Top students reflect on their success

Heritage's top ten seniors listed here are chosen based on GPA over the first seven semesters.

Grace D.

  • What put you in the top 10? I’m sorry to say there’s not any big secret. You just have to do your homework and study for tests.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? Probably being in the top of my class because it was very rewarding to see all my hard work pay off, but I also once went from the first floor to the third floor without being out of breath so…
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I’m going to Northwestern University next year. I’m super excited to meet all the new people and experience everything college has to offer.
  • What is your key to success? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your teachers, friends and family are always there to help

Simeon E.

  • What put you in the top 10? I think it has been consistency. Every year I have challenged myself by taking more difficult classes while also doing the best I can in each class.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? I believe my biggest accomplishment has been having success as a student, athlete and peer at Heritage High School.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I am looking forward to my freshman year of college at Valparaiso University. I am excited to enter an uncharted territory and broaden my view of life.
  • What is your key to success? Don’t make every action based on the people surrounding you. Develop an identity that you are proud of and apply that to a passion.

Mila K.

  • What put you in the top 10? I had never expected to end up in the top ten. My goal throughout high school was to take the classes that I enjoyed and challenge myself in the classes that truly interested me. Doing and learning the things I enjoyed helped me stay motivated and keep a strong work ethic all throughout high school. I also believe my involvement in school helped me stay connected. I was able to learn to prioritize my time and collaborate well with other students and teachers. All these things helped me get to where I am today.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment would be making it to State all four years in swimming. I had set this goal in my mind freshman year and never stopped striving for it even when things got tough. I am most proud of this accomplishment because it is something I never gave up on and it allowed me to challenge myself and grow along the way.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? Next year I am attending the Colorado School of Mines and I look forward to making new friends and for all of the amazing opportunities and experiences that the school and the future has to offer
  • What is your key to success? Giving 100% in everything that I do.

Katherine K.

  • What put you in the top 10? I guess I just pushed myself and worked hard to get good grades. I took a lot of AP classes in subjects that I’m interested in so I didn’t mind the workload and enjoyed learning about those things which motivated me to do well.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? I would say probably getting into all the schools that I wanted to and being able to go to a highly ranked university so that I can hopefully go to medical school.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I’m super excited to go to college! I’m going to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  • What is your key to success? I’d say just do what you love and everything else comes easier. Whether it’s a class, sport, club, or anything else, if you love what you’re doing you’ll be instantly more successful because it comes easier and you don’t dread doing the work. If you don’t love what you’re doing, change it if you can and if you can’t, try to find something good in it. Success is what you make it and if you work hard and do something that you love, you can do anything you want to.

Rey P.

  • What put you in the top 10? Knowing how to study smarter, not harder, and utilizing resources like the internet, YouTube tutorials, and textbooks. 
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment has nothing to do with  academics. For me it was overcoming my social anxiety and transforming my life so I can become the person I know I can be. It is an ongoing process, and one that is constantly changing, but it is the principle of taking control over one’s life and pursuing one’s purpose that is worth more than any tangible reward.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I am most excited to have a clean slate and live a life where I can re-define myself and discover who I truly am. 
  • What is your key to success? I don’t really know if I am qualified to answer this because I myself am still learning the key to success. That being said, an important piece of life advice is to learn the virtue of delayed gratification: Sacrificing your short-term, temporary happiness for long term life-satisfaction. A good maxim I live by is “Do what is easy and your life will be hard. Do what is hard and your life will become easy” – Les Brown.

Devon Q. is also one of the top ten seniors but was not available for comment.

Zoey R.

  • What put you in the top 10? I’ve always had an affinity for school and learning which, coupled with supportive and similarly motivated friends and teachers, has allowed me to succeed.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? I’ve achieved a lot in my scholastic career from becoming an AP Scholar with Distinction to gaining national recognition for my participation in various competitions, but I think my biggest accomplishment by far has been my ability to find balance in life.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I’m really looking forward to going to college and being able to study abroad. 
  • What is your key to success? Balance; you have got to focus on your own well being and mental health just as much if not more than you focus on school. 

Kylie R.

  • What put you in the top 10? I had some amazing teachers over the years that fueled my learning and showed me how learning for the sake of learning is better than doing well just so that it looks good on your transcript. Both Collins and Brinker showed me the importance of having a life outside of school and I found that not obsessing over grades and exams actually helped me become more determined to succeed because my mental state was healthier.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment is growing as a person. I started out as a freshman who did not care about anything but school. I was not interested in meeting new people. Now as a senior I was able to focus not only on school but on gaining different perspectives through my classmates and my teachers. I found myself retaining more important information outside the classroom, with personal talks with fellow classmates and teachers. I learned about different belief systems, politics and lifestyles that helped me become a more rounded, intellectual person. 
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I am most looking forward to entering adulthood in terms of responsibilities and being able to create my own life. I plan on furthering my education at university, but I am also excited to be working in a forensic lab out of high school. I am not sure what my end goal is but if it includes a secluded house with a cat, I figure that is a pretty good start. 
  • What is your key to success? My advice to success is organization. I have an hourly schedule that I try to stick to each day. It includes my goals for the day as well as personal time to relax. I feel like by maintaining a routine I had less stress about what each day would hold.

Ben S.

  • What put you in the top 10? I worked hard and I always asked for help when I needed it.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment was winning Mr Eagle. Because being in quarantine was very isolating, and it was great to find a way to connect during quarantine.
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I’m looking forward to starting new adventures and making new friends
  • What is your key to success? Hard work, positivity and patience.

Ambriel S.

  • What put you in the top 10? I’ve always pushed myself really hard when it comes to academics, and ultimately since it comes down to GPA I have taken a pretty significant amount of AP classes throughout the past four years.
  • What is your biggest accomplishment? I’m really proud of the close friendships I’ve made throughout high school. I know that that’s not exactly a traditional accomplishment to be proud of, but I think someone’s success is better measured by their character and connection with others than numbers or grades. 
  • What do you look forward to most after high school? I’m looking forward to just college in general, and the independence and opportunities it has to offer.
  • What is your key to success? Not taking the easy way out and working your hardest at anything you do. Actual success is determined by effort, not just the end result. 

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