Valedictorian Griffin Muckley

Meredith Gallagher

After four years of high school, few students can boast of a perfect GPA, but Griffin Muckley is one of two students from the class of 2009 to do just that. Not only did Griffin achieve straight A’s, but he challenged himself with AP classes and participated in a wide range of extracurriculars. Now, the valedictorian speech is all that’s standing in his way. 
Griffin never had any intention of becoming valedictorian when he entered BSM his freshman year. “I thought, why not just do as good as I could do?” he said. By time he reached his junior year and still had a 4.0, he became determined to keep his straight A’s. “I was like, ‘I’m not gonna lose it now;” he said.
Despite his flawless GPA, Griffin faced many challenging classes throughout his high-school career. He took numerous advanced classes, including AP Composition, AP Calculus, AP Literature, AP Government, and AP Biology. “It took a lot of hard work and a lot of late nights,” said Griffin. “In some ways it made getting A’s a lot harder, but when I think about it if I hadn’t taken the advanced classes I probably wouldn’t have gotten A’s because I always do my best work when I’m pushed to do it.”
Griffin came close to losing his 4.0 in many of his classes. “I felt like every year there was one of those,” he said. Freshman year, his biggest challenge was Intro to Art with Ms. Main; junior year he came close with Ms. Leider’s American Literature class. 
But Griffin overcame his challenges all while balancing an impressive list of extracurriculars. Along with having a job at the Edina Country Club, he is also a speech captain, a member of the bowling team, and the Student Life editor of the newspaper. An active member in the drama department, he has also acted in many of the fall plays and spring musicals. Most recently he starred as Riff, the leader of the Jets, in the spring production of West Side Story.
Next year, Griffin is off to college. Though he considered attending University of Wisconsin Madison or DePaul, ultimately he decided to go to Loyola University where plans on majoring in journalism. “I’m really excited to be on my own and having the freedom to make my own choices,” he said. “It will be nice to have more time in between classes…I’m not going to miss having class all day, then extracurriculars till late, then only having a few hours to do homework late at night.”
Though admittedly a little nervous about how hard his college classes will be, Griffin feels that he is prepared for something new. “I think I’m ready for college-style classes with a lot of reading and only a few lectures,” he said, “[but] I’m not the best test-taker, and we are just expected to learn more.”
Before he can worry about college, Griffin first has to figure out his valedictorian speech. “I’m not nervous to give it, I’m more nervous to write it,” he said. “I still don’t know what it’s supposed to be about, and I’ve never seen a graduation speech before so I don’t know what to do.”
Ultimately though, Griffin is happy with his straight A’s. “My dad once asked me if I knew that B’s were alright because he was afraid I was going to get too stressed,” he said. “[But] the sense of accomplishment is what made it worth it.”