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Top students share plans, memories

Student speaker Kelcey Simpson, who shared her thoughts on graduation with the audience, achieved the distinction of salutatorian of the Class of 2008. -
Student speaker Kelcey Simpson, who shared her thoughts on graduation with the audience, achieved the distinction of salutatorian of the Class of 2008.
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Members of Mount Si High School’s Class of 2008, after spending four years making memories and preparing for adulthood, celebrated commencement and entry into the “real world” last week.

The Valley Record stopped by the high school just before graduation to take a look back – and forward – with valedictorian Mariana Zanella, and salutatorian Kelcey Simpson, who are tennis teammates, neighbors and good friends.

Mariana Zanella, Valedictorian

What are some of your favorite memories of Mount Si?

“A lot of them have to do with soccer, and all the friends I made there. I lettered all four years. Sophomore year, we did really well. We made it to quarter-finals at state, which is amazing for our school.

“I’ve been in French club all four years, and we meet and talk about the culture. Sometimes we bring in food, or we plan trips to French restaurants.

“With National Honor Society, we went to Overlake Hospital when they had a grand opening of the new wing, and we had a teddy bear clinic. A bunch of girls and boys would bring teddy bears, and we’d pretend they were sick and make them better. It was really fun. I did a lot of random projects like that.”

How do you feel about moving on from high school?

“I’m really excited to be done, and start summer, and college in the fall.”

What are you up to this summer?

“I have an internship at Microsoft on the Common Language Runtime team. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to be doing yet, but when I went into my interview I did have to know coding. I’ll be doing something along those lines. I’m hoping to be working full-time.”

And this fall?

“I’m going to the University of Washington. I was directly admitted into the degree programs I’m planning on pursuing: electrical engineering and computer science.”

How do you feel about being valedictorian?

“I never planned to be valedictorian. It just kind of happened. The whole title never really meant as much to me as doing the best I could in all my classes.”

Kelcey Simpson, Salutatorian

What are some of your favorite memories of Mount Si?

“Being in the student section for football games. Planning prom. Decorating the hallways for homecoming.

“For the National Honor Society we did card-making for Children’s Hospital, and that was really special because though it was a really easy thing to do, it could really brighten up a kid’s day.

“I played tennis for two years, and this year I was a captain. I lost most of my games, but Bellevue was a good win for me.

“I play the alto saxophone in band and jazz band, and this year I won an Outstanding Jazz Soloist award at Bellevue Jazz Festival, which was a big goal for me. I love music, and I’m going to have to find a way to do it in college, because I can’t just let go of it. I might try to join a small performing group.”

What are your plans for college?

“I’m going to the University of Washington. I’m studying business and pre-med simultaneously. If I decide not to go to med school, I’ll be able to fall back on business.”

What kind of medicine interests you?

“Probably pediatrics.”

Will you move to Seattle?

“Yes, I’m living on campus. I’ve got to get some room. But not too much. I was planning on going to UCLA, but that was too far.”

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