It’s my fortunate opportunity to introduce Dakota Ridge High School senior Abbie Randall. As is true for every high school, DRHS recognizes students leaving positive academic legacies in many ways — including membership in the school’s National Honor Society. Abbie represents the role model by which all other students are compared and selected for this academic program. She daily emulates the primary pillars of NHS: leadership, scholarship character and service.
Leadership is defined as the influence a student has on people to do something extraordinary. Abbie has a drive to change the world into something better. She has found positive success as a talented soccer player as well as a gifted flute performer in symphonic band and musical pit orchestra. She also played during holiday performances at a local church. One of her teachers described the privilege of working with Abbie for the past four years, through women’s soccer, Student Government Auxiliary, National Honor Society, and AP European history, as follows: “I have watched Abbie become a leader both inside and outside of the classroom, as her maturity has been demonstrated countless times over the years. She has been called upon to lead as a two-time junior varsity soccer captain, as well as through her countless hours of dedication to community service through Student Government Auxiliary and National Honor Society. She constantly demonstrates her integrity and her commitment to hard work, whether it’s on the field or decorating for a school dance.”
Scholarship is about having an intellectual curiosity that drives one to not only enjoy learning new things, but to also have the persistence and integrity to apply oneself to understanding difficult concepts. Through hard work, you strive to become a more educated individual who is better suited to initiating positive changes in society. Abbie is a quick study, grasping new ideas and concepts by challenging herself to success in intellectually demanding courses in music, math, science, social studies, English, French and in student government. She has found success in honor and Advanced Placement classes and is one of the founding members of the DRHS International Baccalaureate Program, representing the first diploma program graduating class for the high school. She has acquired a cumulative weighted grade-point average of 4.676, earning her consistent academic recognition on the honor roll and ranking her among the top students in her high school class. She has received an academic letter in every year of her high school career and received academic recognition as a Legacy of Excellence Award recipient and the Mason Society Outstanding Academic winner. Her long-term plans include post-secondary work in English studies, which she hopes to utilize as a future teacher. She is a brilliant student who will one day become a master educator — one I would be proud to hire within our high school.
Character means to have the qualities of honesty, courage, integrity or similar traits. It requires you to display fairness in all situations, showing honesty with confidence and resolve, and standing by your morals despite peer pressure. Character is not something that can be taught but rather something that must be modeled through example. In discussing their perceptions of Abbie, the DRHS IB coordinator and guidance counselor department manager reflected:
“Abbie is a consistently hard worker who pushes herself for clear understanding of topics, deep-mindful thinking, and is not afraid to share her thoughts while still being aware of other people’s opinions. She embodies an IB student through her natural curiosity, courage and forethought in embracing new and unfamiliar situations and ability to explore concepts, ideas and issues that have a local and global significance. Her dedication goes far beyond the classroom.”
Service is to help another by performing an action or work for someone else. Each member of NHS strives to provide service to the surrounding communities in order to benefit those around them. Abbie points to her older brother as a source of inspiration and pride in her own life. As a DRHS graduate, he never allowed his vision disability to prevent him from reaching his life goals. This determination also drives Abbie — most notably within her choice of community action service. She is a qualified volunteer puppy raiser with the Guide Dogs for Blind Colorado Chapter. She takes an 8-week-old puppy and for the next year to a year and half is responsible for teaching the dog good house manners and basic obedience, and, most importantly, socializing him/her to the world. Via the local puppy-raising club, Abbie has received GDB-approved training and management techniques and attended regularly scheduled club meetings and outings. Having successfully trained one puppy, Abbie recently received her second — Vitas, who initiated his training with her in October.
In describing herself, Abbie used the words “determined,” “positive,” “diligent” and “cheerful.” She will succeed in whatever path she chooses to take in life, as we have all found her to be an outstanding individual with an exceptionally bright future. Abbie has left a positive legacy at Dakota Ridge High School by establishing a sense of meaning and purpose to our existence through leadership, scholarship, character and service contributions to our community and to the lives of others.