The end of high school is typically a time when graduates are faced with uncertainty about their future plans and must begin to make decisions about what they will do next in their lives. For Breanna Butler of Nikiski, this isn't the case.
Butler, who graduated from Nikiski Middle-Senior High School on Tuesday, made those plans long ago. In fact, Butler makes all her plans well in advance.
"I can't recall ever having no plans," Butler said. "I've always been very analytical and have planned everything out. It's fun for me to sit down and look at different options. I do that for entertainment, and it's paid off."
Butler graduated high school a year early since she placed herself on an advanced course of study in middle school. At first she wanted to head straight to college. But her mother, Debbie Boyle of Nikiski, wanted Butler to wait a year.
The backup plan was to spend a year as a foreign exchange student in Europe. Butler's propensity for filling out applications and paperwork early got her accepted into her first choice location -- Austria.
"I'm delighted she's graduating early because she's gotten everything she can out of high school," Boyle said. "I feel like her time will be much better spent experiencing a foreign exchange and living in another culture."
After her year abroad, Butler will attend Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, Va., where she will study economics. Butler plans to go into public policy research and study economics as a researcher and theorist.
"Ideally, I'd like Alan Greenspan's job," she said, referring to the chair of the Federal Reserve Board.
This interest in economics came from her three years of experience on the Nikiski drama and debate team, she said, where she placed fourth in debate and second in domestic extemporaneous speaking at the state competition this year.
Butler has also been involved in dance since her freshman year, Future Problem Solvers of America, and Youth Court. Even with all these involvements and graduating a year early, Butler maintained a membership in the National Honor Society and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist.
"She is one of the brightest kids I've worked with," said Robin Williams, Nikiski Middle-Senior High School principal. "And she has a very sweet disposition. With all the things she has going for her, she really is very down to Earth. I expect big things from her because she is so bright and driven and very goal-oriented. She will achieve what she wants to achieve."
According to her mother, Butler has been planning since she was a 2-year-old.
"She's very dynamic," Boyle said. "She enjoys challenging herself and meeting the challenges she sets for herself. If anything, I have had to say 'you need to slow down a little bit.'"
But Butler has no intention of slowing down, now that she's done with high school and free to carry out the plans she's made for herself.
"I want to know that I've been able to make an impact on the way people live," Butler said. "If I can come up with something new and am able to implement my ideas ... I will be able to have a positive impact on people. That's my main goal."
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