NOW:53207:USA00949
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA00949
56°
H 56° L 52°
Cloudy | 7MPH

Maximizing their potential

Valedictorians say key to success is making most of experience

June 14, 2007

When the Bay View High School Class of 2008 graduated in ceremonies at the Milwaukee Area Technical College Cooley Auditorium on June 8, it celebrated the accomplishments of not one, but two, valedictorians.

Anh Nguyen, 18, and Erik Munoz, 17, both graduated at the top of their class with 4.0 grade-point averages.

Both students played soccer during their high school careers, and both plan to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Anh will study chemical engineering and Erik plans to major in civil engineering.

Anh Nguyen

Anh said his family, which includes a younger brother and sister, came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 2002. Anh's choice of chemical engineering as a major was inspired by his father, who was a chemical engineer in Vietnam.

"And I'm comfortable with math and feel pretty confident about chemistry," Anh said.

He found it difficult to adapt to an American school system during his first year in Milwaukee, "but after that I was comfortable (enough) to do my best."

In Vietnam, Anh said, his parents helped him with homework, but since they are not as fluent in English as he, they were not able to assist him as much after the move to Milwaukee.

"And they have a lot of important stuff (going on) in their lives, too," he said.

Anh said one of his most meaningful experiences at Bay View High School was participating in the Milwaukee Public Schools Explorer program. Soon his Explorer group will be presenting its project - an experiment to convert wave action into usable electricity - at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.

Anh said he was a little bit nervous as he prepared to walk across the stage to accept his diploma, but he also was excited about being named one of the school's valedictorians.

"I expected to do my best in high school, but didn't expect to be No. 1," he said.

Erik Munoz

Erik said one of his most memorable high school experiences was participating in Bay View's construction specialty program. Students in that specialty track built a home at 1523 S. Third St.

"We built the house from the foundation up - roofing, drywall, painting, you name it," Erik said. "Mr. Bajurny, our construction teacher, he just made the whole project a fun process."

About 30 students were working on the project when it began in 2005, Erik said, but by the time the home was completed, about 12 students remained.

Proceeds from the sale of the two-story, three-bedroom home, expected to bring about $170,000, will be returned to the construction specialty program to build another house, he said.

Erik, who followed in his older brother's footsteps when he joined the construction specialty program, said he plans to make construction management his career.

"Building bridges, highway systems - I just love that whole idea," he said.

Advice from graduates

The co-valedictorians said Bay View High School specialty programs prepare students for future careers by allowing them to develop specific skills that can be used in the workplace.

Anh's advice for incoming Bay View High School students is to "just try hard, and you can be successful if you know how to pick the best classes for success."

Erik said Bay View High School is "really a great school" because of the opportunities it offers students - "a law specialty, a math and science specialty, a construction specialty and the great programs they have to help you out with your future career."

Both Erik and Anh said their Advanced Placement classes, designed to help students earn college credits by demonstrating their knowledge on AP exams, were among their most challenging courses.

Erik, who was active in many extracurricular activities, offered some words of advice to incoming freshmen: "Stay focused and join as many clubs and activities as you can. And try to get into one of the specialties - it's a great process."

Nan Bialek can be reached at (262) 446-6632 or amuehlbauer@cninow.com.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Enter Halloween contest to win tickets to Legends & Lore 9/30

» Franklin mayor recommends municipal tax levy freeze in 2015 budget 9/29

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 26 9/26

» 'The Hill Has Eyes' haunted attraction to return for third season at The Rock 9/26

» Hotel calls police about woman being beaten, but it was a couple role-playing during sex 9/25

» Adult Health & Wellness Day held today, free blood pressure screenings offered 9/24

» Ready to move into a luxury apartment in Drexel Town Square? 9/24

» Glendale, Oak Creek hotels sold to Los Angeles firm Updated:  9/24

» Greendale seeks public input on TIF proposal to revitalize downtown 9/23

» Milwaukee aldermen OK $1.2 million settlement in no-knock raid 9/23

» Poll: Will Wauwatosa West or Greendale win in Week 6 matchup? 9/23

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 19 9/19

» Oak Creek football team beats Franklin with big plays, 20-12 9/19

» Cookout, football game to follow Greendale Homecoming Parade 9/19

» Greendale sets meetings for downtown development plan 9/18

» Greendale Village Board shifts opinion, approves funding for Hose Tower completion 9/16

» United Church of Christ leader to deliver Milwaukee sermon 9/16

» Poll: Will Franklin or Oak Creek win in Week 5 matchup? 9/16

» Greendale officials to look at TIF option for redeveloping apartment complex 9/15

» Oak Creek Knights stadium available Saturdays for open track 9/15

» Franklin Educational Foundation to hold beer-tasting "Cheers to Education" event Oct. 17 9/15

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 12 9/12

» Greendale trustees to hold special meeting for Hose Tower discussion 9/12

» Resident injured after falling down stairs with oil poured on them 9/12

» Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Franklin to host Family Health Night 9/10

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Local Business Directory

Advertisement

Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

CONNECT    

Most Popular