Memorial High School is a place preparing students for their next adventure. It's also a place that senior Ginny Lamkin found she belonged.
“It really is my second home. I spend so much time here. I don’t even have a summer - June maybe I have a little bit, but every year by the time it hit July I was back here for volleyball practice or I was back here for class meetings,” she said.
Ginny made the most of her time in high school - she played golf, volleyball, track, cheer, and was the baseball manager and trainer. She even went to state for swimming. Her main event was the 100 free, but at regionals her senior year she got disqualified.
“I was really upset and I was like, ‘You know what, I’m done.’ I was like, 'I’m not even coming back tomorrow,’ I was over it. I was like, ‘I’m not even going to swim my finals for the 50.’”
That’s when her mentor, teacher Kiley Aleman stepped in.
"She was like, ‘No, you’ve got it,’” Ginny said. "I came back the second day, dropped a second on my time and qualified for state, so that was really exciting.”
“Originally, she wasn’t even thinking she’d make it in the 50, but she decided, ‘This is my senior year, I am going to make it happen,’ and she cut a ton of time, she made it and went all the way to the finals in state,” Kiley said.
Kiley said overcoming the impossible is what Ginny proves is possible.
“It was a really good time for her to show perseverance, and I think it was a good learning lesson that sometimes when you feel a loss there is a win right around the corner, it is just how you decide to handle it,” she said.
While she was actively involved in sports, Ginny also showed others how to be successful academically. Ginny took 8 AP classes, was class vice president, class president, and senior class president. She planned homecoming, kindness week, and even encouraged students to be healthy.
“We decided, as a whole school, we are going to try to get people to run and walk more - just get up and get moving,” she said.
So she came up with a fun idea.
"We have mileage slips where they will put their name, how long it took them, how far they went. Our goal is to run, walk 2,248 miles, which is the length of Route 66,” she said.
Ginny was also on the Academic Bowl and even bested her math teacher during the student-teacher competition.
“I beat my math teacher twice on two questions, so that was fun. I was like, ‘Sorry.’”
Ginny is a friend to all. When she was a senior, her dad suffered a heart attack, and that’s when the Memorial community stepped up and showed her how much she mattered.
“It’s just been amazing to see," Ginny said. "Even the PTA moms that are my mom’s friends, like, everybody has just been here. It’s just been so great that they are here for us."
That close-knit community is partly while she chose to go to Memorial High School after her time at Thoreau Demonstration Academy.
“I can do everything I want. Everybody cares, everybody wants you to succeed, everybody wants you to be happy and do what you want,” she said.
Ginny said taking every opportunity she could take made her realize she made the right choice for high school.
“It feels great to work hard and have it pay off,” she said.
Ginny is going to Oklahoma State University with the goal of being an OBGYN. She hopes to go to one of the country’s top schools after her undergraduate.
“I am thinking I am just going to go to Yale Medical or John Hopkins, you know, go big or go home,” she said. "College is going to be hard, but, you know what, I can do it."
Ginny is thankful for her teachers and classmates that have made her journey to graduation so memorable.
“They are not just your teacher here, every teacher wants to get to know you. They want to know your story, they want to know what kind of learner you are, they want to know what kind of friends you have,” she said.
Ginny said if other students put in the effort, they will also see and feel the reward.
“They care about you - the administrators, the teachers, the coaches, everybody. I haven’t met a teacher in this school that doesn’t care about their students,” she said.