Georgia Grzywacz, John Jay High School’s Class of 2016 valedictorian, recently warned a ninth-grade student on the soccer team that high school really does fly by.
“I remember a teammate telling me that when I was a freshman, and I thought to myself, ‘How can it? Four years in school is endless and I’ll want to get out as soon as I get in,’” she recalled. “But it’s just the opposite. I never thought four years could go as quickly as they have, but time flies when you’re having fun.”
And while she admits she would rather stay home and read a good book than attend a school football game, Grzywacz still has plenty of high school memories to look back on as she prepares to deliver her graduation speech and take her next steps in life.
“One of the things that stands out most to me at John Jay is the faculty and staff I’ve met and had the privilege to learn from over the years,” she said. “I remember my junior year, when I was having a particularly awful day, the teacher I lab assist for, Mrs. [Caroline] Weldon, brought me tea and cookies on her own accord. She’s one of the most wonderful women I’ve ever met, and I’m grateful I was her lab assistant for three years.”
In addition to assisting in the lab, Grzywacz is a dedicated soccer player, a member of the school’s Sustainability, Book and Relay for Life clubs, actively involved in Reach Out John Jay and a volunteer with the Appalachian Service Project. She also works part-time at a local business, babysits frequently and works in the nursery at her church.
While she is still deciding on a top college pick and major, Gryzwacz said she is considering environmental studies with a double major or minor in either classics, psychology or Spanish.
“To think that this is a year of lasts – last homecoming, last varsity soccer season, last spirit week – is hard to imagine,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t really believe it yet, especially for soccer. It’s weird to think that in a few months, we’ll be getting our diplomas and then going to college.”