By Julie Ann Madden
Four years ago this Class of 2013 freshman realized she’d blown her chances of being valedictorian.
“I barely got a B+ in one of my science classes,” said Class of 2013 Salutatorian Katlyn Mace. “I didn’t try to get the ‘B’ but my dad thought I did but I didn’t.”
“I’m not great in science,” she said. “It definitely made me try harder.”
“It just made me realize I really have to try the rest of my high school career to have a good Grade Point Average for scholarships and college and in the future,” said Katlyn.
And that’s the Westfield native’s advice is to underclassmen: “Always try your hardest because even if you think ‘I’ve already screwed up my 4.0,’ you can be salutatorian or No. 2 in your class.”
“It really does look good on college resumes,” said Katlyn. “Just don’t give up and think your grades won’t matter because even if you think as a freshman you’re not going to go to college or anything, by the end of your high school career you might change your mind.”
The hardest part was “buckling down and making sure to get all my high school courses done as well as my college courses when I could have just put them aside and said they’ll be fine,” she told The Akron Hometowner. “I tried to make sure I did my best in my classes because it’ll be important in my future.”
Katlyn named her parents, Rick and the late Amy Mace, as her inspiration.
“My dad always pushed me to do my best,” said Katlyn. “I’d go home and say, ‘Hey, Dad, I got a 95’ and he’d say, ‘Why didn’t you get a 100?’”
“Half the time I think he was kidding,” she said, smiling, “but he definitely expected a lot from me so that always helped me try to make him proud.”
“And just always knowing my mom’s watching me and trying to make her proud,” said Katlyn, also thanking all the teachers who put in extra time to help her before and after school and with her college courses.
The memories she’ll take with her as she begins studying accounting this fall at Iowa State University are all the activities students can do here at Akron-Westfield — “how you can be in band and (school) plays but you can still be in sports.”
Katlyn, who has completed all of her education from Discovergarten through her senior year at Akron-Westfield, participated in volleyball, softball, cheerleading, school plays, Individual Events and Large Group Speech, and band, in which she was a saxophonist.
“I loved always being around my friends,” said Katlyn, “and all the time our whole high school could just bond and be all together.”
One of her fondest memories of high school is these last two weeks when it’s finally hitting the seniors that they are almost done.
“This might be the last time we’re all together for a long time,” said Katlyn. “I think we all are just trying to make as many memories as we can.”
In addition to being salutatorian, Katlyn has completed 12 college credits, which is about one semester’s worth of college.
She has one sister, Elizabeth.
Katlyn is a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and also works at Hummer’s Roadhouse in Westfield.