Belfast High School valedictorian goes to Bowdoin for environmental studies, visual arts
BELFAST – Throughout high school, valedictorian Ada Potter was an athlete, scholar and member of several school clubs, spending her free time relaxing by drawing and experimenting with different artistic mediums, she said .
During her Belfast-area high school career, Ada juggled extracurricular programs such as Peer Leadership, National Honor Society, Ocean Science Bowl, Debate Club, Civil Rights Team, Climate Crisis Committee, athletics and the football (her favorite sport), in addition to school work, she says. Sometimes she escapes her hectic life through art.
“Because drawing has been incredibly helpful for me to calm down and forget about all the little details and stress of life events, so I’m very grateful that I started drawing this way,” she said. declared.
She likes to ride a bike and then go for walks in the woods to draw scientific illustrations of plants in the forest, she said. She also experiments with different artistic mediums like painting and digital art on her iPad, where she likes to use the “undo” button.
Despite consistently placing at the top of her class all year, Ada was surprised to learn she was this year’s valedictorian, she said. She feels honored to be named top of her class, but thinks it was probably a tight ranking among her peers.
“It’s definitely very unexpected. My class is full of incredibly strong students who I think are very close in the rankings, so I didn’t quite see this one coming. But I feel really very , very honored too.
Ada enjoyed her art, biology and math classes at school, adding that she loves math because of “the way there is a concrete answer…that really appeals to me,” she said. -she says.
Physics and chemistry teacher Ted Pellerin had an “energetic and curious” teaching style that inspired her to learn, she said. He dove into the topics that most interested students and he always encouraged students to question the world.
Writing was a bit of a tough subject, but her English teacher, Zachary Smith, never doubted her when she didn’t have much confidence and didn’t speak in school, said- she declared.
“He just constantly told me that what I had to say had value and it was…a lesson I won’t forget,” she said.
Ada doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do with a living yet, so she plans to double major in environmental science and visual arts at Bowdoin College, she said, although she expects to change majors at some point when she has better curbed her passions. after having followed a “hodgepodge of courses”.
She’s very excited to dive into Schiller’s Center for Coastal Studies and Organic Garden, she said. Environmental science is something that she and her classmates have been passionate about since high school. She thinks it’s because it’s hard to ignore where Belfast is located on the coast. Climate change is a topic around which many of his peers have rallied.
“It uplifts us all for a common cause and empowers us all, so it’s been really powerful.”
Thanks to tough COVID-19 protocols, her class has remained resilient, she said. She thinks it’s something the students in the close-knit class of about 100 will take with them into the future.
“I think their resilience is a great power,” she said. “…I think we will all make strong, meaningful connections with each other.”
No commissioner race for Morrill voters this year