Marion High School is set to have nine seniors graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. They are Katey Ehrlich, Kelli Hess, Alicia Maloney, Caitlyn Maloney, Lauren McLinden, Nicholas Meyer, Zach Robson, Amanda Stuchlik, and Kaelyn Thierolf.
This week they shared about where their academic motivation comes from, what subjects have challenged them, who helped them on the way, and what their plans are after high school.
What motivated you to keep a 4.0 GPA throughout high school?
Ehrlich: “Most of my motivation came from personal academic standards. I’ve always had high expectations for myself. My parents and my brother have also always encouraged me to do my best, along with my classmates.”
Hess: “My parents have always stressed how important school is because it is what will carry me for the rest of my life, but getting a 4.0 has always been a main motivation for me, also. Once I got a 4.0 my freshman year, I was motivated to get a 4.0 every year. I have just taken it day by day and performed to the best of my ability.”
Alicia Maloney: “My dad was the biggest factor in my determination to keep a 4.0. For me it was almost like our way of returning what he’s doing for us by working in Afghanistan by showing him we appreciate what he does enough to stay on top of things, to make him proud.”
Caitlyn Maloney: “My motivation came mainly through my parents. They have always pushed me to be the best I can whether that be in sports, hobbies, 4-H, FFA, or just in everyday challenges. When my dad started working overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wanted to do the best I could for him. They have instilled in me a hard work ethic, a strong moral attitude, and a perseverant spirit. They have always been there for me and this was my chance to give back to them. However, I would be lying if I said my motives were totally selfless. I am an incredibly competitive person, especially when it comes to challenges of the mind and one’s intelligence. I work hard for myself because I know that I am capable of the grades I am receiving.”
McLinden: “I was motivated to keep my 4.0 GPA by my personal drive for high achievement and the competition between my classmates. We like to compare our grades on different assignments and projects, but also encourage and help each other when need be.”
Meyer: “I was motivated to keep a 4.0 because I challenged myself to do it. I felt like I was part of a very smart group and that I had the talent to do so, but I needed to put that into action and keep my grades high.”
Robson: “At first, it was definitely parent motivation. My parents required my best work, and that was a 4.0. Then, that turned into self-motivation to get As.”
Stuchlik: “Keeping a 4.0 is a good goal to have, I believe. It keeps you motivated and willing to work hard. Having such a smart and academic class pushed me, as well as parents who encouraged me.”
Thierolf: “My parents really supported me in whatever I do, as long as I try my hardest. My motivation came from myself because I have always wanted to be valedictorian.”
What subjects took the most effort for you to keep an A in?
Ehrlich: “College comp took the most effort to have an A in because it was the most time-consuming, and writing papers took a lot of research and effort.”
Hess: “College composition II has been the hardest and most stressful class to keep an A in. This class involves constant writing, and I was never a good writer so it took a lot of work to keep my A. My teacher, Mr. (Christopher) Rome, expected us to write college-level papers, but with his help I was able to succeed as a writer and keep my 4.0.”
Alicia Maloney: “Chemistry as a sophomore was definitely my most challenging class to keep an A in, because it doesn’t click with me like other subjects do.”
Caitlyn Maloney: “I have always loved school, partly because I’m good at it, and I have attacked most subjects with interest and fervor. However, throughout the years, there have been classes that came naturally to me while others threatened to chew me up, spit me out, and leave my brain muddled and fried. Chemistry, applied statistics through Butler, and agri-business have definitely been the classes that really have had me teetering on the edge of sanity and an A grade in each class.”
McLinden: “The hardest classes I found to keep my A in over the years were most likely chemistry and pre-calculus/trigonometry. Science has never been my strong suit, so I found chemistry difficult to understand and pre-calc and trig involved a different form of math that I was not very familiar with.”
Meyer: “The subject that was hardest for me to keep an A in was English because I disliked English and it did not come as easily as the maths and sciences, but I knew I could do it, so I persevered and worked as hard as I could.”
Robson: “Probably Calc 2, but I really enjoyed that class.”
Stuchlik: “Comp 2, it caused a lot of work outside of class and I already had three other college classes, as well as calculus.”
Thierolf: “Composition and AP U.S. government were the most challenging classes I’ve taken, but they were the classes I have enjoyed the most.”
Which teacher do you think you learned the most from?
Ehrlich: “I think I have gained the most from Mr. (Gary) Stuchlik. I took his pre-calc, physics, algebra, statistics, and calculus classes. I have gained a lot of knowledge from everything he has taught.”
Hess: “I definitely learned the most from my college composition teacher, Mr. Rome. He always encouraged me, but more than that, he made me work for my A. I feel very confident in my writing skills for college, and he played an influential role in my education.”
Alicia Maloney: “I learned a lot from Mr. (Mark) Meyer because he always pushes me to complete things and keep my priorities straight. What makes him an effective teacher is his desire to help students, but also his unwillingness to take anything half done or disrespectful.”
Caitlyn Maloney: “I think the teachers I learned the most form would be Mr. Rome and Mr. Stuchlik. Both have been incredible teachers, but they have invested extra time into my education, especially when I felt like I was just about ready to give up on the whole darn thing. They are effective teachers for different reasons, though. Mr. Rome is a giant ball of fun, like a crazy monkey. His knowledge of literature and literature analysis is unparalleled. He makes his classes fun, even when the coursework is a nightmare. Mr. Stuchlik is amazing in his teaching because of his vast knowledge. He teaches his subjects thoroughly, but explains them in detail enough that you feel like you are actually absorbing what he’s teaching.”
McLinden: “I had a tie between teachers who I learned the most from. Mrs. (Myrta) Billings has worked hard over the past five years to educate me in skills that I will need after high school such as nutrition and wellness and personal finance. Mr. Rome has also made English very entertaining and has been wonderful in helping me write my papers and preparing us all for college writing.”
Meyer: “I learned a lot from all my teachers, so it’s very hard to name just one. I probably learned the most from Mr. Rome because he went out of his way to help me on anything I had trouble on. He helped make writing and reading easier and much more fun than it had ever been for me before.”
Robson: “This is a tough one. I learned so much from Stu (Stuchlik), (Bruce) Rhodes, Mo (Don Molleker), and my dad in the math and science classes. I learned so much from coach (Grant) Thierolf and coach (Jeff) McMillin in their classes as well as in sports, and Mr. Rome taught me so much as well. So, long story short, I learned a lot from every teacher. They are all great.”
Stuchlik: “All the teachers at Marion, I believe, are top notch, and I have learned valuable lessons from all of them. They are very effective because they all care.”
Thierolf: “I learned a lot from my dad. He is a great teacher and really makes history come alive.”
What are your plans after high school?
Ehrlich: “I am going to attend Kansas State University and major in industrial engineering. I chose this path because I like math and think I will be able to excel in this field. I would like to have a minor in international studies in order to take my career toward the direction of disaster relief or developing countries.”
Hess: “After high school I am attending Butler Community College and hopefully getting into the nursing program the following fall. I have always been interested in the health care field, and after working as a certified nurse aide and participating in a work-study at St. Luke Hospital, I am even more excited for my future.”
Alicia Maloney: “I plan on attending K-State for engineering. I originally planned on vet science, but after working for a couple of vets I found out I wouldn’t be happy in that occupation. Engineering really interests me.”
Caitlyn Maloney: “After high school, I will be going to K-State. I am enrolled in the College of Agriculture but am not quite sure what I am going to major in quite yet. I have considered a major in ag communications with a minor in international agriculture. After K-State, I will most likely go to the University of Oklahoma College of Law and become a lawyer. I haven’t quite let go of that dream, but for now that’s so far ahead it may eventually change.”
McLinden: “I will be attending Kansas State University in the fall to study family and consumer sciences education. I chose this path after Mrs. Billings informed me that I would be a good fit for the career. After a bit of research, I have greatly enjoyed the prospects of the field and am looking forward to being able to teach high school students the skills they will need for life on their own.”
Meyer: “I am planning to go to Kansas State University and major in agricultural engineering. I enjoy math and science and I wanted a career where I could combine my interests. I also have grown up around agriculture my entire life and been heavily involved in FFA, and because it is something I am passionate about, I wanted to combine my passions and interests to find the career that I can enjoy making a difference in.”
Robson: “I’m living in FarmHouse fraternity at K-State, and I plan to major in statistics.”
Stuchlik: “I enjoy helping people, and that is why I plan to go to Kansas State University to study social work.”
Thierolf: “I am going to the University of Kansas to be a part of the rowing team and study psychology.”