Monterey senior gets top honors

Published 12:07 am Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat Monterey High School senior Kirsten Elizabeth Blake works in the school’s computer lab, where she takes dual enrollment college courses. Blake was selected Monterey High School and Concordia Parish Student of the Year. Blake was accepted to the elementary education program at Louisiana Tech University.

MONTEREY — Being told she probably wouldn’t win the Concordia Parish Student of the Year award just made winning it that much better for Kirsten Elizabeth Blake.

“People said that since the other schools had better leadership programs and clubs, that someone from those schools would probably win,” Blake said. “It felt really good knowing that all my hard work paid off.”

Blake, a senior at Monterey High School, was first selected student of the year at Monterey before moving on to compete with other seniors from the parish.

The school-wide competition pitted her against four of her friends, but Blake said the competition was friendly.

“We all helped each other out with everything,” Blake said. “It didn’t get too serious.”

Along with turning in an application and ACT scores, Blake had to write a four-page essay describing her accomplishments, interests, family and her future.

The school selected Blake as the winner at the beginning of January and she was selected Concordia Parish Student of the Year at last Thursday’s school board meeting.

Accompanying Blake to accept her award was her mother, Lynn Holland, who Blake says is one of her biggest motivators.

“She’s always pushed me to do my best,” Blake said. “It helps because she’s not too hard on me, but she does get disappointed, which is worse than mad sometimes.”

Blake will attempt to continue her streak of recognition as she moves on to compete on the regional and state level.

With the building pressures of regional competition and graduation in a few months, Blake was able to check one major accomplishment off her to do list in January — getting accepted to college.

Blake sent in her application for the elementary education program at Louisiana Tech University on Christmas Eve and said a few weeks later she got the best late Christmas present ever.

“It felt great,” Blake said. “I love little kids, and I want to be someone that makes a difference in their lives.”

Hoping it will help the transition process from high school to college, Blake does dual enrollment computer courses in English, trigonometry/college algebra and psychology/sociology.

With some college experience under her belt, Blake said she is nearly ready to start the next chapter in her life.

“I wasn’t looking forward to it when I first started my senior year, but I think I’m getting there,” Blake said. “I’ll be a little sad.”

Blake is co-captain of the cheerleading team and member of the FBLA, BETA Club, 4-H Club and FCS.