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Proudly From Sparta - Sparta's Valedictorian heading for Harvard

Posted Thu, Jul 7th, 2011 The Sparta Independent

Erika Veidis, Sparta High School's 2011 Valedictorian

"Sparta gave me and my fellow graduates the strong start we need to pursue our dreams and our passion," says Erika Veidis, the valedictorian for Sparta High School's class of 2011.

A Sparta Start: I loved growing up in Sparta, especially going to the Boardwalk with my family and having plenty of playgrounds where I could run around with my friends! I still feel lucky to be part of a community full of friendly faces in such a beautiful landscape.

An Injury: I took ballet lessons through middle school until I injured my hip. I never played organized sports as a kid, but I tried cross-country running as a freshman and ultimately joined the track team as a sophomore. Sometimes it was hard to believe in yourself, but Coach Heckman’s patience and faith gave us confidence. Winning the Meet of Champions’ relay and the State Championship for the 800 meters was amazing, especially considering I used to cover my ears at the sound of the start gun back when I was in summer camp!

Harvard Bound: It’s an honor to graduate as Sparta High School’s class valedictorian. I’m sure I’ll be surrounded by class valedictorians at Harvard this fall, but I feel well-prepared after spending the last four years supported by teachers who are passionate about the subjects they teach and who motivate their students to find that passion in their own lives.

My name is Erika Veidis and I am proudly from Sparta.

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