Lauren Miller is what's known as a well-rounded student. Deer Valley High School's valedictorian for 2008 is not only tops in her class, she's also tops in the nation, claiming this year's title of National Merit Scholar, an honor awarded to only the top half of one percent of the nation's high school students.
But there's more to the 4.57-GPA student than meets the eye. Lauren was also voted Best Female Musician by her senior class, is an enthusiastic baker chocolate chip cookies are her specialty avid reader and accomplished pianist. She also speaks fluent Japanese, is involved in numerous clubs on campus, is huge believer in community service, and is headed to UC Berkeley in the fall, where she is eyeing a possible major in the life sciences.
However, ask Lauren to wax philosophical on her many and varied
accomplishments and the quiet and somewhat shy coed responds as though she's not really sure what the fuss is all about. It's definitely kind of crazy, she said of her distinction. I mean, it's a big honor, but my parents have always instilled in me that there's no reason not to always do your best at whatever you do, so I've always worked very hard.
Lauren has worked so hard, in fact, that she readily admits to missing out on a few extracurricular activities during her tenure at Deer Valley. But all in all, the sacrifices have been well worth it. I gave up a lot of fun things, sure, she said. But I also managed to do a lot of things as well. I kind of kept it all in perspective, and I'm glad I did it the way I did.
Deer Valley Co-principal Scott Bergerhouse is glad she did, too. Lauren is just a shining example of a wonderful person and an exemplary student, said Bergerhouse. She's just an amazing young woman and we are very, very proud of her.
After Lauren gives what she hopes will be an inspiring and not boring valedictorian speech this week during graduation ceremonies, the summer is hers for the taking.
I plan to do a lot of traveling to Oregon and Chicago to visit family, she said. And then I'll get ready to go to school I'm excited for my first taste of freedom, and I love the (Berkeley) campus. I also like that it's nearby that way, I can come home on the weekends and do my laundry.