H. Frank Carey High School’s 2013 valedictorian Sara Stiklickas and salutatorian Alyssa Mayer have the honor of representing their graduating class as the two students who academically performed best throughout their high school careers.
Which accomplishments are you most proud of?
Stiklickas: Oh gosh. Well, I’m really proud of being valedictorian. I worked really hard for that. I’m proud of my accomplishments in my A.P. classes. I’ve been doing well and keeping my grades up throughout high school. I’ve been trying to stay away from slacking off toward the end of the year. Over the summer, I taught Italian to elementary school students.
Mayer: Well salutatorian, because I worked really and studied a lot, pretty nerdy.
What was your reaction when you were told you would be valedictorian/salutatorian?
Stiklickas: I was really happy. It was toward the beginning of 11th grade when I realized I could get that. So I was working really hard and when I found out that I had achieved that, it was really nice.
Mayer: I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I worked hard but I didn’t think I was there.
What are your hobbies outside of school?
Stiklickas: I play golf. I play the clarinet. I like music a lot, I play around with a bunch of different instruments. I like doing things outdoors, like riding my bike. I like doing things indoors too.
Mayer: I love lacrosse. I play every season and outside of school, also.
What are your plans now?
Stiklickas: I’m going to MIT. I’m going to major in some kind of engineering. I’m thinking chemical or electrical but I’m not sure yet.
Mayer: I’m going to Fordham University and I want to major in biochemistry. I want to do genetic research.
What has been your biggest motivation to work so hard?
Stiklickas: I’ve been doing it for myself. I want to be at the top. I think I’ve always been that way. So, I’ve just been motivating myself to work hard and I just want to reach my full potential.
Mayer: I push myself more than anyone. My family always has my back.
What, in your opinion, is the best thing about being valedictorian/salutatorian?
Stiklickas: That’s a tough one. It’s nice knowing you’re at the top of your grade and all the hard work has led to something, a speech at graduation! I think I’m more nervous about writing a good speech than I am about speaking.
What would you suggest for people to get better grades?
Stiklickas: I think motivation is important. A lot of people don’t care enough. I think if you find something to motivate you to do better, you won’t have a hard time sitting down and doing homework or anything like that.
Mayer: You have to find the study method that helps you the best and you can’t give up. You have to work hard to get to where you want.
Did you ever have any amusing experiences while doing such outstanding school work?
Stiklickas: (pause) Last year, we did a pretty funny project in A.P. U.S. History. What we did was, we teamed up in pairs of two. Each pair got to represent a president from history. We had a contest. We had to create campaign videos and go up against each other. There was a bracket system and you’d move on to the next round and eventually it was one against another. The videos were pretty funny, dressing up as people and doing funny things, then watching it in front of the class.
How does your family feel about you being at the top?
Stiklickas: They’re pretty proud of me because they’ve seen how hard I’ve worked.
Mayer: They’re really proud of me. They tell everyone they meet!