The valedictorian way: Always do your homework, do it well

Sophia Raphael, 18, was co-valedictorian of the 2005-06 Carson High School graduating class, along with Samantha Valerius. She has lived in Carson City all her life.

You are valedictorian of your class. How do you go about accomplishing that? Was it your goal at the beginning of the year?

Being valedictorian didn't actually become one of my dreams until junior year. That's when the goal became closer and when I really started becoming anal about getting straight As. I just made sure that I always did my homework and did it well.

What was your final GPA, and did you have any hurdles reaching it? Hard classes, not enough time for homework? A senior project getting in the way?

I think my final GPA was 4.011. I had a couple hard classes that I had to really push through (Mr. Morgan's AP U.S. History and Mr. Rispin's Trig), but I always found the time to ask questions and make sure I knew what I was doing.

What kind of scholarships did you receive? What's the one you're most proud of? I received some pretty generous scholarships, but there are actually two that I am most proud of - the Tahoe-Fracture and Orthopedic Medical Clinic Scholarship and the Drs. Manoukian & Romaneschi Scholarship for Science.

What are you hobbies? What extracurricular activities did you do while at CHS? I enjoy hanging out with friends, family and my boyfriend; working out; going to the beach; reading; flying; and organizing things. While at CHS, I was the student body secretary, a member of the freshman and junior varsity basketball team and a member of the junior varsity and varsity soccer teams.

Where do you plan to go to college? And what do you want to study? Will you be in the honors program there?

Next year, I am attending the University of Nevada, Reno, where I will major in biochemistry, minor in Spanish, and participate in the honors program.

What's your best memory from Carson High School? My best memory of Carson High School is the entire week of Homecoming 2005. I was a Homecoming candidate along with three of my best friends.

Who was your favorite teacher or teachers, and why?

I came to like a lot of teachers at Carson: Mr. Whatley, Mr. Macy, Mr. Longero, Mr. Garcia, Mr. K, Mr. Mital and Mr. Rispin. They are all amazing teachers that unquestionably touched my life.

What's your opinion of the senior project? Worthwhile, or a lot of extra work? I loved working on my senior project. To me, it was definitely worthwhile because I was able to witness some pretty amazing things (I job-shadowed an emergency room doctor.).

Your advice for juniors at Carson High as they prepare for their senior year? Work hard, but make sure to have fun at the same time.


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