School Wide President leaves lasting impact on MHS


Photo courtesy of VIP.

Tyler Yakimisky, Sports Editor

An ideal leader gets involved with his or her school and community, stays on top of his or her academics and becomes an activist, speaking out when change is needed.

All of these aspects are embodied in the 2018 School Wide President Ricky Rodriguez, as recognized by his peers and close friends.

“He’s incredibly vocal with what he believes in, and he is very good and not just saying his opinions, but having things to back them up,” said Senior Kristen Lay, Rodriguez’s girlfriend who has been in multiple classes and clubs with him throughout high school. “That’s a reason most people believe him when he speaks because he is so credible.”

Rodriguez not only has served as the School Wide President for Student Leadership, but he has also been a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, a member of the National Honors Society, a Link Crew executive board member, the drum major for the Marching Mustangs, a member of SALT and a Model UN participant.

His leadership role has gained him acceptance into some of the nation’s top universities, including the University of Southern California, Stanford University, the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and the University of North Carolina.

Multiple scholarships from these schools as well as other organizations, such as Coca-Cola and Comcast, which have given him money for his leadership abilities and academic successes, have accompanied Rodriguez’s collegiate transition.

Rodriguez demonstrated his drive and potential as early as freshman year.

“One thing I remember from freshman year AP US is that he asked a lot of driven, insightful questions,” said Social Studies teacher Patrick Gaughan. “You could tell he had that drive.”

These traits only strengthened as Rodriguez continued through high school.

But before Rodriguez makes his transition, he reflects on his high school experience and how it has prepared him for college.

 Q: What is your favorite thing about your Senior Class?

A: It’s just the people in general and how involved they are. It’s also cool at the end of the year you meet some people who you haven’t met before, and you’re like, “Why haven’t we met before?” It’s just, in general, a great environment with great people doing great things everywhere.

  Q: How have your high school experiences prepared you for college?

A: High school has shown me a lot of hard classes and difficult classes, and it teaches you to manage your time well. I’ve learned to work with all kinds of people. I’ve learned how to see different perspectives and to still have fun while still putting your head down and getting to work.

  Q: What is your opinion or stance on recent MHS events (such as the walk out about gun control laws)?

 A: I really try to create a distinction between my personal views and the views of Student Leadership. If we had people from the other side trying to counter the protest, I would welcome them just as much. Most importantly, people need to vote and call their congressmen because that is the only way change will happen. We can’t make change by just telling people to shut up.

 Q: What are some ways you lead by example?

 A: It’s always important to have a certain demeanor. People need to know how to act depending if either they’re at each other’s friends’ houses or if they are at school. You have to know the positive way to act in school and that can be by voicing your opinion when no one is really talking and being that first person to say something. Asking questions is also important because it gets those creative responses and gets the discussion moving.

 Q: What would you say the most important takeaway from high school is for you?

  A: I would just say it is to enjoy your four years. No one ever listens when people say it goes by fast, but it really does. It’s the same thing with college; it’s another four years, and it might even go by faster, so we just need to focus on the present and stop trying to change the past.

 Q: Do you have any advice for the next Senior Class?

  A: Definitely start your college applications early. Try to get an idea of what schools you’re looking at early. Have a good solid list of colleges that you can see yourself at, and don’t let senioritis kick in. You’ve already made it three years; don’t throw that all away by slacking off your senior year.