Kate Konrad has held the highest GPA of the class of 2017 since freshman year. [pullquote] Konrad relies on her religious beliefs to get her through the day. [/pullquote] Konrad has a 5.25 GPA. Konrad was able to achieve this grand GPA by taking advantage of opportunities. For example, she took Honors Chemistry, a prerequisite of AP Chemistry, during the summer before her sophomore year. This way, Konrad was able to receive 5 points towards her GPA without taking time out of her AP-packed schedule.
Her junior year schedule is as follows:
|1st semester||2nd semester|
|AP Calculus AB
AP U.S. History
AP English III
AP Calculus BC
“I’d like to be happy and be successful enough that I don’t have to worry…School is first, but so is sanity.”
Konrad knows when to put the pencil down. If “it’s too much,” Konrad takes a break from studying to relax her brain. She also limits the number of times she checks PowerSchool. After finishing a test, Konrad checks PowerSchool frequently, but otherwise tries to keep her focus away from the website.
Along with school, Konrad also prioritizes time with family. She attempts to spend as much time with her parents and siblings as possible because they are her strongest motivators. Konrad relies on her religious beliefs to get her through the day. As you can imagine, three AP classes take a toll on anyone, but Konrad’s faith sustains during challenges.
When asked what she liked to do on the weekends, Konrad said, “I like books”– an answer that might seem taboo to an average student– but Konrad enjoys the genuine entertainment that books provide. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, however, Konrad does not have ample amount of time to do so. She limits her time spent socially with her three top priorities: school, family, and God.
With a packed schedule, Konrad spends much of her after-school time completing homework and studying for tests. She does not mind the constant demand because she knows it is what has made her so successful in school. After a normal night of homework, Konrad receives about six hours of sleep per night.
Konrad has not worked so hard for nothing. Although she does not have her heart set on one specific “dream school,” Konrad is interested in attending UNC @ Chapel Hill and NC State University through a joint program with a focus on biomedical engineering with a minor in neuroscience, but “it could change.”
“[My parents] have taught me that some people’s best is a C, but some are almost perfect…I do my best for myself and for my parents.” [pullquote]However, Konrad does not see the class rank system as a competition; she recognizes everyone’s hard work.[/pullquote]
Konrad’s family does not force her into taking an AP-packed schedule. Instead, they only push her to do her personal best– it just so happens that her personal best accumulates a 5.25 GPA. Konrad also wishes to do her best because “God expects me to.”
She hopes to finish high school with few regrets. “I don’t want to receive a test and think, ‘I wish I studied more.’ I should do my best.”
“I know it is somewhat a competition. But the way to ‘win’ is to do your work,” explained Konrad, “It’s just five or ten normal people all working their butts off for an A.” However, Konrad does not see the class rank system as a competition; she recognizes everyone’s hard work. “Everyone is smart,” said Konrad. “It comes down to who took Honors English and who took AP [English].”
“I’d like to think I’d be like ‘oh whatever, no big deal.”
If the day came where Kate Konrad was no longer ranked #1 in her class, she would feel “annoyed,” not with the new #1, but with herself. She aspires to be the best because she knows she is capable. Although she knows her GPA is just a number, it is still something she is very proud of.
Over six semesters at Leesville, Konrad found first semester of her junior year the most enjoyable. “I can’t choose a favorite class,” she said, “but it was a lot of work.” When most of a class schedule consists of AP classes, many students find their schedules overlapping with their classmates. Konrad reported comforting feelings of “group suffering” during her first semester. Eventually, Konrad chose her two favorite classes: APUSH and AP Calculus AB. Interestingly, she also reported these two classes as her most challenging. To the average student, the most difficult class is likely not their favorite, but Konrad likes to be challenged.