Seniors’ Hall of Fame (Part One)

In order to celebrate our precious class of 2015, we at Knightly News decided to ask some of the seniors a few questions. This week, the lovely Tabitha Graves, Milda Daminaite, Naomi Ditzenberger and An-Jian Ong Garcia gave us their wisdom. Though we tried to include at least 10 seniors here, not all responded to our questions. But here are some great answers from a sampling of the senior class.


1) What’s something that you wished you knew when you were an underclassman? (advice, words of wisdom etc). 
Tabitha: Something I wish I knew about as an underclassman is the many stresses that come with applying for colleges. Prepare for the wonderful world of standardized testing (SAT, ACT, etc) now. Do not wait. Start exploring your options now. Do not wait. Apply for scholarships and stay out of debt! “School debt is a ball and chain!” (As Mr Stern would say).


An-Jian: Enjoy your time here, especially with your classmates since there is no telling how much time you have together. Take a chance and join an ECA you have a good feeling about whether it’s a sport or a play. Don’t graduate with the regret that you didn’t try something new. Also make time to hang out with your friends outside of school and as a class, don’t wait until it’s senior year! Senior year goes by too fast and it is very busy.


Milda: If you stand on tiptoes in the beginning of the year when they are measuring you – you will have to stand on tiptoes for the rest of the year. Although it is beneficial to push yourself beyond your limits, more often than not, we have to lower our standards.


Naomi: One thing that I wished that I knew when I was an underclassman is to be confident in yourself. People really don’t care as much as you think they do, so don’t miss the opportunity to be yourself. Also, things WILL change A LOT every year in high school. Your sophomore year will be completely different than your junior year, for example. You will meet new people and go through different struggles each year.


2) What’s your favourite thing about ICS? 


Tabitha: My favorite thing is getting to walk through the crowded halls of ICS only to be greeted by warm smiles and hugs. It is quite unusual to live in a community where people are constantly concerned and genuinely want to know how you are doing (ALL THE TIME). In all seriousness, it’s amazing to be loved on and cared for in this way. The people in ICS make ICS great.


An-Jian: I love that the teachers care about you as an individual and that you have an opportunity to befriend them. Education here is also so much more interesting than memorizing a bunch of facts, especially when the teachers care about what they are teaching.


Milda: Teachers. In ICS teachers are not afraid to be seen as vulnerable and offer their best to their students. Although this is a school everyone moves in and out of – ICS teachers do not withhold from getting attached to their students. The way they step out of their own comfort zones in order to make their students comfortable is truly humbling and inspiring. Thus, not only do they teach us academic knowledge, they strive to build relationships outside of the classroom and invest in our lives.


Naomi: My favorite thing about ICS is that most everyone fits in somewhere. In general, students are pretty accepting and while there are disputes between students, there will always be someone who is welcoming and kind.


3) Who’s someone (or something) that helped you get through your senior year?


Tabitha: God’s infinite grace, goodness and mercy that go before me each and every day + my dearest angel, Ana Brunk + precious teachers with massive hearts + determination to put my best effort in all that I do


An-Jian: My parents, classmates, teachers, and God have helped me to come to terms with graduation. They have all been giving me support and helping me to persevere and finish my year strong.


Milda: The first person who came to my mind is Ms.Shang, and when I read “or something” I thought about coffee. Ms.Shang always reaches out to students and is genuinely interested in their well-being. I admire her diligence and she pushes me to be the best version of myself.


Naomi: There have been a lot of people who have helped me get through senior year. The main person who comes to mind is my sister Rebekah. Just getting to talk to someone every day, and knowing that they will always be there no matter what was really an encouragement to me throughout the year. I’ll miss her a lot.


4) What are you looking forward to most about graduating? 


Tabitha: I’m looking forward to all that God has in store for each and everyone of us. It’s true – life changing decisions, increased independence and responsibility await us. But so does getting to learn about things you’re actually interested in!
I am looking forward to this new season and new adventure.


An-Jian: I am looking forward to the next step of my life and taking a bit of a break from school. Even as the year ends, a new chapter begins.


Milda: Although I really do look forward to getting my balanced life back, I am also really looking forward to meeting my friends in Lithuania and then, hopefully, start a new journey in Scotland.


 Naomi: I’m looking forward being in a big school and meeting new people with different views and opinions. I’m looking forward to having the freedom to make my own decisions.


Finally, we have a senior guy here to tell us a few words of wisdom and tell a little about himself. Here is Javier Agnir:
1) How long have you been at ICS?


I have been here for three years. I was here for ninth and tenth grade, left for eleventh–because of my dad’s work–and returned for twelfth.
2) What is your favorite thing about ICS?


I like ICS because the people here are great! Everyone gets along so well–teachers and students have a great rapport, and I have a great time inside and out of class. I’ve known many of the guys here for years, and I can’t imagine life without them. They make the agonizing banality of school almost bearable.
Just kidding. Classes are fun, too.


3) What is some advice you would give to people?


Live your life. When I think about my high school life, there’s so much I regret not doing. So join a sports team. Join the play. Join a youth group. Pick up an instrument or two; sing in the church choir. Do charity work, not because you’ll flunk school if you don’t, but because work needs to be done. And if there’s anything you love doing, do it to the utmost. Live a life that you won’t forget.


Living a life like that, however, seems daunting. And it is. Life is so daunting in fact, that many of us (including me) choose to stay at home all day and do nothing, because we feel like we’ll never, ever, be where we want to be, and everything is therefore impossible and pointless.


But life is in the little things. A year of your life starts with a day, and a day starts right now. So take a step forward. Tomorrow you’ll take another. It will take a long time, and it will often seems that you aren’t going anywhere, but one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re already a ways a way from where you started. And perhaps one day even, far in the future, you’ll find  that you’re exactly where you want to be.


That’s just a guess. I’m a senior and still on my path, so don’t worry about still being on yours.


By the way, if you fill your life with a lot of great stuff, it looks good on your college applications. Especially if you were super involved in math competitions or saving the world or something.


And one more piece of advice: Please, please learn to not procrastinate before your senior year. You do not want to work on senior thesis the night before it is due.



Thanks to everyone who responded, we look foward to seeing what the future holds for you!
by: Deborah Cole & Graham Weaver

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