Thank You.


I was not ready to write this column. I’ve been throwing around ideas about what to write since freshman year (jumping the gun and assuming I would be a staff member). When I decided I wanted to graduate early at the beginning of this semester, I realized I couldn’t have made it through high school if it weren’t for a complex network of support. My friends have been a huge part of that, but I couldn’t possibly thank every one of them enough with the space I have here, so I hope a blanket thank you will suffice. I love you guys.

Alright, let’s start at the beginning. To the science department at KHS, specifically Mr. Becker, Mr. Bartin, Ms. Sutfin and Ms. Melton, thank you so much. I’ve spent the last three years feeling like the belle of the science ball. Thank you for fighting so hard for me and the IRIS class. I loved my time with my fruit flies each of you played a big part in that.

To Dr. Gavin, thank you so much for supporting me through my time at KHS. You’ve been incredibly kind and understanding. Every time you like a picture on my Instagram I get excited and tell my mom.

To Ms. Cosic, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be able to graduate early. You’ve been a great force in my life, listening to me when my life was too complicated, and helping me know what steps I need to take.

To Coach Woodard, I loved cross country. Even when I had to cut my sophomore year short, you were always understanding. Thank you for not letting me be an indoor kid.

To Mr. Gaia, your conspiracy theories and general cynicism mean honestly everything. Thanks for talking to me about politics in a new and refreshing way and continuing to want to talk to me even though I used your class as a partial study block.

To Mr. Stoner, thank you for not giving up on me. You had me at my worst, and you still saw me as a person worth helping, even when I didn’t.

To Mr. Drew, you pushed me out of my entitled gifted kid bubble right when I needed it, and you treat all my topics with respect. You’re realistic about my accomplishments and understanding about my failures. You also have provided me with enough food to feed an army. Hope that didn’t read like “a brick wrapped in gift paper.”

To Nanie and Grandpa G, thank you for the almost endless stream of Pop Tarts and love. I will always cherish the countless memories we’ve built, and I cannot describe how grateful I am to have such a close relationship with my grandparents. Crown Candy and old musicals forever!

To Missy Shadburne, thanks for being the woman of many hats; specifically, gifted specialist/school mom/grown up friend. Pretty sure I kick the butts of every single other slug club member. Not only have you been one of the most supportive, realistic people in my life, but you also gave me a new understanding about the world I thought I had figured out when I was 11.

Corrina and Clay, you gave me a stable home and a great childhood. When I think of growing up, I will always think of your backyard. You two are the most important connection I have to this city and I cannot imagine what life will be like without my second set of parents just down the street.

Dad, thank you for stepping in and becoming such a positive force in my life. You challenge me every day where others don’t, and you provide for my well-being at great cost to your own. Even though I don’t see you nearly enough, when you’re around it is as natural as if you’ve always been here.

To my wonderful and intense mother. Without you, my life is unimaginable. Your kindness and strength are unmatched and unprecedented. I cannot wait to move forward to our new life in the desert, and there aren’t enough words anywhere to thank you enough. You provided stability when I had little, you save the day so often I worry my thank yous lose their meaning. I love you.
I loved my time at Kirkwood schools, surrounded by people who shaped me into who I am today. I will miss so many of you so much, and I’m just lucky to have lived this life in this town.