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Mitchell High valedictorian Kyle Gunther and salutatorian Kaila Boudewyn

Kyle Gunther thinks greater importance should be placed on taking higher-level courses.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Kyle Gunther thinks greater importance should be placed on taking higher-level courses.

Mitchell High School

Valedictorian: Kyle Gunther

Parents: William and Kathleen Gunther

GPA: 4.4523 weighted

Future school and why: The University of South Florida because it provides a good starting point for my future endeavors.

Ideal career: Haven't quite figured that out yet.

Most influential or best teacher: Mr. Braddy.

Favorite book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

How would you improve your school or education in general? I would improve my school by placing a greater importance on taking higher-level courses. Whether it is by offering more AP or dual-enrollment classes, or just simply by encouraging students to take the challenge, I believe that providing chances for students to take a challenge is important in education.

How has the state of the economy impacted your education or your plans for the future? The economy hasn't really affected me much in terms of my education, as I never went without a textbook or other necessary learning tools, but it has impacted how I view my future. I never really put much thought into the monetary rewards of my education until the economy fell into the state it is in now. It has made me view my future not only in terms of what I want to do with my life, but also how my choices will be able to provide for me in my future, which puts a much greater stress on the importance of my education beyond high school.

Sage advice for the up and coming: Never shy away from a challenge. Just because a task seems difficult, doesn't mean it can't be overcome. Challenge yourself every chance you get and you'll be surprised at just how far you can go.

Name one thing you wish you did in high school: I wish I had been more involved.

Best advice/favorite quote:

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

Mark Twain

Salutatorian: Kaila Boudewyn

Parents: Adlay Boudewyn and Jennifer Anttila

GPA: 4.4468 weighted

Future school and why: Florida State University. FSU is a great school and Tallahassee just seems like the perfect place to uncover hidden channels of art and beauty.

Ideal career: Doctor — eventually with Doctors Without Borders.

Most influential or best teacher: There's no way I can pick just one, so I'm going to have to mention three: professor Jennifer Wiatrowski, professor Eric Wolters and professor Kevin O'Farrell. Also Mrs. Toy, my first-grade teacher, the sweetest woman I've ever known. She gave me half of her lunch one day when I left mine at home. Sometimes a small act of kindness in a child's eyes can permanently affect them.

Favorite quote: "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." Voltaire

Favorite book: Roots of Wisdom by Helen Buss Mitchell.

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Student body president, National Honor Society, Thespian Honor Society.

How would you improve your school or education in general? Education and conservation of natural resources are the only tools we have for peace. Education opens our minds and helps us to understand that conviction is a waste of time. As Albert Einstein said, "The more I learn the more I realize I don't know." Sooner or later we're going to have to hold the education of our own children to a higher priority. And not only the education of our own children but everyone else's as well; we cannot build fences tall enough to separate the two. To improve education, I would place less governmental funding in the penitentiary system and (more into education), giving children a chance to make a future before having to punish them for a crime when they are grown.

How has the state of the economy impacted your education or your plans for the future? I'll be graduating high school with 84 college credits. I took all dual enrollment courses my junior year, junior summer, and senior year. The state of the economy did not severely impact my high school experience, however, the good fortune of my personal education has little effect on my life as I do not exist solely in the world. I, as well as all the other fortunate students like me, will suffer from others in our country and world being poorly educated. Likewise, others will benefit from the fact that someone saw the value in my education. Perhaps I will be the doctor to save your life.

Sage advice for the up and coming: Keep your mind open … always! Conviction is not a virtue, it's a curse. When you believe in anything with conviction, you close your mind to all other possibilities and relate everything you learn back to an explanation that no one can know is true. Never stop learning, never stop questioning, and when you question, never accept the answers. The more we learn, the more we realize that the power of our mind is infinite. Keep expanding your mind because the value of education stretches far beyond a future career.

Name one thing you wish you did in high school: I wish I had taken some type of photography or art class or maybe done more escape reading.

Mitchell High valedictorian Kyle Gunther and salutatorian Kaila Boudewyn 04/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 5:03pm]

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