By Pat Pratt
The Triad High School Class of 2023 saw two valedictorians this year – Elliot Jaeger and Sydney Sobczak.
Both seniors had the same perfect GPA and thus both received the honor, the high school said last week. However, the similarities do not end there. Both also started in private school before moving to Triad, both originally hailed from Collinsville and both aspire to someday become doctors.
This year’s salutatorian was Marc Froidcoeur, who was at a track meet when the interviews were conducted and unable to be interviewed.
Growing up in Collinsville, Elliot Jaeger attended a private school during her middle school years before transferring to Triad as a freshman. Since then, she has shown herself to be an academic ace and was featured in the Times-Tribune recently in her role as captain of the math team.
“For middle school, I went to a little private school and I was at the top of my class there as well,” Jaeger said. “My biggest things I’ve done here have been the math team and band, I’d say.”
Next year she plans to enter the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, where she has been awarded a full scholarship. Jaeger says she plans to study biochemistry with a pre med track.
“If I get that far and don’t choose a different path, I’ll be starting a residence someday and plan on being some kind of doctor.”
Her advice to her fellow classmates was do not be afraid to try new things.
“Always try whatever is presented to you,” Jaeger said. “And try new things that make you uncomfortable, because you would rather say you did do it than you didn’t do it.”
Jaeger said she will remember her time at Triad High School fondly.
“I have learned a lot about myself through these people and I’ve watched them grow with me,” Jaeger said. “I’m just excited to see what they do in the future.”
As stated, Sobczak also attended a private school earlier in her academic career. She too grew up in Collinsville.
“I started out at a small Catholic school, St. John Neumann in Maryville, and stayed there until high school,” Sobczak said. “I live in St. Jacob and decided for high school I wanted something different, so I decided to switch to public school and have been here since.”
Sobczak is planning to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she will study biomedical engineering.
“Hopefully, I am going to be working on pacemakers in the future if all goes as planned,” Sobczak said.
Her advice to her fellow classmates is to stay confident and to not let anyone bring them down.
“You just have to realize it’s not over, it’s a marathon not a sprint,” Sobczak said. “So you are going to have to keep telling yourself positive thoughts until the end, because if you start downing yourself early, you’re going to fall.”
Sobczak also said she will remember her time at Triad fondly.
“I love Triad,” Sobczak said. “I feel like it gave me independence. There is so much support here you can’t go wrong. I will always look back with fond memories of those around me.”