EYE ON EDUCATION: LPHS val, sal “enthusiastic” for the future | News, Sports, Jobs


Lake Placid High School class of 2022 valedictorian Ellen Lansing and this year’s salutatorian Tristan Spotts are seen here at Mirror Lake on Monday, May 30. (News Photo – Lauren Yates)

LAKE PLACID – Lake Placid High School named Ellen Lansing this year’s valedictorian, and Tristan Spotts earned the salutatorian spot.

Lansing, 17, is a tri-sport athlete who competes in cross-country running, track and field and figure skating. She is president of the high school environmental club, secretary of the National Honor Society, and chair of the senior class fundraiser. Lansing plans to attend Columbia University in New York in the fall, majoring in environmental science.

Spotts, 17, is also a tri-sport athlete, competing in hockey, tennis and soccer. He is the senior class president and he is a member of the National Honor Society and the Key Club. Spotts plans to attend the University at Buffalo in the fall to major in psychology.

Study 101

People don’t just become valedictorians and salutatorians on a whim; Getting consistently good grades requires a strong work ethic and good planning for assignment deadlines and upcoming test dates. That’s what you might think, anyway. For Lansing and Spotts, getting good grades is more about competition.

Since college, Lansing said, she and Spotts have faced off on the academic playing field.

“What did you get on the test? What did you get on the try? What was your average this term? » Lansing said Monday, texting Spotts on an imaginary phone in an impression of herself.

Lansing and Spotts weren’t the only ones competitive with their grades, though — most of their class were, they said. Lansing said it surprised their guidance counselor how open students were about their grades.

“Usually people are more, like, secretive,” Lansing said. “Our class is like, ‘I GOT THIS. WHAT DID YOU GET?’

When it comes to individual study advice, Lansing and Spotts — like true college athletes — thrive more on adrenaline than pace.

“We are both procrastinating” said Spotts.

“Yeah, really bad” Lansing agreed.

“Late Nights,” Spotlights added.

“Adrenaline. Pressure. Grind,” Lansing said.

Lansing and Spotts said they didn’t spend a lot of time studying regularly. They tentatively agreed that they are naturally good at retaining information. Both said that taking notes in class — whether they look back at the notes or not — helps them internalize a lecture.

The high school experience

Lansing and Spotts said it feels good to have won the valedictorian and salute titles because it feels like their hard work has paid off. But, they said, high school isn’t just about grades.

“You can still have fun in high school and get good grades,” Lansing said.

Lansing said it might seem like she and Spotts are so involved in sports and extracurricular activities that they don’t have any free time, but she said they find a “balance.”

High school is what you make of it, Spotts said. He said there’s always time to do your homework, but sometimes you end up prioritizing other things.

“And I think you should,” he said. Otherwise, the other parts of your life could fall apart.

High school wasn’t just about studying and homework for Lansing and Spotts. It was also about friends, half-full Starbucks coffees left in lockers, the drawer full of crushed cans of Red Bull in physics professor Frank Brunner’s office – all the oddities and extras.

Despite the pandemic-related disruptions throughout their high school days, Lansing and Spotts agreed they had a “medium-normal” high school experience with ups and downs.

“Like everything in life, though,” said Spotts.

Life after Lake Placid

Lansing and Spotts are leaving the village of Lake Placid to attend college this fall. It will be the first time they leave their hometown. They had the same word to describe how the future made them feel.

“Excited,” Lansing and Spotts said with a smile.

Spotts thinks Lake Placid is beautiful, but he said a change of scenery would be nice. He looks forward to living in a place with more diversity, and so does Lansing.

“It’s a bit of a bubble here” said Lansing, and she can’t wait to experience a different environment in New York.

For Spotts and Lansing, leaving Lake Placid also means leaving high school.

“I hope we don’t peak in high school,” Lansing said.

“It’s my nightmare” Spotts agreed.

Spotts said it’s important to remember that life goes on after high school is over.

“You have a whole life after this” Spotts said, “and not everyone in the world is like everyone else in Lake Placid.”