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Lambert grad headed to Duke, keeping options open
Kasey Park

See a list of all the Class of 2021 graduates in the keepsake edition here.

Kasey Park

Lambert High School

Tell me a little bit about you.

“It seems like just the other day when I had graduated elementary school, and my parents had told me that I would be moving to a new place called Forsyth County.

“The thought of leaving all of my friends behind and moving to a new school terrified me — where would I even start? I was told that I would attend Riverwatch Middle School, which, to me, connotated an unfamiliar jungle that I had to traverse through by myself. Yet, these fears became unfounded as I was welcomed into this county with open arms. 

“From the school counselor who took his time to give me a tour of the school to the people who ate lunch with me on the first day, I eventually found myself a place amongst my peers who later became my friends.

“Three years of middle school went by just like that, and I told myself that high school would be an exception. After all, middle school was only a build-up and was preparation for the four years that were ahead of me. 

“The anticipation of stress and hard work were very much validated through the early mornings when I went to attend a volley of club meetings and with the late-night homework sessions that I sometimes had a breakdown over. However, in conjunction with the demands and worries, I also found myself being capable of rising above standards that I did not know that I could accomplish. This was also made possible with the support that I had, from teachers to friends to my parents. High school was a grueling journey, but I also was able to meet amazing people along the way.”

More about me:

-I’m left-handed

-My favorite show is The Vampire Diaries

-I’m a bassoonist in the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra

-Enjoy listening to country music

-Favorite artists: NF, Tate Mcrae, Alec Benjamin, Celine Dion

-Goal in life: Become a polyglot

What was your favorite subject(s) in high school?  

“My favorite classes in high school involved history and social studies. I remember having my interest in the class AP Human Geography slowly build up over months when I took it during my freshman year. The applicability of the class from individual human interactions to current geopolitical scenes on a global scale fascinated me. It also helped that I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Watkins, whose enthusiasm for the class set the atmosphere of the classroom everyday.

Were you a part of any clubs? 

Yes, I was a part of:

-Student Council

-Key Club

-National Honor Society

-National Beta Club

-Cross Country

Was there more than one? 

“With this question, two people come to mind. The first is my middle school band director, Mr. Koperniak. When I first became a part of the Riverwatch Middle School band program, I had been playing the clarinet at the time, and I had never once questioned switching to another instrument. However, Mr. Koperniak introduced me to an instrument called the bassoon early in the year— an instrument that I quickly came to love. 

“This introduction on his part became pivotal, and for the past seven years, I have continued to play this instrument from the concert hall of The Classic Center in Athens to the concert hall of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. In addition, his witty persona and hard demands of success in the bandroom continuously inspired me to become a better musician. In many ways, he set the foundation for my love in instrumental music.”

“The second inspiration is my former 10th-grade counselor, Mrs. Endo. Before I came to know her, Lambert High School felt more of an institution solely for learning where I could go through the motions of attending classes and school activities. 

“There came a shift when I became closer with her in the 10th grade. Her office was always open for conversations and concerns, and she helped me become more proud of being a student at my school. Mrs. Endo was also the one to convince me to attend GASC, a student council convention for schools all across Georgia. There, I was pushed beyond my comfort to be a leader to others and make new friends. She helped me look more forward to coming to school (although it’s hard to imagine!) every day, and some of my time spent with her are some of my favorite memories from my time at Lambert.”

What will you miss most about your school? 

“After leaving high school, I will miss the people at Lambert the most — whether it be friends or teachers. It’s a sad reality to think that I may never again see the people that I sat in class with or passed by in the hallways. I have also had the honor of meeting so many wonderful teachers throughout my years who have introduced me to vast worlds of knowledge that I will never fully be able to explore.”

What are your plans after high school? 

“Right after high school, I plan on taking the time I have during the summer to strengthen my abilities to speak Korean, read books that I have been meaning to read for many months, and get a summer job to alleviate the cost of any future financial needs. 

“After summer, I am headed towards college, which will be at Duke University in North Carolina. The current plan is to study economics and possibly another major, such as computer science or public policy.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“To be honest, I’m not sure where I see myself in 10 years. Until recently, I had no idea what I wanted to study after high school, which is economics. Perhaps even this will change, as my interests move onto somewhere else in college.

“All I know is that I wish for my future-self to be doing work that is societally and positively impactful, helping to build communities from the actions that I take. A more specific goal would be nice for anticipation, but my one hope is that this original wish does not change as I take on the years ahead of me.”