Erica Wong is class valedictorian and Ruth Lee is class salutatorian at Dublin Scioto High School.

Erica Wong is class valedictorian and Ruth Lee is class salutatorian at Dublin Scioto High School.

Erica (Yi Chen) Wong

Parents: Robert and Sherry Wong

Grade point average: 4.510

Awards and honors: Medalist Scholarship and Morrill Distinction Scholarship (both from OSU) and the Ohio Board of Regents Scholarship

College: Ohio State University

Major: Economics/international studies

Extracurricular activities/sports: Co-leader of Senior Cabinet, Student Senate, Interact Club, Irish Core, National Honor Society, Japanese Club and service involving: Peer tutoring within the school, community tutoring with Dublin C.A.R.E.S, Salvation Army holiday food/toy drive, Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis, Red Cross Blood Drive, Make a Wish Foundation and Westside Children's Care.

What does it mean to you to be at the top of your class academically as you approach graduation? I'm extremely honored by this distinction, but I must admit, I was not expecting it. The reality has yet to set in, but as I continue to hear the congratulations and exuberant cheers, I have begun to see what an incredible honor this truly is. My classmates expect me to represent them academically, and that is an incredibly hard task, for if you ask any administrators and faculty, they will tell you how truly academically talented and competitive the class of 2008 is. As graduation approaches, my anticipation builds and nerves are starting to get jittery, but excitement trumps fear. This honor is a great opportunity to show the community what a talented class we are.

Did you set goals for yourself in high school? What were they? Did you achieve them? Balancing academics with the experiences of a teenager is the most important aspect of high school. While the past four years have satisfied my hungry mind, it has also watered me from a bud to a flower. The past four years have been an emotional roller coaster. Every year one encounters new classes, different teachers and an always changing surrounding of peers. It is each and every class, each and every new teacher, that teaches one something textbooks are incapable of doing. There will always be that teacher who one does not agree with, and that class that one struggles in, but it is exactly those from which we learn our best life lessons.

Who has had the most influence on your life? Why? Hands down, my parents. My mother and father overcame the obstacles of a language, nation and culture entirely foreign to them to provide a chance at a better education, and in turn, better life than what they had. They uprooted their lives to give their only child an opportunity for success. For over a decade I have watched them conquer great difficulties to provide me with everything I have, and for that I am eternally grateful. I owe them the world.

If you could go back, is there anything you would change in the way you prepared for life after high school? When I was in kindergarten, I dreamed of being a musical prodigy. At the age of 8, I hoped to be an astronaut. At 12 I was dead set on becoming a doctor. By the time 14 rolled around, I told everyone I would become a lawyer. At 18, I have no idea. It has taken me 18 years to realize, it is OK to not know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I still have the next four years to decide. The one thing I would have changed about preparing for college is not to stress so much about what I wanted to become. Instead, I need only to ponder what interests and entices me. Life will lead me down the right path eventually, even after many forks in the road.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen that would help them make the most of their high school years?

GET INVOLVED!! Whether it be in sports, student government, community service organizations, foreign language clubs, or any one of the various extra-curriculars DSHS offers, getting involved in them is the most important aspect of building strong character, leadership and responsibility. Freshmen year jumpstarts one of the greatest periods of one's life. Upperclassmen love seeing the younger students apply themselves and plop themselves in what can be outside of their comfort zone. Underclassmen should respect the older students, for they have so much to share and teach, but do not let them intimidate you.

You are you.

Ruth Lee

Parents: Sung Young (father) and Young Jin Lee (mother).

Grade point average: 4.494

Awards and honors: National Honor Society, OMEA superior ratings for flute, Alcatel-Lucent Scholarship.

College: Ohio State University

Major: Undecided

Extracurricular activities/sports: Korean Church of Columbus Youth Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, marching band, Mu Alpha Theta/Math Team, Student Cabinet (grades 10 and 12), Key Club, Teen Institute, community service with Korean Church of Columbus activities, hospital volunteering, tutoring and Buddy Program.

What does it mean to you to be at the top of your class academically as you approach graduation? Truthfully, I feel a bit awkward being at the top of the class. I have so many friends who've worked as hard or harder than I have, so I don't think I am as deserving as many of my peers. However, it is an honor, and it serves to me as a reminder of all the time I spent in the seven hours of school per day plus the many hours of homework, projects and studying. It also reminds me that I have so much to be thankful for: Scioto, my teachers, my friends, my sisters, my grandparents who always pray for me, my parents who love me, and of course my God who took care of me through all my failures and good times, to whom I give all the glory.

Did you set goals for yourself in high school? What were they? Did you achieve them? I don't recall explicitly setting goals for myself in high school. But I had a goal along the lines of a no-regret-policy. As I look back, I unfortunately do have many regrets. I wish I had not been as greedy for success, fame or getting into top colleges. Most of my regrets are the things I did or said out of selfishness many out of clumsiness or absent-mindedness. However, I most definitely do not regret the things that I did for my ultimate purpose of living for God, especially the times I tried to reach out and love people at school as Jesus would have done.

Who has had the most influence on your life? Why? My parents definitely have made a huge mark on my life in my morals, values and beliefs. Living with them, receiving discipline from them and being loved by them has taught me lessons after lessons. Also, my friends and teachers from youth group and FCA have impacted me greatly by encouraging me throughout all these years.

What advice do you have for the incoming freshmen that would help them make the most of their high school years? For the incoming freshmen, I would say that the things of this world -- success, popularity and flesh-ly desires -- are temporary and do not satisfy. It's really when we love God and love others that we find true joy. Scioto gives us so many opportunities to do this. There are tons of hurting and lost people at school. Take the opportunities you are given to encourage someone who is going through tough times or to say hi to someone who might need a friend. Don't miss the opportunities of all the projects and clubs that help the homeless, families in Dublin and other foundations. Time is short. Don't wait for later to start loving the Lord and others -- go for it now.