In the week leading up to Arlington ISD graduations June 7 and 8, we are celebrating the Class of 2022 valedictorian and salutatorian for all seven Arlington ISD high schools.
Name: Heather van Waasbergen, Co-Valedictorian
School: Martin High School
College: University of California at Davis
Intended Major: Animal Biology
What is your dream and how do you plan to make it come true after graduation?
My dream is to be able to help improve the natural environment, and I hope to do that by becoming a wildlife veterinarian. I’m attending college as an undergraduate at UC Davis and hope to be accepted to vet school there after receiving my Bachelor’s degree.
Who inspires you the most?
I’d say my dad is the person who inspires me the most. He’s incredibly smart – he always seems to know something about everything. He’s also funny and brave. He moved to the US from the Netherlands despite not really knowing anyone here. He studied geology because it was interesting to him, but he wasn’t afraid to change career paths once he figured out that academia wasn’t for him.
What is one piece of advice you would give an incoming freshman?
Don’t worry too much about what anyone thinks of you or try to be someone you’re not. High school is hard, but it’s a lot better if you have friends who know and value you for the person you actually are. Even if you don’t think people will like you for you, you’ll find people who do.
What’s been your favorite high school memory?
My favorite high school memory is the day that the tornado alarm went off during lunch. My friends and I were eating in the orchestra hall, and the choir teacher ran out and ushered everyone into the choir room. We huddled in the orchestra hall playing Uno until the tornado warning passed.
How do you plan to make an impact on society in the future?
I plan to become a wildlife veterinarian and work on the conservation of endangered species. I’m a strong believer in the importance of the natural world, and I hope to be able to help the environment, both for its own sake and because we all depend on it.
What her teacher said…
“Heather was in art for two years at Shackelford Junior High. She was an excellent student!! She was excited each day to come into class and learn new ways to create art. She was a leader in the art studio and happy to help her peers in anyway needed … and she was always smiling. Heather’s personality and drive for success will take her far in whatever she chooses to do in life. I’m so proud of her and extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to teach this AMAZING student! – Nicola Glenn, Art 1 and Advanced 8th Grade Art.”
Can’t make it to graduation but you still want to be a part of the special day? If you’d like to watch Martin High School’s graduation, visit aisd.net/graduation to livestream the ceremony. Be sure to tag @jamesmartinhigh (Facebook) and @MartinHigh (Twitter) and use #ArlingtonISD when capturing special moments of your graduate for a chance to be featured on Arlington ISD official social media pages.