By Adam Madison
Triplicate staff writer
Though the Del Norte High School valedictorian and the three salutatorians share great GPAs, their plans after graduation are as different as their majors.
Ian Uecker is the valedictorian, Kim Longrie, Nikolay Dimitrov and Brielle Tippman are the salutatorians. Uecker and Longrie are scheduled to speak at graduation this Friday.
Uecker, who's scheduled to graduate with a 4.383 GPA, said that he "wanted to take as many classes as I can to get into college and to get scholarships."
Uecker is two classes away from an associate's degree in general education from College of the Redwoods, Del Norte. From his sophomore to senior year, he took 11 units a semester at Del Norte CR on top of high school courses.
"You can register for up to 11 units for free if you are enrolled," Uecker said of CR Del Norte offering free part time enrollment to Del Norte High students.
Uecker had the choice of attending the University of California in Davis, University of California in Berkeley, Humboldt State University, Southern Oregon University, or California Polytechnic University in San Luis.
Uecker ultimately decided to attend Cal Poly in San Luis, because "it has a better civil-engineering program."
Co-salutatorian Longrie credited her study habits to a program called Advancement Via Individual Determination, saying "pretty much if you're (a student) going to college you're in AVID."
Graduating with a 4.274 GPA, Longrie plans to attend the University of California in Berkeley beginning in August.
Longrie's efforts were rewarded with a $20,000 scholarship and a laptop from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation's Dell Scholars program, along with $5,000 from Del Norte county scholarships.
She also won an "AVID Write-off" last March, which took place between AVID seniors spanning from Del Norte to Sonoma county. AVID teachers chose the best essay out of each of the four divisions to be judged.
"I love writing, I'm good at math and science, but writing just comes easier," Longrie said of her choice to major in English. "You have to create the life you want for yourself; no one's going to do it for you."
Tippman is headed to CR at Del Norte for a year with a GPA of 4.23 to get her associates transfer degree.
"I have more fun playing an instrument than I do listening to it," Tippman said about her interest in music. She has played the flute since sixth grade and is in the Madrigal Choir.
In college, Tippman plans to focus on nutrition for now, but said, "I should probably go to a college that has to do with what I want."
Tippman said that her mother, Valerie, "really encouraged me; whenever I got stressed out she would help me out."
Dimitrov came from across the world and then across the country before arriving in Crescent City for his senior year at the high school in 2006. Dimitrov moved from Bulgaria in Eastern Europe in 2001 to Westchester, NY.
Dimitrov's mother is a doctor and found a waiver to open up practice in the area, which brought his family to Crescent City.
Dimitrov said that he wanted to do well in high school, "knowing that if you just do well in high school, you can open up your future to do whatever you want."
Dimitrov will attend the University of California in Los Angeles in September and was also accepted into the Honors program at UCLA,
"I'm really excited about that," Dimitrov said. "I want to become a doctor. It doesn't seem very stressful when you see the doctors work together as a team."
Dimitrov was a volunteer at Sutter Coast Hospital, where he moved patients to their rooms and was able to see doctors in action.