OSWEGO – As their Oswego City School District education comes to an end, Oswego High School Class of 2019 valedictorian Sophie Throop and salutatorian Melissa Chun have spent much time in reflection.
Throop said being named valedictorian never occurred to her, as she was homeschooled until she reached the Oswego Middle School and remained focused on classes, building friendships and immersing herself in extracurricular activities.
“It’s all jumping through hoops,” Throop said. “When I go home, even during the last week of school, I work until eight or nine at night.”
That same drive and dedication, not pressure from parents, also is what allowed Chun to achieve success.
A self-admitted procrastinator who works best under pressure, Chun said she had always worked best like that and most efficiently.
There isn’t one path to follow, she said, as “each person studies differently.”
“My family; they’re my main support at home,” Chun said. “They don’t push me; they let me do things at my pace and I appreciate that.”
Throop also thanked her family, and OHS math teacher Michele Lloyd for being straight-forward.
OHS English teacher Renee Warren also received the girls’ praises, as did a handful of other teachers.
Chun also recognized OHS social studies teacher Joshua DeLorenzo for sharing his passion and enthusiasm about social studies.
“There are so many cool teachers in this building,” Throop said.
History, politics and elections has sparked Chun’s interests for a while and that is why she will attend Princeton University in the fall, majoring in political science.
She has strived to attend law school after that and will soon figure out the perfect job for her.
Throop, however, will attend Williams College, where she has considered studying biology in hopes of landing a future career in research.
“I want to make something known that wasn’t known,” Throop said.
Chun said if there is one bit of advice she would leave for OHS underclassmen, it would be for them to “take advantage of your resources.”
“Ask; it won’t be handed to you,” she said. “A lot of teachers will stay after and help you. We both learned to be independent and find resources for ourselves, and to self-advocate. I also think it’s important to go with the flow; it’s doing your best to adjust and adapt.”
Throop said while a lot of strife is caused by things which can’t be controlled, underclassmen can charge themselves with having the best Oswego High School experience possible.
While at OHS, some of the many activities she had been involved with included: art club, debate club, Spanish club, National Honor Society and she also achieved a black belt in karate.
Meanwhile, Chun had participated in five orchestras, key club, math club and National Honor Society and varsity swimming and diving, to name a few. She said she also has been heavily involved with her church.
Following high school graduation, Chun said she will spend much of her summer with her family in Korea. Throop said aside from work, she had planned to enjoy more of the arts and possibly set up a fish pond at her family home.