High school seniors have an uncanny knack of showing us how hard work, passion, determination and intellect are mere starting points to their wonderfully successful lives. This year we track the progress of just five standouts from the class of 2013.
Name: Matt Bonine
School: Mahtomedi High School
Activities: Football, hockey, baseball
What’s the secret to your success? Hard work. I always work really hard during practices, and during the summer, we have a weight-training program that helps, too.
How do you prepare for that big game? I just have the mindset that I physically can’t be stopped, and I try and get it in my head that I’m invincible.
What are your pre-game rituals? We go to Subway before every game, and then I go to the locker room early to listen to “pump-up” music; one of my favorites is “Can’t be Touched” by Roy Jones.
What position do you play? In football, linebacker and running back.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I don’t think that a lot of people know that I’m a three-sport athlete.
Who is your role model? My dad. He pushes me to work really hard, and he goes to every single game. He’ll tell me what I did well and what I can work on.
What is your dream job? It would be nice to be a professional athlete, but I know that’s tough. Other than that, I would like to be doing physical therapy; something that’s directly related to sports and what I really love to do.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Athletic, professional, trustworthy.
Name: Andrea Sampson
School: Mahtomedi High School
Activities: Zephyr Dance Team, peer mentor, Larkin Dance Studio Senior Line
What’s the secret to your success? I feel like I try to take care of others and focus on other people rather than myself.
How do you prepare for big competitions? For dance line, I just hang out with friends and run through the dance. We practice over and over and over again.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you? Well, something I usually hide from other people is that I’m really outgoing. I’m also a very helpful person and sometimes people don’t know that about me.
Who is your role model? My mom. She gets me through a lot and has put up with the schedule of driving me around to dance practices and competitions since I was 3 years old, which is really nice. She’s definitely supportive.
What is your dream job? Being a teacher. Basically, anywhere I can help people. Being a special education teacher is something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
What is your biggest fear? Dying.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Loving, caring and outgoing.
What’s been your proudest moment thus far? At a recent regional dance competition at the Minneapolis Convention Center, my team and I got a 300 out of 300 on two of our dances; we honestly have never heard of that before. We actually took the whole competition, which was really incredible.
Name: Jonathon Woodruff
School: White Bear Lake High School
Activities: Theater, choir
How long have you been involved in theater? Since ninth grade.
Is this something you want to pursue? It’s something I want to keep in my life, because it’s amazing, but I’d like to find something, some type of job, where I could incorporate it into that.
What choir ensembles are you in? Mariners. We compete in contests some days during or after school, and that’s really fun.
What’s the secret to your success? I think I just go there with an open mind, and because I’m so passionate about singing and dancing and acting, it just comes to me.
How do you prepare for opening night? I do a lot of walking. I also pray before every opening night and every show and, depending on which role it is, I’ll try and run through it all in my head. I literally am walking through all of that; it’s a very frantic form of calming myself down.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I really, really like to read. Also that I have been to Africa and helped with water-hygiene training.
Who’s your role model? I have a few: My older brother Justin, because he is calm, cool and really nice to everyone; my friend Dan, who helped me get into theater; and my friend Dylan.
What’s your biggest fear? That I wouldn’t be able to perform in a show.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Energetic, outgoing and fun.
What’s been your proudest moment thus far? Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Name: Danielle Renner
School: White Bear Lake Area High School
Activities: Basketball, softball, Ambassadors, D.A.R.E., chemistry club, National Honor Society
What’s the secret to your success? A lot of organizations, a lot of lists and waking up early.
How do you prepare for a big game? For softball, I basically just visualize everything and think about it all in my head.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? That I like to cook. My favorite things to make are pasta and wild rice soup.
Who is your role model? My mom and former teammate Angie Guenther. My mom always has been on top of things; she’s the most organized person I know and is amazing. Angie (who graduated in May) is super competitive, works really hard and makes sure she is the best at everything, and I like that. (Angie Guenther holds the record for White Bear Lake in discus and shot put, and will be attending the U of M on a track scholarship.)
What’s your dream job? I want to be an architect and design big houses for rich people.
What’s your biggest fear? Frogs—and failing.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Passionate, competitive and caring.
What’s been your proudest moment thus far? Making all-conference in basketball in 2011-2012, and having two 20-point games back-to-back. Also scoring three homeruns in one softball game.
Name: Katie McCormick
School: Totino Grace
Activities: Company of Singers show choir, chamber singers, academic concert choir, theater
What’s the secret to your success? I always work hard and focus on getting stuff done when I have the time. My dad has a saying that the big part of life is “showing up,” so I just show up and get things done.
How do you prepare for opening night? I play piano a lot because it really calms me down and soothes me. I try not to isolate myself.
What’s one thing most people wouldn’t know about you? I love movies. My favorite is Forrest Gump.
Who is your role model? My grandma. She’s a very caring person and says things like “thank you for being you” and “never change.” She has a lot of sayings about life that are practical and does a lot of things for other people, but she also has “Loretta” time to do things that she loves to do. She has a very healthy outlook on life.
What’s your dream job? It would be really cool to be a political economics advisor for politicians, the sort of job where I can appear on talk shows and talk about it.
What’s your biggest fear? Insects.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Caring, responsible and humorous.
What has been your proudest moment thus far? When I got into all-state choir, which I’ve been working towards since seventh grade.
If you could have dinner with any one person, dead or alive, who would that be? Katherine Hepburn.