North Royalton High School (NRHS) senior Jillian Baracz was named this year’s Phi Beta Kappa Award recipient.
The Cleveland Association of Phi Beta Kappa recognizes the academic achievement of graduating seniors in schools across Northeast Ohio. There are approximately 120 participating schools that choose one student in their graduating class who is in the top 10 percent of the class and “demonstrates qualities of academic honesty, inquiry into scholarship matters which goes beyond assignments and requirements, a creative involvement in scholarship, and great interest in things of the mind.”
Students who contribute to their intellectual environment and participate in extracurriculars are highly considered. The Phi Beta Kappa award is one of the most prestigious honors a high school student can receive. Baracz’s name will be engraved on a Phi Beta Kappa plaque that will be displayed permanently at NRHS.
During her time at NRHS, Baracz was the president of the National Honor Society, Student Council member, Link Crew member, and Student Advisory Board member. She also participated in the Key Club, Yearbook Club and the Innovative Leadership Club. She was involved in College Credit Plus and played on the varsity softball team.
Her favorite memories of school include having fun in classes with her teachers Sean Folk, Matt Kish, Dave Marhefka, Chris Roach, and Señor Chris Carion. She will miss her teachers and friends the most when she graduates.
Baracz’s advice to underclassmen is, “Surround yourself with genuine people. Work hard and you will accomplish your goals. Always believe in yourself even if others don't. You can do anything you put your mind and effort to.”
Following graduation, Baracz plans to attend the University of Findlay to major in Animal Science/Pre-Vet, minor in Spanish, and play with the school’s softball team, the Oilers. Eventually, she wants to move to Arizona to enjoy the dry heat and attend medical school.
School Counselor Rachel Hoag said, “Jillian has an amazing reputation at school and truly has been such an asset to NRHS. She is kind, responsible, respectful, and well-respected by her peers and teachers. She is one of a kind and so deserving of this award!”