Each week, members of the staff nominate 2 seniors for the spotlight, for outstanding accomplishments ranging from citizenship to extracurricular activities to scholastic. Our own Highpoint school newspaper staff profiles these students, and the interviews are published in the Belmont Citizen-Herald and posted on the bulletin board by the main office. We are excited for this opportunity to highlight a broad group of the amazing students at BHS!
Marauder of the Week: Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Coleen Valery, a kind and funny senior with an interest in music and community service, is an excellent choice for Marauder of the Week. Coleen’s favorite classes are anatomy and psychology, but the teacher she cites as the most influential in her time at BHS is physical education teacher Ms. Marino, who has always been “supportive of [Coleen] and all students.”
Outside of school, Coleen is in a band, works two jobs, and is involved with the UNICEF club. Additionally, in the fall, she performed in the BHS marching band, where her dedication and positive attitude brightened the trumpet section and made both rehearsals and games unforgettable. Asked to reflect on the high school and the Belmont community, Coleen joked that although she may “high key roast this school,” she actually thinks that the opportunity to attend BHS is a “blessing” and loves “being surrounded by pretty cool people.” Coleen is passionate about helping people in need, and believes that “the more fortunate ones should help the ones who are less fortunate.” She channels this passion into participating in the UNICEF club, which aims to improve quality of life and provide access to education for children around the world.
Coleen has two pieces of advice for other BHS students. The first is that every year of high school counts; she says that students are often told that “junior year is the most important,” but in reality even freshman year matters, as it helps to prepare students for the rest of high school. Her second piece of advice is that students’ lives can be stressful and overwhelming, so it is important to “give yourself a moment to chill. Your mental health comes first,” she says. “Always.”
By Claire Svetkey
Senior Heather Sorenson is a clear candidate for Marauder of the Week. Heather’s favorite classes are anatomy and psychology, because she is interested in “how the human brain and body works” and plans to enter the medical field in college. Mr. Abruzzese, Heather’s sophomore year chemistry teacher, is the teacher she cites as her most influential; he was “incredible,” she says, because he cared deeply about every student, and his routine of spending at least ten minutes each class discussing a random topic in “extreme depth” inspired Heather to learn more about “science and the world.” Outside of school, Heather’s interests are varied: she is involved with indoor winter track and rugby, she sang with the BHS Madrigal Singers in December, and she serves in a leadership position in her church’s youth group. (With all these extracurriculars, Heather is justifiably proud of “keeping [her] grades decent during senior spring.”)
Heather’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are complex and timely. To begin, she shares two quotes: first, regarding one’s own perceived flaws, “those who care don’t matter, and those who matter don’t care”; and second, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” which is her “favorite quote of all time.” However, Heather’s most important advice is to “appreciate the people you are surrounded with,” and, especially in high school, to “make the best of your situation” while it is happening, because “there are always good things around you” even if they’re hard to see. Coronavirus, she says, has highlighted how “you don’t ever fully appreciate what you have until it is taken away from you”; especially in light of the current pandemic, it is essential to make an effort to “appreciate the good things you have,” because circumstances can change quickly and “you don’t want to live with regret.”
By Claire Svetkey
Read more about our other exceptional students on the Marauders of the Week page