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
62°
H 64° L 57°
Foggy | 9MPH

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

» Get interesting prep football tidbits and insights with 'First and Short' blog 8/28

» Franklin football team emphatic in 37-0 rout of area rival Greendale 8/27

» Updated weekly rankings of area prep football teams and players 8/27

» Greendale Education Foundation announces new calendar raffle fundraiser 8/27

» Greendale's Park and Recreation holds contest for new logo 8/27

» Reiman Chapel in Franklin to host blessing, tour for public 8/26

» Young Oak Creek football team makes impression with rout of Falls 8/25

» Greendale police searching for strong-arm robbery suspect 8/25

» Greendale man killed in Washington County crash Updated:  8/25

» Oak Creek man killed in Sauk County traffic accident 8/25

» Oak Creek tennis team wins South Milwaukee Invite 8/25

» Oak Creek community buries time capsule at future city hall 8/25

» Initial Reaction Podcast: What stood out on the first week of high-school football? 8/25

» Oak Creek-Franklin School Board receives voter approval to add two more seats 8/24

» Oak Creek-Franklin School District approves preliminary budget, calls for tax rate increase 8/24

» Tickets now available for Oak Creek's Pig and Chicken Roast 8/24

» Franklin shows its special qualities 8/21

» Youthful Oak Creek football team impresses in 26-0 win over Falls 8/21

» Honeywell volunteers help repair Greendale veteran's home 8/21

» Fire destroys garage in Franklin 8/21

» Greendale residents can receive free 'File of Life' documents from Health Department 8/20

» The 2015 Suburban Milwaukee Prep Football Guide 8/19

» Greendale to share fire ladder truck with Hales Corners during emergencies 8/19

» Get to know: Franklin Sabers 8/18

» Ad-Tech Medical implant maker seeks new plant in Oak Creek business park Updated:  8/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

Advertisement

CONNECT    

Advertisement

Most Popular