Olivia Dell'Olio, Op-Ed Editor

Rebecca Foody, the official valedictorian of the WMHS class of 2019, has left a big impact on the school since her freshman year. A member of the Highland Jazz Choir, Jazz Ensemble, marching band, the musicals, PALs, and multiple honor societies, Foody’s impact on the school has been wide-reaching, to say the least. In the Fall, she will be attending College of Engineering at Cornell University to study environmental engineering.
On her future plans, Foody emphasized her excitement for college and her life afterwards, saying, “I hope to join an instrumental and vocal group and participate in a project team. I also hope to study abroad in Europe at some point in college. After college, I don’t know exactly what my career path with entail, but I hope to work with habitat restoration and furthering the integration of renewable energy into society.” A lover of nature and animals, Foody has been involved with the animal shelter and Beautification day since she was little. This cemented her desire to study environmental engineering from a young age, driving her to work hard throughout high school.
It’s clear that Foody’s work and dedication have worked immensely in her favor, so when looking back, she insisted it was worth it. She credits her acceptance into Cornell University, a highly competitive school, to the work she completed in high school. Foody says, “because I pushed myself, I was able to get into the college of my dreams

— one that I know I will enjoy and that will also provide a lot of opportunities for research, traveling, and potential careers.” As such, she recommends that underclassmen should put in the effort now, as it can mean all the difference later on. She insisted that “developing study habits that you know work for you early on, as well as keeping yourself organized will really help you succeed academically.”
Finally, while anticipating her future beyond high school, Foody also has spent some time contemplating her time in high school. Although sh

e reports that she wishes the school day didn’t start so early, by far her favorite experiences have been wit

hin the school’s music program. Through the “various instrumental and vocal groups [she] was able to find [her] best friends and learn important values. Of course, these ensembles, besides teaching valuable lessons, were also incredibly fun, and allowed [her] to travel with friends.”

Although they are impressive, Foody’s accomplishments in her time at WMHS pale in comparison to the experience and knowledge she will bring with her to Cornell. She reports being incredibly excited for college, yet more than a little sad to let go of high school. Undoubtedly, she will express these emotions and more in her valedictory speech next month in front of her teachers, peers, family, and friends.