Top graduates: Alina Rose Kaliszewski - John Marshall High School
Alina Kaliszewski embraced two extremes in her high school career.
In her four years at John Marshall High School, she participated in all 11 shows put on by the theater department. Then an AP physics class she took her junior year spurred her interest in science.
“I was a lot more engaged and interested in physics than biology,” she said. “It was easier to get.”
Exploring the rigid rules of physics and the open expression of arts the last two years has helped Kaliszewski appreciate both more, she said.
“With the arts, there’s the outlet to express things and there really is no wrong answer,” she said. “With physics, it’s very exact — this is how you do it.”
Kaliszewski has since embraced studying earth and planetary sciences. Her interest in science inspired her to get involved in student actions to fight climate change. She plans to major in astrophysics at the University of Minnesota.
Theater will likely always be a part of her life, but opportunities for careers in the art are rare. A science background would likely open more doors for her in the future, she said.
Theater also accommodated making friendships across grade levels, Kaliszewski said.
“Sometimes there are tensions between grade levels in activities,” she said. “There’s never any of that in theater.”
Kaliszewski said she became friends with seniors during her freshman year and, as a senior, has built friendships with freshmen. She said she plans to attend shows at John Marshall next year, if her schedule permits.
Kaliszewski has plenty of experience managing a busy schedule. While balancing classes, extracurricular activities and a job the last two years, she also maintained a 4.0 grade point average. The key was scheduling her time, she said. However, her schedule has had little room for down time, she added.
Fortunately, theater was a rejuvenating activity. On stage, worries, homework and her hectic schedule all leave her mind.
“It’s just a moment to step out of reality,” Kaliszewski said.
She advises her classmates to find those moments in the coming months as graduating seniors jump to their next step in life.
“Give yourself a chance to take a step back, breathe and relax sometimes,” she said.