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Theuer, Hermes proud of contributions at Bishop’s

Editor’s note: We asked officials at our local high schools to identify two seniors who are good representatives of the Class of 2010. The Bishop’s School selected Christian Theuer and Joy Hermes.

BY EMILY DeRUY

Contributor

When Christian Theuer takes on a task, he commits himself to it completely. The Bishop’s School senior excels in most of his endeavors, and yet he is affable and levelheaded. It’s a winning combination.

Almost four years ago, Christian stepped onto the football field as a 5-foot-2-inch scrawny freshman. This year, standing at nearly 6 feet tall, he was named All-Coastal League running back.

“Football was probably the biggest challenge for me at Bishop’s,” he said. “But the coaches never gave up on me. I kept playing, and I made the all-league team.”

The senior has accrued a host of honors beyond the realm of athletics, as well. As part of his Advanced Placement Government course, Christian participated in Mock Trial, engaging in a simulated courtroom setting with other students. The Bishop’s team took first place in the San Diego County Mock Trial Competition, and Christian was named the best prosecution trial attorney in the state at the California Mock Trial Finals in March.

“It was great to win the award at finals,” he said. “But winning the county competition was the best because we did it as a team. We all worked really hard.”

Christian is especially proud of another team effort at Bishop’s. He co-founded and has helped lead The Bishop’s School African-American Honor Society. Aimed at bringing the black community together and raising the GPA of African-American pupils, the club “recognizes the accomplishments of black students on campus that would otherwise go unrecognized,” he said.

He spearheaded a Black History Month kickoff and helped organize weekly presentations.

“We involved every single African-American on campus,” Christian said, pleased and calling the success of the club his greatest accomplishment at Bishop’s.

Christian graduated on May 28, and he will spend the summer working before heading to North Carolina to attend Duke University in the fall.

“I’m sad to leave Bishop’s,” he said. “But I’m excited, too. Duke was my number one school. I’m so happy to be going there.”

Christian, who plans to major in public policy, plans to do Mock Trial at Duke, as well as run track. The ambitious senior is also laying out plans for life after college. Christian wants to go into law, a decision due in part to his involvement in Mock Trial.

Wherever life leads, Christian said he knows from experience that teamwork and effort are crucial to success, and he shows every sign of continuing to triumph in the opportunities and challenges that await him.

Joy Hermes

Joy Hermes has been at Bishop’s since seventh grade, and she was familiar with the campus long before that. Her brothers both attended the school. The graduating senior feels at home at Bishop’s, and she has made it her priority to give back to the community that has played such a vital role in her upbringing.

Friendly and outgoing, Joy has earned the respect of classmates and teachers alike. She was elected to class council in middle school, and served as secretary her junior year. This year, she is Associated Student Body Council chief of staff, a position chosen by the faculty adviser.

“I like giving back, planning events. It’s fun,” Joy said. “ASBC teaches responsibility. You have to communicate and interact with people from other grades.”

She says her greatest accomplishment is seeing what the council is capable of producing.

“Even though we’re a bunch of 16- to 18-year-olds, it’s impressive. And it’s a team effort. It’s great to see what we can all come up with!”

As chief of staff, Joy has helped coordinate spirit events and the end-of-year dance. She’s careful to point out, however, that the council tackles more serious issues, as well.

“We discuss diversity and meet with faculty about things like the format of final exams,” she said.

ASBC has afforded Joy the opportunity to forge bonds with a diverse range of students and faculty. She can name everyone in her grade, and she feels comfortable interacting with teachers and advisers.

“That’s what is nice about a small school,” Joy said. “We’ll take that when we leave, and we’ll keep in contact.”

While serving on the council takes up a significant chunk of her time, Joy has maintained involvement in other facets of life at Bishop’s.

“I was goalie for the varsity field hockey team and co-president of the Invisible Children club,” she says. “I also do yoga off campus for the physical education requirement. There’s so much to choose from!”

In the fall, Joy will join the freshmen class at UC Berkeley, where she hopes to be involved in campus leadership. She intends to pursue a career in medicine, specifically focusing on preventative care research. A summer course in genetics sparked her interest in the field.

Looking forward to welcome week and new beginnings reminds Joy of her initial days at Bishop’s.

“I have such an odd feeling about graduating,” Joy said. “I remember my first day on campus as a student here. It’s so weird to think that was six years ago.”

Nervousness aside, Joy and Christian are well prepared to leap into college life. Although Bishop’s is small, it demands independence of students, a skill that will aid both students as they learn to navigate and thrive in college and beyond.