20 Questions for Top of the 2020 Class: Audrey Gass graduates high school with a full International Baccalaureate Diploma and straight A’s


Senior Audrey Gass graduates as one of the 12 valedictorians for the class of 2020 at her house on May 20. Photo reprinted with permission from Audrey Gass

Lira Jeong, Feature Editor

In lieu of our senior print issue, The Accolade has decided to conduct a Q and A with each of the 12 valedictorians for online posting. 

Question #1: What are your plans after high school?

Answer: I plan on taking a gap year in order to finish my hours to get my pilot’s license, and then I’m off to Germany for university at Technische Universität Munich (TUM).

Question #2: Which extracurriculars and clubs have you been a part of?

A: I am in IB and the girls soccer team (I did epic for one year and am kinda involved in German club).

Question #3: How do you feel as one of the 12 valedictorians?

A: I’m super excited to be one of the twelve valedictorians. I’ve worked really hard to keep my grades up, so I am very proud.

Question #4: How do you feel about the second semester of our senior year and graduation being canceled?

A: I’m obviously a little disappointed that we as a class won’t be having a normal final semester for our senior year. But I think that it’s just another reason to be thankful and to look back on our entire high school experience as a whole. I think the important thing is that we are all realizing how much the friendships we made during our four years really matter and that even without prom or graduation, we still have each other.

Question #5: What or who motivated you the most during high school and why?

A: I think my friends and family motivated me a lot. My parents were always really supportive and never overemphasized the importance of grades. My friends kept me motivated to try my best, take the hardest classes and just try to keep up with them.

Question #6: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: I can see myself either of two places in 10 years. Either here in California or somewhere on the east coast working as a professional private pilot or flight instructor or in Germany with a job that lets me travel.

Question #7: What was the most challenging in the four years of high school?

A: AP Physics 1 was definitely my hardest class. I mean, I loved it and continued on to take AP Physics 2, but it took a long time for me to get into a groove.  After a while, I really got to enjoy the hands-on labs and the real-life applications of the things we were learning.

Question #8: Which class was the most threatening to your valedictorian status?

A: This is a tough one. My freshman year was a little bit of a struggle for me, so probably my freshman English or Engineering. I loved both classes, but it was just as challenging to get the results I wanted. History also posed a threat to my valedictorian status, I am a math and science person, so I just had to try my best.

Question #9: What has been the highlight of high school?

A: I think some of the hangouts with my friends from IB have been some of my favorite memories. Having such a close group of people all going through the same struggles and still having fun with it really made it all worth it.

Question #10:  Describe your high school experience in three words

A: Challenging, memorable, busy

Question #11: Complete the sentence: “I will always remember…”

A: My friends.

Question #12: What was your favorite class?

A: That’s such a hard question, but Math. Every year I have had such amazing teachers, but probably the top two classes were Algebra 2 (Knutson) and IB Math (Bueno). Also, Mr. Peoples for AP Physics was my favorite.

Question #13: What will you miss most after you graduate?

A: I will miss seeing all of my friends, all day, every day.

Question #14: Did you have senioritis?

A: I don’t think senioritis really hit too hard until a few weeks before the school closed.  That time where we were just waiting to see when we would get shut down was pretty tough for me.

Question #15: What is your greatest achievement during high school?

A: I love my soccer team. I think one of my most memorable accomplishments was winning the league my senior year and playing our final game against Troy.  It was extra special because my friends came to my senior night game. It meant so much to me to see all of my friends and team so happy for me.

Question #16: How have you changed since freshman year?

A: I have definitely come out of my shell since freshman year. I’ve learned how to express myself fully and to find the people that I mesh with.

Question #17: Out of all your years in high school, which one was your favorite and why?

A: I think my senior year was my favorite year.  Sophomore and junior years were easier in the way of classes and grades, but my senior year I will never forget.  It felt like I was living in one of those high school movies, where everything just started fitting into place.

Question #18: A senior quote 

A: I believe if I knew where I was going, I’d lose my way. —Christina Perri

Question #19: A word of advice for underclassmen?

A: Take a breath. Try your hardest, and that will be enough.

Question #20: Would you like to thank anyone?/Final words?

A: I want to thank my family. My parents have been so supportive and loving. They’ve always believed in me and always made it clear that I always came before my grades. My teachers for guiding me on this crazy journey.  And my friends, who made it all worth it.