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, November 20, 2020
Marauders of the Week are known for their accomplishment in studies as well as in the community, and Cooper Valentine is no exception. He is a well rounded student and citizen of Belmont who not only has high aspirations, but also knows how to enjoy the moment.
Out of all the contributions that Cooper has made to his community, he is the most proud of being a BHS Madrigal Singer. He says that his favorite part about Madrigals is that it is extremely fun. Cooper is not an amateur at singing: he is well versed, as he participates in every singing group at Belmont High School and has even performed in the MMEA Senior District choir for the past two years! Cooper believes that his confidence in singing first blossomed in Mr. Landers’ Men’s Chorale class. He also feels that the confidence he gained during that class has extended into his personal life as well as his studies.
Cooper has many other interests, in addition to singing. His favorite school subject is science, as he finds it incredible how directly he can “see what we learn influence the world around [him].” More broadly, he enjoys the act of learning, in and of itself; he says that the longer he has been a student at Belmont High, the more he has realized that joy comes from inside the classroom. Cooper’s main goals in life are to always be open to experiencing new activities and to strive for happiness.
Although Cooper is a dedicated student, he likes lighthearted activities as well. For example, he wants the school to know that he is a whiz at Magic: The Gathering. Cooper’s words of wisdom for other BHS students probably should not be taken too seriously: “If you’re a mod late to a triple it feels just like a double.”
By Joyce Gong
Clark Zhang is a motivated, intelligent senior interested in a variety of subjects. Some of his favorite classes are AP Computer Science, which he took last year as a junior, and BC Calculus, which he takes this year. He likes the aspects of Computer Science that allow him to combine pure logical reasoning with creativity, in contrast to other STEM subjects, which often rely heavily on memorization and procedures. In Computer Science, he can create anything he imagines, as long as it can be broken up into logical functions. His other favorite subject, Calculus, is especially compelling to him because it allows him to solve real-world problems.
In addition to STEM, Clark has a passion for language learning. He studies Chinese because of his family heritage, and has been learning Japanese on the side. In school, he takes Latin. He is fascinated by language acquisition and how we learn language through “comprehensible input,” a teaching style used by his Latin teacher, Mr. Bracey.
Clark’s most influential teacher in his time at BHS was Ms. Bloom, his junior year English teacher. Her support and dedication was evident not only in the classroom, but also during remote learning this past spring; she was a reassuring presence for all of her students, and she made sure that they were not letting the stress of living in these unprecedented times consume their lives.
Outside of school, Clark plays table tennis at the Massachusetts Table Tennis and Badminton Club. He quit soon after starting it at age eight, but picked it up again later on. He likes that it is both physically and mentally engaging, as it gives him time to de-stress from the constant pressures of high school. He also co-founded the BHS Badminton Club with a friend; they then helped the team win its first trophy in the MassBad High School Championships.
Clark wants other BHS students to understand that success in life, in school or out, is the result of good habits, such as effective time management. Clark believes that it can be helpful to reflect on whether or not your habits work well for you. That way, he says, “you can be the best version of yourself, whatever that may be.”
By Ani Belorian
Read more about our other exceptional students on the Marauders of the Week page