Walking across the Petrik Thunderdome stage June 3 as the 2017 The Out-of-Door Academy valedictorian will be easy for Caitlin Camire.
Getting there was the hard part.
Although a math whiz, Camire recalls her advanced placement calculus class her junior year. Going into that class, she felt “utterly confused.” She said she didn't even know where to begin.
Of course, she did know where to begin. She worked as she had done throughout her high school career.
“It was really frustrating,” Camire said. “I would go into my teacher’s classroom before school, after school and sometimes during my lunch period to do problems and ask questions about problems I didn’t understand. I remember being really overwhelmed because of that class.”
But she succeeded.
Camire is another story about making sacrifices in order to obtain success.
At times, she wanted to let loose and have some fun with her friends, but she put her academics first. The result was a 4.0 (straight A) unweighted grade point average through high school. She became a member of the Cum Laude Society (which acknowledges academic achievement) her junior year and she is headed to Northeastern University in Boston to work toward a degree in chemical engineering.
“During my sophomore year, some of my friends went to Jangle Ball Rock!, a concert where a lot of my favorite musicians were performing," Camire said. "I had a math exam the next morning. I really wanted to go, but I knew that I had that math exam. If I went to the concert, I knew I would be tired the next morning, so I didn’t go, I studied for the midterm instead.”
Camire was on the school’s cross country track team and soccer team and was involved in the school’s musical productions because she loves to dance. How did she do it all?
“Time management is what I’m best at,” Camire said. “I thrive in a busy environment, that is why I joined a bunch of clubs. I’m more efficient when I’m really busy. It keeps me sane.”
A student at ODA since fifth grade, Camire has done more than be involved in clubs. She has served as a student writing assistant, working in the writing center and helping students with any sort of literary work. She also was a chemistry and math tutor and helped her fellow students whenever she could.
“I love science and math,” Camire said. “It was more about if I could get someone to love it as much as I did, I would be happy. Sometimes the classes you struggle most in, you tend to get the most out of it.”
Since her freshman year, Camire has been on the ODA Honor Council, a position to which she was elected by students. The Honor Council enforces the school’s honor code, and if there is a violation, the council will hear the case.
“We evaluate what went wrong, we listen to the full story, and we determine how we can prevent it from happening again,” Camire said.
Camire said honor is a “big core value.”
“Based on a person’s actions, anyone can be honorable,” she said. “Honor Council is more about guiding someone to making better choices. It is all about developing an honorable community at ODA, rather than just punishing people.”
One of her teachers, Theresa Beeman, said Camire made a leadership breakthrough in her advanced placement chemistry lab.
“She was always quietly making suggestions for how to do things better and more efficiently, while also making sure that no one gets left behind,” Beeman said. “The lab is where she really shined. She’s a great student and always has been, but she just lit up, really went to town and got a lot out of our labs.”
Beeman called Camire a “quiet leader,” but neither Beeman nor her adviser, Robert Naylor, would deny that Camire loved competing with other lab groups.
“It was interesting because she was comfortable talking about academic competition but in no way was it a bad way. She just loved the fact that competition brought out the best in everyone,” Naylor said. “The lab teams competed, but when all was said and done there was no winner.”
When asked what she would miss about high school, Camire responded, “Lab group rivalries.”
“Something I will always remember is the AP chemistry class,” Camire said. “One team was called the Dream Team, and they would always try to beat us.