Valedictorian’s Hard Work Paid Off

May 17, 2017



By Faustina Crum

This year’s ASK Academy Valedictorian’s hard work and dedication will take him far in the future. Below Jarod Fisher talks about his reaction to receiving Valedictorian, future plans, and experiences throughout his school years.  

What was your first reaction to hearing that you are this year’s ASK Academy Valedictorian?

My first reaction to hearing that I was Valedictorian of the Class of 2017 was somewhat a mix between relief and excitement, mostly leaning towards the side of relief. I knew there were a few other scholars in my class who had the potential to either pass me or get really close so I was unsure of where I would finish, especially because I knew they wanted that #1 spot. To put it into one simple reaction I would say I felt like I could finally relax since it was all over.

What are your future education plans?

My future education plans are to obtain a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on aerospace engineering from New Mexico Tech and to later on get a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

What career are you planning for in the future?

While I am attending New Mexico Tech I will be enrolled in AFROTC at UNM which will allow me to have a career in the Air Force upon graduation as a 2nd Lieutenant. Ideally, I would like to be a pilot once I am done with college, but it is ultimately up to the Air Force and what is needed.

How long has it been a goal for you to reach this point?

When I first got to ASK I never really had intended to be Valedictorian, in all honesty, it really set in to be a goal of mine at the beginning of junior year in 2015 when I realized how far I had already come.

Have you always achieved high academic grades?

My grades have been fairly high since middle school but I only really started to try and get straight A’s once I began freshman year and realized my grades would eventually amount to something.

What is something you would say to someone who wants to achieve higher goals academically or personally?

If I had to give a piece of advice to someone who wanted to try and get better grades, I would have to say work to the best of your ability and never give up. Even if something you are assigned seems impossible, at least try it so you can say you at least did that. In the end, you will most likely learn much more than you would have had you just not tried at all.

What would you suggest to someone who wants to become Valedictorian in the future?

If your goal is to become Valedictorian in the future, first make sure your grades are as high as they can be, ultimately that is what determines who is Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Next, I would say take as many AP/Honors/Dual Enrollment classes your schedule allows, this will bump up your GPA quite a bit. Finally, work to the best of your ability and don’t over do it because this could come back to haunt you in the end.

Do you find it difficult to meet the goals that you have met academically? If so, how do you find your way through it?

It was difficult to maintain my grades at such high levels all throughout high school, mainly because of how much work it takes. I found my way was mainly through careful planning and working as hard as I could. Prioritizing school work over whatever else may seem more appealing. While at times it was a drag to do homework or projects, in the end, it paid off and now I can say it amounted to something.

Do you do any extracurricular activities inside or outside of school that could have contributed to you becoming valedictorian?

The only extracurricular I would say contributed to me wanting to maintain my grades and keep achieving higher throughout high school would had to have been National Honor Society. This was mainly because it is a club kind of based on excellence and while I was safe in terms of staying in the club I felt it only made me better overall in terms of grades and character.

What is something you have learned or a skill that you will take away from your years throughout school that you will use in the future?

Being self-directed would have to be the number one skill I will take from this school and use in the future. Through ASK I found myself having to learn topics on my own much more than I did in the past and that was both good and bad. It was bad in the sense that I had to do more work but at the same time it was good because it taught me more about how I learn best.

What would you define success as?

To me, success is being happy with whatever product you create or whatever outcome happens. Now I don’t mean do nothing and be content with it throughout high school, I mean try your best and know inside that you worked to the best of your ability. Success should be finding pride in whatever you do and not being afraid to take risks and try new things regardless of your personal thoughts.

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