Co-valedictorians Hannah Bloom and Kyra Forsyth bookend salutatorian Dan Tran at Mission Bay High School. / Photo by Dave Schwab
Mission Bay High School's co-valedictorians and salutatorian for 2016 all have a math and science bent; wanting to be a geneticist, a neurologist and a computer engineer/math teacher, respectively.
Co-valedictorians Kyra Forsyth and Hannah Bloom, both of Pacific Beach, and salutatorian Dan Tran, of Mira Misa, talked recently about their school days, their future plans and the state of the world in a far-ranging interview with Beach & Bay Press.
All three students are presently busy drafting their required five-minute speeches for the June 21 commencement at MBHS.
Is that tough?
“I wanted to make something that everyone could relate to, but not be super bored by,” said Forsyth adding “hopefully, they're going to laugh at. That was the hardest thing: making something funny so people would stay amused and entertained.”
“It's hard to be inspiring this time of year,” noted Bloom, adding her speech will be “more along the lines of what to take from these past four years, especially the last two, while giving credit where it's due, to our teachers and those who helped us along the way.”
“For my speech, what I wrote about was something we all have in common: self-procrastination,” said Tran. “So I wrote something about that, and linked it to how it could be used in the future.”
All three MBHS grads are going to universities: Forsyth to UCLA, Bloom to Washington in St. Louis, and Tran to UCSD.
Forsyth and Bloom had high praise for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program taught at MBHS and at Kate Sessions Elementary and Pacific Beach Middle in the Mission Bay Cluster of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).
“It's huge,” said Bloom of the IB Program. “It's transformed the reputation MBHS had when you know that La Jolla wants to become an IB school — and they can't.”
“You're not just studying for the sake of taking a class, because the majority of classes are two years,” said Forsyth. “You also make a lot of connections (with classmates) to retain more knowledge.”
“It helps connect people from around the world,” added Bloom of the IB Program. “It lets everybody learn the same things in a way that is more open-minded.”
MBHS is a diverse school with lots of students bussed in from outside Pacific Beach. All three MBHS grads thought that was a big plus.
Tran noted coming from elsewhere made MBHS a transition for him initially tough because, “I didn't know anyone.”
Bloom said the socio-ethnic student population makes MBHS “an entirely different atmosphere than you would expect. You meet more people that help shape you in ways you don't expect.”
As students in the information age, all three grads agree technology will continue to shape their futures.
“As the saying goes, 'There's nowhere to go but up,” said Forsyth. “Technology is helping people connect so much more. It's opening up more opportunities to people.”
“My dad and I joked that there's more technology in our cell phones now than there was on the very first shuttle to the moon,” said Bloom.
“Hopefully, we can use technology to fix things, like global warming,” said Tran. “Unfortunately, it (climate change) is on such a huge scale.”
Asked what they're looking forward to most, Forsyth said, “The long-run plan is just to do something that makes me happy. If I'm happy – things will just fall into place.”
“If everything goes according to plan, I hope to get into a Ph.D program,” said Bloom adding “My dream job is to work at NASA.”
“I just want to live comfortably,” noted Tran.
Concerning what they'll miss most about MBHS, Tran said, “My friends.”
“My friends, and the sports teams,” said Forsyth.
“The teachers,” said Bloom. “They're such an influence to us all.”
Bloom confessed her belief that MBHS “is on the rise.”
“Other schools need to take notice over these next few years,” she said, “because the next (graduating class) from PB Middle School will be the biggest group of local kids to come here. Mission Bay is a force to be reckoned with.”