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Q&A with Olympic HS valedictorian

Yoon Jung Kim, Olympic High School
Yoon Jung Kim, Olympic High School's Valedictorian for the class of 2013.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

As graduation rapidly approaches, we’re sitting down with local students to discuss their time in central Kitsap, their studies and their future plans.

Look online and in next week’s paper for more interviews.

This week we spoke with Yoon Jung Kim, the valedictorian for Olympic High School’s graduating class of 2013.

While we know we wouldn’t want our high school grade point averages printed in a newspaper, Kim will be graduating from Olympic with the impressive GPA of 3.97.

She attributes the barely perceptible drop from perfection to one or two A- grades.

And while these numbers seem impressive enough on their own, Kim achieved her GPA while taking a number of AP classes.

This year she is enrolled in four: AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Literature and AP Psychology.

Here are some of the things we talked with her about.

Do you have to give a speech at graduation?

“Yeah, I’m really nervous. I’m not really good at speaking in front of people.”

Have you thought about what you’re going to say?

“I thought a lot but I still don’t have my speech yet. It’s kind of floating around.

“I know I want to say something inspirational and I’m just not sure what to say yet.”

When did you hear you were valedictorian?

“I think it was toward the very end-ish of May.”

Was your goal ever to be valedictorian?

“Nope. Everyone would tell me that I’m going to be valedictorian but I kept denying it. I really wanted to be salutatorian kind of — so I wouldn’t have to make a speech. But I’m still happy about it, I guess.”

Do you know who the salutatorian is? Have you talked to them at all?

“Yeah, there’s three. One of them is one of my close friends.”

Have you told her that you envy her?

“(Laughs) Yeah, they kind of have to make a small speech just in front of the seniors, but they don’t have to talk in front of all the parents and everything.”

How does it feel to be graduating? Are things winding down?

“I’m very excited … After the AP tests, all my classes we just do nothing now.”

When were the AP tests?

“It was in the middle of May.”

Do you think Olympic has good Ap offerings?

“I think they do, but I wish more people took them because I couldn’t take AP Chemisty this year because it was only one period and I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. I really wanted to.

"(If more people had signed up) there probably would have been more periods, so more availability.”

College plans?

“I’m actually really excited to be going to UW soon … My older sister went there and it really made me want to go.”

Any idea what you want to study?

“I kind of wanted to be a surgeon but I feel like that’s too much medical school so I’m still thinking.”

What specialty would you take as a surgeon?

“Cardio. (There’s) just something about surgeries, it looks really fun to me. I’m not scared of blood.”

Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities?

"I was in Key Club, Honor Society and Knowledge Bowl."

How did you like Knowledge Bowl?

"It’s really fun. I don’t really feel that smart in it though because so many other people are really good."

Any sports?

"No. I’m not really athletic. I did sports medicine for them, though. It’s a class but we also do it outisde of school. Like, during the practices we have to attend and treat them and stuff.

“I really liked that. I think sports med was my favorite class. I took beginners last year and then this year I took the advanced.”

If you were in charge, is there anything you would want to add at Olympic?

“I heard other schools have an anatomy class. I think that would be cool to have.”

Anything you could do without?

“Well ...(laughs) I don’t really care for the English classes. I’m really bad at English.”

But you took AP Lit, anyway?

"Yeah. It’s really hard for me to analyze. I just don’t understand it. I like writing essays, though."

More into the math and science side of things?

“Yeah. I like numbers.”

Have you heard that ninth graders are moving up to the high school?

“Yeah. I’m so glad I won’t be here for that. I feel like it will be way too crowded in the hallways. It’s already crowded.”

As a student would you want to be included in that kind of decision?

“I would definitely want to be involved in that. I don’t like it when they make big changes.”

Any memorable moments from your time at Olympic?

“I really liked the spirit weeks this year — because my class, we’re extremely spirited. So one of the assemblies we got in trouble by the principal because we were so out of control.

“We were coming off the bleachers and we were cheering for our classmates during a game and then the other juniors started copying and I guess we were setting a bad example. It was pretty funny. We were going crazy.”

That’s kind of the point of spirit week, though, right?

“(Laughs) Yeah, but I guess we were going overboard.”

Anyone you want to thank as you leave?

“Mr. Peck. He was my sports medicine teacher ... Mr. Emans (yearbook). He made me feel like a leader.”

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