because I think they would be a good mascot, but because I like ants. Honestly, ants are great. They’re so hardworking and they work together so well. You step on their house and they just fix it. There’s no complaining. There’s no fighting about who is going to do this. It’s just like ‘Oh, no! Our house got knocked down. Let’s fix it.’

Who is your hero and why?

Definitely my parents. My parents have worked so hard to help me achieve things in life so far. Without them, I would never have done any of this. It’s because of them that I’m here.

Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

I think that we don’t really prioritize taking care of ourselves very well. I think we need to focus on that, both your physical health—especially with how much you’re sleeping, that’s very important—and your mental health—how you’re doing. You don’t need to spend your high school years over-stressed. You want to enter college ready to go to college, not exhausted from high school.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to continue my studies and keep working hard. I want to go into engineering.



What extracurriculars are you involved in at school?

None through the school other than theater tech, but I’ve played hockey and I play lacrosse for Thompson.

What teacher or staff member has been particularly influential for you?

I’d say Coach Massey. Now, he is assistant principal, but he’s also our youth director. He’s always just given us really good advice and helped us through the years, both as a youth director and now as an admin at the school.

What is the most challenging task as a senior?

I think the most challenging task as a senior is just staying focus and to keep putting the effort in. Throughout the years, it gets harder and harder to put in the effort. Especially now, in the last semester, senioritis is definitely real. In a couple months, we’ll be off in college and what you got on your high school math test won’t really matter at all. Staying motivated is a big challenge at the end of your senior year.

What are your plans after graduation?

Try out for the Auburn hockey team, go to Auburn and studying mechanical engineering.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Definitely college life—especially at Auburn. They have a really good campus and I’m just really looking forward to being in a community with a bunch of other people that have worked hard to achieve their goals. And just experiencing college and being able to do everything that that entails. Getting to go out on my own for a little bit, but still have the safety of a college campus and still have the reality of real life.



What extracurriculars are you involved in?

Inside of school, I am involved in our school’s Scholar’s Bowl team and our math team. Scholar’s Bowl is like a quiz bowl team. It’s like jeopardy, but it’s more competitive.

What was your favorite class during high school?

Definitely AP United States History. I really liked the whole experience of taking it for two years and going through all the concepts. I love history, and United States’ history is definitely very engaging because you can see the impacts of a lot of the things you’re talking about. It’s nice to see how everything built up to where we are today.

What is your best memory of high school?

I don’t really have a true best memory, but a certain category of memories that I like the most is definitely all the time I spend with my friends. It’s really what makes it all a really good experience. The classes are great and all, but being able to see the people you enjoy being around on a regular basis really does make it special.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m going to go to the University of Alabama at Birmingham and study biomedical sciences. I think I want to become a doctor, but I’m not sure what kind of doctor yet.

What are you looking forward to experiencing after graduation?

Definitely the freedom that comes with moving out of the house and going to university. It will be a first time experience for me living outside of home on a regular basis, so it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. To learn to live by myself and stand on my own, instead of relying on my family so much.



What extracurriculars are you involved with?

I’m in band. I’ve been in band since sixth grade. The marching band too. I was one of the section leaders my junior and senior years.

What is your number one study tip?

It would probably be to make Quizlets and not just to reread your notes. You need to actively try to quiz yourself. It’s called studying actively. If you studying passively, you don’t retain as much information.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

I would probably be purple because that’s my favorite color. It’s even the color of my prom dress. I really like purple a lot and I have it almost everywhere.

What is your best memory of high school?

Probably the football games. I’m in the marching band and it was really fun. Especially this year because we made it to the second round of the playoffs which I don’t think we’ve done in a while. It’s just really fun to play your fight song while your team wins.

What will you miss most about high school?

That would probably be my friends that are underclassmen and the marching band. I really got connected with the marching band and grew to love it.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to go to college for four years at UAB, majoring in biomedical sciences on the pre-med track. And then, I’m going to go to med school, hopefully at UAB, maybe specializing in orthopedic surgery. Then, five years of orthopedic residency. And then, being a doctor/surgeon.




What extracurriculars are you involved with?

National English Honor Society, marching band and Ambassadors.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be attending Auburn University and majoring in journalism.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Uh uhm hmmm.. green.

If you could plan a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? What would you do there?

Paris! Je vais explorer la ville!

What advice do you have for younger classmates?

Manifest your destiny, for beauty is found within.

What are you looking forward to experiencing after graduation?

Watching the Auburn University equestrian team win more equestrian titles! Weagle Weagle.

What is your best memory from high school?

Supporting Coach Sammis as he balled out in his adult soccer league match.

What would you suggest as a new mascot for the school?

The Helena Helena’s. Our school already has so much spirit, imagine what doubling it would do!

What do you hope people remember about you?

This interview. I hope to inspire generations to come.



What extracurriculars are you involved in, inside and outside of school?

I’m part of the student leadership team which partners with the Chick-fil-A leadership academy. We do a lot of service projects. I’m a part of a lot of honor societies: math, science, English and National Honor Society. Outside of school, I like to hike and hang out with friends and family.

What extracurricular activity impacted you the most? What did it teach you?

I used to play volleyball, but I stopped after my sophomore year. It taught me a lot of mental toughness and how to push past mistakes. Balancing a sport with school can be very difficult, especially when you are taking AP and honor classes, so it taught me a lot of how to balance my school, my sport and my personal life.

What teacher or staff member has been particularly influential for you?

Mrs. Blanton, the senior counselor. She’s helped me get through a lot of really bad days at school and really rough times. She’s always been there for me and looked out for me. If I’ve ever needed help with something, I’ve always gone to her.  She’s kind of like a second mom in a way.

What is one surprising lesson you have learned during your senior year?

While it’s important to push yourself to the best of your abilities, it’s okay to give yourself some slack and relax. Senior year, I really just decided to relax and only took two AP classes and one dual enrollment class. It was just nice to be able to actually enjoy school and not be so stressed out about it all the time. It’s okay to take breaks.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I’m going to go to Auburn University to study software engineering.



What activities and extracurriculars are you involved in?

I’m on the women’s golf team. I’ve played for them for five years because I played in eighth grade before COVID shut everything down. I’m the president of the art honor society. I’m in just about all of the honor societies for the core classes.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received?

My grandma tells me to smile. No matter how bad my day is. She just tells me to smile. Whenever I see her just say smile whenever I’m playing or having a bad day at golf, it makes my mood a lot better. If you keep things optimistic, everything just goes a little better.

What’s your number one study tip?

I have to write everything down. If I don’t write it down, I have no idea what I’m doing. No matter if it’s hanging out with friends or birthdays or golf or art, I’ve just started writing everything down in a planner. It’s the only way I remember what I’m doing. It’s the same with studying. I have to write it down or it won’t click.

What is your best memory from high school?

Senior Sunrise. We all showed up, piled in a car and we just drove around until school started. We went to parks and spent time with friends.

What makes Helena High School special?

I think the biggest thing that’s made the school so special is the community that we get to have. Whether it’s best friends or teachers, everyone makes you feel like you’re a part of something.

What are your plans after graduation?

I was recruited to play at Millsaps College in Mississippi for their golf team. I’m going to double major in business and art and probably go for a masters in business.