Lauren Simmons 2023 Salutatorian

🎓#17  Salutatorian - Lauren Simmons

 Next Steps: University of Oklahoma

 Field of Studies: Elementary Education

 Zebra Since: 6th-grade

🔴 What advice you would give your freshman self? Find your people. Find the group you feel the most comfortable with and grow the relationships with those friends. 

🔴 What has this journey taught you about yourself? This journey has been one of the hardest but most eye-opening journeys of my life thus far. I have learned that I need a good support system to persevere through my struggles. Claremore Public Schools has provided that for me through teachers, administrators, and friends. 

🔴 What does this accomplishment mean to you?  I have worked my whole high school career to earn this honor and now that I have finally gotten here, it means everything. Being able to show that I worked so hard to have this brings me so much joy and pride.

🔴 Looking back on your school experience at CPS what does being a Zebra mean to you? Being a Zebra means having a community there to support you through thick and thin. Being a Zebra means being completely surrounded by people who only want the best for you and your future.

🔴 What staff member impacted your life most and how in elementary school? Mrs. Anderson at Mills Elementary in Owasso was my 3rd-grade teacher. She gave me my love for hard work. Each week we would do a spelling test and it was my goal in my third-grade year to make a 100% on each of those tests.

🔴 What staff member impacted your life most and how in junior high? Mrs. Sarah Woods in 7th grade at WRJH had the biggest impact on me. She had such a fun teaching style and amazing classroom management. More impactful than that though, she cared so much for each and every one of her students and made sure that she wanted them to succeed.

🔴 What staff member impacted your life most and how in high school?  Mr. Andrew Noland, my AP Euro teacher my sophomore year, greatly impacted my life. Besides teaching us about European History, he encouraged us to have our own beliefs and educate ourselves to get involved. He told me to not rely on feelings and emotions, but thoughts and observations.

🔴 What is the ONE thing you absolutely take with you to college? I will take my advice to my freshman self, and my sense of community I received from Claremore High School.

🔴 What activities you have been involved in? AP / Pre-AP Programs, Concert Band, Color Guard, Winter Guard, Concurrent, National Honor Society, Work Experience / Shadow / Internship (Career Development Program).

🔴 What was the hardest part (challenges) you had to overcome to achieve this honor? One of the most difficult things to overcome was COVID. I know, it sounds cliche but coming back to school after not being in that environment for 6 months was extremely difficult for me.

🔴 What are you most proud of in your high school career? I am most proud of my color guard and convert band career. I have been color guard captain since sophomore year and got the Outstanding Performer award for two years in a row. In concert band, I got a Superior rating on my solo at State Solo and Ensemble Competition my junior year.

🔴 Awards / Honors / Scholarships

Scholarships: I received the Regents Institutional Nominee award, valued at $4,920. I also received the OAS Institutional Nominee award, valued at $3,500 for each year. Additionally, I was awarded the Welcome Home housing scholarship, valued at $5,700. These all came from The University of Oklahoma.

Awards: I got Outstanding Student of the Year at our Band Banquet my 10th and 11th grades; I received the Directors Award my 11th grade year; I received membership in the Oklahoma Honor Society my 10th and 11th grades; I also received Z awards for Geography, Algebra I, and Honors Geometry.