BETHEL — Jamie Steven and Elek Pew are co-presidents of the senior class, co-presidents of the Student Council, members of the National Honor Society, part-time employees at the Sudbury Inn, and best friends.
They are also Telstar High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2011.
They both believe that working as hard as you can on something is well -worth the time and effort.
“It’s such a big world that you have to take things seriously and work hard,” said Jamie, 18, of Bethel, the valedictorian. “Homework and everything you do in school is important. High school decides where you go to college and leads you to success.”
She will attend the University of Maine in the fall with a major in environmental engineering, and a minor in Spanish. She also plans to continue her love of dancing through the university’s dance classes or dance team.
It’s a way to relax, she said, and is something she has been doing since she was 3 years old.
Environmental science and renewable energy is something she believes will be even more important when she graduates from college.
“I feel very passionate about the environment,” she said.
Elek will also attend the University of Maine and is thinking he will go into business administration.
He has had a great time at Telstar, he said.
“Education is as good as you let it be. Those who complain don’t do anything,” he said.
While both say they have always taken education seriously, Elek began to apply himself to his studies more as a freshman when he learned he was ranked No. 8 in the class. He was aiming for the top.
As it turned out, he and Jamie are within one grade point of each other.
Jamie also plays field hockey and runs track, along with community service as part of the Rotary Interact Club. Elek plays soccer and basketball, and runs track. They are both members of the Future Business Leaders of America.
Trips to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Jamie, and to Costa Rica by Elek, showed them entirely new cultures and how life can be so different from that that they know.
“What we view as poverty isn’t what they consider poverty,” Elek said.
Both realize how fortunate they are to live in this country.
And both credit their parents with providing support for their educational experience.
Jamie is the daughter of Margaret and Michael Steven of Bethel. She has an older sister who is a special education student at the University of Maine at Farmington and a younger brother in grade six.
Elek is the son of Sidney and Eileen Pew of Andover and has an older sister who is majoring in sociology and political science.