Big Walnut’s Meade ready for next step in life
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Senior year has gone by fast, concedes Big Walnut High School senior Ashley Meade.
“It’s crazy. I remember walking into high school my freshman year and was told it would fly by fast. It did,” she said.
And she has enjoyed every minute of it, she said. Ashley speaks highly of the spirit and atmosphere among students, staff and faculty at the school.
As a senior, there are also some bittersweet moments. As captain of BW’s soccer team, Ashley said it was hard to see her final season with the team come to an end.
“The team was really close; they were like family. And we had a really good season,” she said. “Now I only see some of them in the hallways any more.”
Ashley also just finished 4-H. She has been a member for the past 10 years, and has been a member of the royal court the past two years, serving as princess in her junior year and as fair queen this year.
“It’s definitely been a lot of fun,” Ashley said.
Besides serving on the royal court, she has also volunteered in the 4-H awareness program, speaking to third-grade students about the 4-H experience. Ashley also served on the junior fair board. In addition, throughout her time in 4-H, she has taught younger members about goats — her primary project.
“I’m so glad I joined the program,” she said, adding that in addition to leadership skills, 4-H has improved her team skills, commitment and dedication.
Ashley attended the Martin W. Essex School for the Gifted and Talented last summer at Otterbein College, where a select group of students from around the state met and took classes, attending lectures and labs while staying on campus for a week. The experience was valuable, she said.
But while some areas of her life may be slowing down, Ashley is still busy with club soccer (both now and in the spring), National Honor Society, Leo Club and Big Brother Big Sisters.
Of course, there’s also a busy class schedule to deal with. Ashley attends honor classes, including advanced placement calculus, advanced placement literature, Spanish 4 honors and government.
She is also busy with band — playing clarinet since the fifth grade — and participating in marching band, pep band and concert band.
Katherine Dawson was Ashley’s pre-calculus honors teacher last year and has her in advanced placement calculus this year.
“Ashley has many redeeming qualities; among those are her patience and perseverance. She works well with others and is happy to clearly explain problems or topics she understands when others may not. On the other hand, she also seeks help and continues to work at solving a difficult problem until she understands it,” Dawson said.
Dawson said Ashley is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the Mathematics Honor Society.
“By accepting her invitation, she has committed to helping other students who may be struggling in mathematics. Her willingness to do so demonstrates the confidence she has in the mathematics courses she has already completed,” Dawson said.
Ashley has shown her leadership capabilities in other areas as well. She is treasurer of both the Leo Club and National Honor Society. In NHS, the group plans to adopt a family for Christmas; in Leo Club, they just completed a fall festival for kindergartners through second grade and are now painting a map on the blacktop. The group also is raising money for heart patients.
While she has not decided on her major for college, Ashley does know she will minor in Spanish.
“It’s one of my favorite subjects. I always like learning something new, learning about the land and the culture, ” Ashley said. She is also looking forward to visiting Spain with a school group this summer.
As for what college she will attend, Ashley is looking at Otterbein University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Capital University and The Ohio State University.
“I’m going in undecided. I’ve no real idea of my career path, but I’m sure I will find direction once I’m in college. I know I definitely want to work with people,” she said.
Ashley said she may consider playing soccer if she attends one of the smaller schools, but probably will not continue with band, instead focusing on her studies.
Looking forward to finishing out her senior year and saying goodbye to this part of her life, Ashley said she will be somewhat sad.
“This is something I’ve grown up with. It’s been my whole life. So it’s kind of surreal,” she said of the Big Walnut community, adding that she is ready to take that next step in her life. “I’m definitely glad I grew up in Big Walnut. It’s kind of sad, but I’m definitely excited to leave Big Walnut with a bang.”
Ashley will be going to Spain in the summer, and to the Bahamas to play with the high school band on a cruise during her spring break.
Ashley offers the following advice to underclassmen.
“Definitely soak up everything from the moment you are here. It will fly by, so take advantage of what you get and are able to do. This is why I wanted to do so much. I wanted to do all of it while I could.”
Ashley is the daughter of Rod and Melody Meade of Sunbury.