Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?
Posted on 01/26/2020
Where Are They Now?The Clinton School District is dedicated to EDUCATING and EMPOWERING our students with the skills they need to be successful and ENGAGED adults after high school.

This week, you will hear from a CSD graduate who has a lot of fond memories of her time as a Clinton Cardinal, and is thankful for the great education she received as a student.

Name: Emily Balke
Graduation Year: 2017

*What activities were you involved in during high school?
While I was a CHS student, I was involved in National Honor Society, Spanish Club, served as the Student Body Vice-President my senior year, and was also heavily involved in choir.

*How did you decide to do what you are doing after high school?
I always knew that my path would lead me to pursue a college degree, but the degree I had initially chosen turned out to be the wrong path for me. I finally decided on accounting because I had always had an interest in the field. To be honest, I took a huge gamble when switching my major to accounting, because I had no background in either accounting or business. It turned out to be the right decision for me because I love my new major and enjoy the new content I’m learning. I’m planning on pursuing my master’s in accounting and gaining my CPA. I know it can be nerve-wracking for students when they are unsure of what they want to do after high school, but I’m proof that you can change your mind and that it will work out in your favor.

*What have you been up to since graduating high school?
Since graduating high school I’ve been working towards earning my Bachelors of Science in Accounting at Truman State University. I’m on track to graduate in May of 2021 and then with my masters in May of 2022. At Truman, I am involved in Beta Beta Beta, a professional biology fraternity where I serve as the Fundraising co-chair, Beta Alpha Psi, a professional accounting and finance fraternity, and Sigma Sigma Sigma, a social sorority where I serve as the Vice-President of Operations. Last summer, I was able to work in the Human Resources department at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital as the Human Resources Intern. I gained a lot of valuable skills while working there and I hope to return to learn more this summer.

*What Clinton School District teachers made an impression on you during your time as a student?
There are two teachers that really stand out as making an impact on me while I was a student at CHS. The first being Mrs. French, my English III teacher my junior year. She was always such a kind-hearted educator that always put her students' needs first. I can remember when she would bake zucchini bread for her classes....it was the little things that she would do for us that would show her level of commitment to our education. Even after she retired I have seen her at school events, which shows her dedication to the students of the Clinton School District.

Another teacher that made a big impact on me was my choir teacher, Mrs. Ward. She instilled in me the value of always working towards your goals, and having fun along the way. She did a fantastic job in creating a great sense of community in her classroom, and I had my best high school memories in her class. She was very involved with her choirs, she participated in the musical my senior year, and was the student council adviser. My senior year, Allison Petry and I spent a lot of time with Mrs.Ward for student council, and I think it’s safe to say we might have driven her a little crazy! But she always had a great attitude and was a great source of guidance for Allison and I. I have so many favorite memories with Mrs.Ward, such as traveling to New York and Orlando for choir. The thing that stuck out to me the most was her love for music and how successfully she passed it on to her students.

*Our vision statement is that we Educate and Empower each student with the skills to be a successful and Engaged adult after high school. How did the Clinton School District help prepare you for college, your career and your overall future?
Even though my time in the Clinton School District was shorter than most of my classmates, the district was still able to give me the tools to be a successful adult after leaving high school. With a wide variety of classes such as Personal Finance and the ability to take dual credit, it allowed me to expand my knowledge even before my college career. Even now, CHS continues to provide more AP courses, which will definitely allow students to experience what a college-level course will be like. The jump from high school to college is a big one, but the offering of dual-credit and AP courses will help with the adjustment. If you ask any college student what they wish they could have done differently in high school, it would be to take more dual-credit courses. For me, it knocked out classes that I would have had to take, and it allowed me to register for my classes earlier.

*What advice would you give students still in high school about life after?
Some advice that I would give high school students would be to live in the moment. Your four years in high school fly by, so make sure you’re making the most of it. Get involved, get out of your comfort zone, and always make time for your friends and family.
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