Editor's note: This is the first in a series of four profiles of seniors from the central Kenai Peninsula.
Tonight, one of Soldotna High School's movers and shakers will be moving on.
Among the 113 graduates who will pick up their diplomas this evening is Leisl Sizemore, a self-described "people person."
Her senior year, she served as student body vice president and National Honor Society vice president in addition to her course load and college preparations.
Sharon Moock, the faculty sponsor for the student council, praised Sizemore's leadership.
"I think she has been steady and 100 percent reliable," she said.
Moock described Size-more as a quiet person who accomplished a lot, but does not seek recognition or toot her own horn.
"She is a great kid," she said.
"She knows where she is going and the right way to get there. And she does it."
Sizemore was born in Everett, Wash., 18 years ago. She has an older sister and younger brother. Her parents, Robert and Susan Sizemore, moved to Alaska 10 years ago and to Soldotna when she was in fourth grade. She attended Soldotna Elementary and Soldotna Middle schools before high school.
Throughout her four years at SoHi, the common thread has been her active involvement in student affairs.
"I was really involved in leadership classes, like student council stuff," she said.
Sizemore began as a freshman representative and served as class treasurer sophomore and junior years before assuming her post this year, participating in the Alaska Association of Student Government conferences along the way. She liked having a voice in the school and is proud of the council's role in increasing the involvement of students in all grades, she said.
"Freshmen seemed sort of out of it," she said of her own first year there. "Now it seems they are more a part of SoHi than they have ever been."
Her first two years, she played volleyball and basketball. But on the court she was more interested in fun than competition, and left athletics to focus on academics, she said. This year, she did set aside time to take part in the Model United Nations, serving on the mock delegation from Surinam.
"It was an experience," she said.
Over the years, her favorite classes have been language arts.
But for a favorite teacher she singled out Allan Howard, who taught her trigonometry her junior year.
"It was a challenging class, but he totally prepared you for future classes," she said.
She also praised counselor Sara Moore for helping her.
The other major influence during her teen years has been her friends. She has worked with the same people over the years, and the spirit of camaraderie has helped her a lot, she said.
"It turns you into a people person," she said.
Looking back over her four years of high school, she finds her goals and priorities have changed as she has matured.
"I've learned to cherish what I have right now instead of worrying about the future," she said.
Sizemore said she will beat the pavement, starting this week, looking for a summer job. Last summer, she spent the vacation in Ohio, working for an uncle and visiting with relatives.
Come fall, Sizemore plans to attend Montana State University at Bozeman to study architecture. She got interested in the field through her high school classes in drafting and interior design. The university attracted her because of its five-year masters' program in architecture.
She has never seen the campus, but is looking forward to starting in the fall.
"I've never been there, but I've heard nothing but good about it. ... It will be a different experience, but I can handle it."
She said she her older sister, Hannah, who goes to college in Colorado, has briefed her about the transition to collegiate life.
As much as she is looking forward to college, she will miss her friends. As her senior year ends, she already is nostalgic.
"It's gone by much too fast," she said.
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