Olentangy’s Gancheva strives for success
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Senior Antoniya Gancheva has been at Olentangy since the sixth grade. It was just two years before that when she and her family came to the United States from Bulgaria.
Today, with just a few short weeks left in her senior year, she is doing well, she said, and trying not to let senioritis get the best of her.
While there are sad moments, she is definitely ready to move on.
“I’m excited,” she said about her prospects for the future.
Antoniya will be attending The Ohio State University to study pre-nursing.
Antoniya had a “torn heart,” she said, trying to decide between Columbus State Community College and OSU, noting that her funding is limited. But she is happy with Ohio State as her final decision, where she said she thinks she will fit in, and plans to room with other nursing students.
“I’m going to be doing nursing for a year,” she said, after she graduates from OSU, and then return to school for her masters where she will either get her CRNA, and be a nurse anesthetist, or become a family practitioner. Her older sister is following the same career path, she added.
“Ever since I went to high school, I had a passion for science. It makes sense to me,” Antoniya said, adding she likes being around people, helping people.
“Actually my first dream job was a lawyer,” she said, smiling and noting she liked the television show, ‘Ally McBeal.’ “Then I grew up and realized I was not as argumentative on topics. So it was not for me.”
With only four members of her family living in this country, Antoniya said part of the reason she wants to go to OSU is to stay close to those family members here. The rest of her family is in Bulgaria where she was able to visit when she was in the seventh grade.
Bulgaria is very different, she said. She had learned some English there before coming to America, but it was British English, which is very different from the way English is spoken in this country.
Having left Bulgaria at a young age, she does not have a lot of memories of life there.
With other volunteer experience earlier in high school at the library and in other areas, Antoniya found her niche in regularly volunteering for the Council of Older Adults. She helps in the kitchen and with catering.
Besides her hours for the school’s service club, she is also a member of the National Honor Society.
She has also held down a job for the past four years. She now works at a local grocer, and previously worked in a restaurant at a Columbus bowling ally. Besides working during the summers, she also works several nights each week.
This year, she is taking advanced placement chemistry, physics, anatomy, English, government and calculus. Last year, she received a 5 (the highest mark attainable) in advanced placement psychology and a 4 in advanced placement biology.
“I was excited,” she said of her test results.
She admits being serious about her school work.
“I do a lot of studying. I like to have everything in order, get everything done,” she said.
Antoniya will miss Olentangy, she said, and the teachers and relationships she built with them. She knows there will be new relationships with new teachers, but “it will not be the same.”
“This girl deserves all that she can get,” said Rick Bayless, guidance counselor at Olentangy. “She is very intelligent, hard-working, conscientious. Antoniya is a quiet leader, leading by example. You could not ask for a better person/student and this is a great honor for her, and I am proud to be her guidance counselor.”
Marc Ehrhardt, science teacher, said, “Antoniya is one of the hardest working and conscientious students I have had the pleasure of working with. She consistently puts forth her best effort and is a strong contributor when working in peer groups. She holds herself to a very high standard academically while maintaining part time employment outside of school. She is very deserving of the recognition.”
Antoniya admits she is very strict with herself on achieving good grades.
“It’s because of my family and parents,” she said. “I do not want to let them down; because they’re the ones who brought me here. So I strive to make them proud.”
Up until this year, Antoniya had taken art courses at the high school.
“I liked ceramics, throwing on the wheel. It’s very calming.” She explained that you have your career and your hobby, which for Antoniya is art.
While there is not much time for her art this year, she is able to go to the art room during an occasional study hall.
Another hobby she enjoys is photography, a passion since she was a freshman.
“I usually like to do close-ups in a different perspective,” she said.
“Antoniya is a very intelligent and mature high school student and we will miss her dearly next year at OHS,” art teacher Robin Schorr said. “She is a positive role model for our students and her honest character and easygoing personality make her a friend to everyone. As her ceramics teacher, I am thrilled by her excellent craftsmanship and technique. She truly excels in the clay medium. I can’t wait to see all that Antoniya accomplishes and I wish her the best for her bright future.”
Over the next few weeks, Antoniya is looking forward to prom, graduation and her graduation party.
For now, she offers the following advice to others. “You need to try as hard as you can. If you fail, try again, because it will pay off in the end.”
Antoniya is the daughter of Borislav Stoykov and Evelina Stoykova of Delaware.