GONZAGA PREP VALEDICTORIANS
Treva Lind Correspondent
* Volunteering had a big impact on Anna Baldasty. She worked summer and part of the school year at the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Another service was as an English as Second Language tutor.
“I had the opportunity to meet courageous people starting a new life, and through them I deepened my sense of the value of citizenship,” she said.
This valedictorian was National Honor Society president, 2003 Vanessa Behan Youth Volunteer of the Year, Ignation Service Award winner and Jabara Memorial Leadership Award recipient. She played varsity tennis, tutored and was in the Ancilla Service Organization.
Baldasty received an academic merit scholarship for Santa Clara University, where she is considering studies in English or psychology. Long-term, she’d like to be an educator or writer.
* Mandie Caton dreams of becoming a CIA or FBI agent.
Caton heads to the University of Rochester to study biochemistry and international studies. At G-Prep, she kept busy as Key Club president, playing junior varsity tennis, and through National Honor Society. For fun, Canton enjoys horseback riding, reading and writing.
She won the Sherman Lantry Award for U.S. History, the University of Rochester Award for Humanities/History, and a President’s Award. Looking back this year, she fondly recalls times spent talking with her friends.
An English as a second language class volunteering role also influenced Caton, “because the students all work so hard and are so determined.” she said.
* Another valedictorian, Chelsea Clinton, thanks mentors she met through Key Club.
“Key Club has meant so much to me. I have made many new friends through service projects. My advisers, from North East Kiwanis, have stretched me and helped me become the leader I am today,” she said.
Clinton showed some of that leadership through her school roles in cross country, tennis, National Honor Society and mentoring. She won the President’s Educational Award for three years, was a National Honor Society Commended Tutor, received a Helping-Sharing- AlwaysCaring Camp Fire Award and a Key Club Outstanding Service Award, and was a Washington State University Distinguished Regents Scholar.
A memorable day this year happened when Clinton ran her best time in a cross country meet in Missoula, took a car trip back to Spokane with a friend and attended a dance that night.
She will study international affairs at Gonzaga University next year. Clinton would like to be an ambassador to the Vatican and “to live life to the fullest.”
* Margaret George balanced her love for horses with high school achievement.
She wrote about winning at a state horse competition, where she placed first in the bareback equitation, second in Western equitation and fifth in showmanship.
At Gonzaga Prep, she was known for work in National Honor Society, the Ancilla Service Organization, as lead coordinator for Ignite Mentor Program, and the Current Issues Club. Her awards stack up as well: Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, St. Michael’s College Book Award for Scholarship and Service, President’s Outstanding Academic Excellence Award, and a Christian Leadership Award.
She enjoys riding and training horses and family fun. She will attend Gonzaga University in the Honors Program to study mathematics and business while considering careers as a certified public accountant and a horse trainer.
“My mom has helped me accomplish my goals and dreams with my horses and academics,” George wrote.
* Big dreams are on the horizon for valedictorian Christina Higgins, who wants one day to open her own dietary practice specializing in children.
She will attend Seattle University to study science. She also would like to study abroad, become a dietician, run her own health- inspired restaurant and live in a big city.
Higgins became involved at Gonzaga Prep in tennis, Ancilla Service League, National Honor Society as an officer, as admissions ambassador, teen advocate for the American Diabetes Association, and tutoring.
She has numerous awards: 2003 Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery Junior Volunteer, 2002 Sophomore Class Leader, Junior Volunteer of the Year, Academic Excellence Awards 2001-2003, HOBY Community Leadership Award, President Bush’s Education Award for Outstanding Excellence, College of the Holy Cross Book Award, Saint Ignatius Academic Scholarship, Ignite Mentor Award, and Tennis Team Captain Award.
* Amanda Wong wrote that she dedicates her academic achievements to her parents.
“They have always been there for me, providing me with love and care,” she wrote. “They’ve dedicated their work and lives to raising me, which is why I dedicate my academic excellence and achievements to them.”
At Gonzaga Prep, Wong served as National Honor Society secretary, did NHS tutoring and was on the varsity tennis team.
She was recognized with the Ignatian Service Award and the President’s Award for Academic Excellence.
Wong likes to shop, watch television, travel and go out with friends in her spare time. Her goals will take her to Georgetown University to study international business. She hopes to acquire work experience and eventually start a business.
Wong said she is most proud of being culturally diverse and having the opportunity to experience diversity.
Copyright 2004 Cowles Publishing Company
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