Valedictorian and salutatorian represent class of 2013


Jin Kim and Meghan Jacobs will give their valedictorian and salutatorian speeches for the Class of 2013’s graduation on the Homer Scott Football Field, but in case of inclement weather, in the SHS gymnasium, on May 26.

For the class of 2013, graduation will be a day of walking, sitting in alphabetical order, walking up to shake hands and receive a diploma, sitting again, the finally throwing hats up in the air and celebrating the first moments of being out of high school. All very much a speechless affair. Yet, for two students, silence will not be theirs. For valedictorian Jin Woo Kim and salutatorian Meghan Jacobs, their voices will ring out to a quiet crowd, listening to what they have to say about life, high school, and the futures to come.

While making it look like it comes natural to him, being valedictorian of this graduating class has been a challenging, yet unforgettable course for Kim. With a schedule including nine AP classes at SHS (including Chemistry, Environmental Science, Calculus, Psychology, Biology, Physics, Statistics, Government, U.S. History) and two independently (Macro and Micro Economics), to being an active force in many clubs, while still finding the time to perform civic duties in the community, Kim has had a demanding schedule that doesn’t leave room for much sleep. Yet, though this time-consuming schedule would defeat most, he conquers it all and has excelled in everything he has been a part of.

“What I love about Jin is how hard he was worked throughout high school and what he has accomplished in this time. He’s a great person, not only in his academic ability but in his excellence in character, too,” said principal Dirlene Wheeler.

To Kim, “You can never stop learning. Everyone should keep furthering your education until you can’t anymore.” This philosophy on education, coupled with his parents and brother’s constant support encouragement, accounts for his heavy course load and the numerous extracurricular activities that he has taken with a smile these past four years.

Between all the homework, Kim finds the time to be an active member in many clubs and organizations. He has been a five-year member of FFA and the president for the past two years, the parliamentarian for FBLA, Link Leader, four years of Student Council (current Student Body Vice President), volunteers through Interact and has been a key player on the Knowledge Masters Open team for four years. Out of school, Kim is a Junior City Councilor and volunteers through nine different organizations.

Deciding where to go for college was a challenge for this top-notch student. Kim sent out 13 applications to schools, while 32 other colleges personally contacted him looking to get him to their respective schools. However, after much deliberating, Kim will be attending the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to major in biomedical engineering and biological sciences with an emphasis on mathematics.

“I won’t stop until I receive my doctorate and be able to teach wherever I choose in the end. I would like to work as an engineer, but ultimately end up teaching at the college level so I never have to stop learning, too.”

Kim is the son of Joon and Sun Kim.

With an equally demanding schedule, Jacobs has striven to become the salutatorian and achieve success both in and out of school.

“At the end of junior year, I saw that I was third in the class. It was then that I decided to challenge myself more and work towards the salutatorian position by the end of senior year,” Jacobs stated.

Through high school, she has taken eight AP classes, including Psychology, Chemistry, Government, U.S. History, British Literature, Calculus, Biology, and Environmental Science, as well as three years of Spanish, several extra science courses. She has also been in the GATE program since sixth grade. Her AP Calculus and AP Chemistry courses have been among her favorites: “There is so much to them that they never come off as boring, and they’re always changing so they’re going to be used forever.”

“She’s an excellent student who loves a challenge in and out of the classroom. I know she will go a long way with the motivation and hard work she’s shown since I’ve known her,” said GATE English teacher Jeanne Hackman.

Jacobs’s parents and friends have been a supportive backing for her as she challenges herself through classes and extracurriculars. She has also pushed herself to keep trying by her continual desire to get the most out of everything she does.

Aside from being studious, Jacobs has been an active member of Student Council (current Student Body Public Relations Representative), Interact club, National Honor Society, and Link Crew through the school. On her own, she has also taught Sunday school at the Holy Name Church, volunteered, and also is a Junior City Councilor.

With the countdown to graduation getting close to zero, she has advice for underclassmen: “You shouldn’t overload if you can’t handle it. Challenge yourself, but still have fun now while it’s worth it.”

Being a self-proclaimed “homebody,” Jacobs wants to stay close to home for college and will be attending the University of Wyoming in the fall to study chemical engineering.

Jacobs is the daughter of Dwayne and Melanie Jacobs.

Kim and Jacobs will give their valedictorian and salutatorian speeches for the Class of 2013’s graduation on the Homer Scott Football Field, but in case of inclement weather, in the SHS gymnasium, on May 26.