An Interview with the Julia L’s – Wantagh’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian

An Interview with the Julia L's - Wantagh's Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Bianca Buffamonte, Associate Editor

It’s almost time to close up the high school memories and carry them with us to college. But before seniors ’15 embark on this journey, there are a few things that need to be done. This fall, school officials announced the 2015 class valedictorian and salutatorian. This happened to be the Julia L’s!

“It was an amazing surprise,” Julia Lantier says. “Even though I felt good about my academic record, there are so many smart and driven people in our class.”

“I knew I was up there but not the top,” Julia Laibach, the valedictorian, says. She added that she had made it a goal to be No. 1 during her freshman year.

Although high school is a time for rebellious experiences and friendships, it’s extremely difficult considering this is what colleges judge us by. We students are given exams weekly and piles of homework which sometimes seems larger than the 1,000-page novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

“There were lots of late nights full of stress and worry,” said Laibach. “I could not do it all but my mom calmed me. I have an extremely calm personality; most of my stress is unconscious. It’s hard to rattle me. All the work was worth it.”

And grades are not the only thing to think about. To be on “top”, you need to take part in extracurricular activities and hobbies.

Remarkably, Laibach, a trustee on the National Honor Society, takes part in Peer Mentors club, Global Outreach, Enviorthon and many more! She’s also part of the varsity swim team, track, and she coaches CYO track.

Lantier is the president of Foreign Language Honor Society, Spanish Club and executive board member of the National Honor Society. She also participates in the International Outreach club, Tri-M, vocal jazz ensemble and academic team.

“As contradictory as it sounds given the occasion, over the past few years of high school, I’ve come to realize that grades don’t mean everything.” Lantier said. “You can’t get by in life just being a ‘smart person’. It’s important to apply yourself in school, but it’s also very important to treat others well and find what it is that makes you happy.”

“My family has never failed to support me and help me get through the stressful times”, Laibach says. “My peers always push me to be better.”

Lantier gives thanks for her accomplishment. “I’m lucky enough to have had outstanding teachers over the years who taught me to take pride in my work. My desire for success stems partly from the high expectations they set.”