Park Center High School’s class of 2021 commencement ceremony will be hosted June 13 at the 3M Arena at Mariucci at the University of Minnesota east bank campus in Minneapolis. The Sun Post interviewed three students about their educational experiences at Park Center and their plans after graduation. Their answers are below.

Jailia Yang

City of residence: Brooklyn Park

Jailia Yang

Jailia Yang

What was your most memorable learning experience in high school?

My most memorable learning experience occurred in my IB World History class while learning about the Revolutionary War. At first, it seemed as though I was relearning what I’ve already learned in every other history class, but then my teacher posed the question, “Was the Revolutionary War an American win or a British loss?” This question made me realize how crucial it is to think global-mindedly, and it helped me recognize my ignorance of historical events due to my identity. I don’t think I will ever forget this experience, for it’s definitely changed how I approach history and even just everyday events.

Explain how you achieved your academic goals in high school:

I believe that the most imperative aspects of academic achievement are having a support system and finding a balance. I don’t think I could’ve achieved as much as I did without my amazing family, friends, and mentors that helped guide me in terms of both academic and personal support. Moreover, I found it extremely beneficial to find a balance and not drown myself in academic endeavors, for it can get very overwhelming at times.

What are your plans for after high school?

I will be attending Stanford University with an intended major in Management Science & Engineering!

Samantha Clayman

City of residence: Maple Grove

BP10SCgradQandA- Clayman.jpg

Samantha Clayman

What was your most memorable learning experience in high school?

My most memorable learning experience in high school was taking chemistry my sophomore year. I’d been falling out of love with science prior to this, but taking chemistry recovered my interest in science. I was enraptured by learning about the periodic table and how particles moved, and I’m still obsessed with chemistry, taking it again my senior year and decorating everything with chemistry. Taking chemistry majorly impacted my desire to learn about the world around me.

Explain how you achieved your academic goals in high school:

I’ve always been a self-motivated and competitive student, aiming for straight As and academic scholarship. As a result, I dedicated hours to perfecting assignments and studying for tests to make sure I understood the infomration. Additionally, my mom helped me when I struggled. In my later years of high school, as the coursework got harder, I increasingly asked questions in class and stayed after school to catch up. My attendance throughout high school was almost perfect, as I believe being in class is the key to succeeding.

What are your plans for after high school?

I’m attending the College of St. Benedict, where I plan to major in music performance and English. Following my college experience, I hope to work as either a singer and songwriter or a copy editor.


Zaria Locust

City of residence: Brooklyn Park

BP10SCgradQandA - Locust.jpg

Zaria Locust

What was your most memorable learning experience in high school?

The most memorable class that I’ve taken in high school was human geography during freshman year. I really enjoyed the class because instead of the teacher making us read articles online or making us watch long videos, she created fun activities that were actually engaging. I remember one activity in particular where we were split into groups and had to pretend we were a part of a food famine and we had to convince a group of our classmates why we weren’t to blame for the famine.

Explain how you achieved your academic goals in high school:

I always had high academic goals in high school. Since freshman year my goal has been to finish school with at least a 3.5 GPA. I managed to do this by maintaining focus while in class and not letting things such as cellphones or classmates distract me. I always tell myself that the purpose of school is to listen and learn.

What are your plans for after high school?

After high school I am going to attend Florida State University. I am participating in their first year abroad program so I will be spending my freshman year in Valencia, Spain. My goal is to major in business management and minor in Spanish.

If you go:

Commencement for Park Center High School’s class of 2021 will be hosted at 11 a.m., Sunday, June 13 at the 3M Arena at Mariucci, 1901 4th St. SE, Minneapolis.

Approximately 407 students are in the graduating class.

Students will be bussed to and from commencement, and should arrive at 9 a.m. at Park Center in their commencement attire. Spectators are encouraged to arrive at the arena by 10 a.m.

Tickets are not required for admission to the ceremony, and there is no limit on the number of guests that may attend.

CCX Media will livestream the ceremony live. It will also be available for on-demand viewing after the ceremony is completed.

Copyright © 2020 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

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