EPISD Senior Spotlight: Taekyu Lee, Coronado High
(CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL Sept. 14, 2020) — Future doctor Taekyu Lee is one of EPISD’s five National Merit Semifinalists and one of three Coronado High earning this distinction. The National Honor Society and Texas Music Scholar is a AP Scholar with Distinction. He’s still researching what college to attend but medical school is definitely in the cards. EPISD’S Office of Community Engagement sat down with him virtually to highlight his achievements for our Senior Spotlight.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: What does it mean to you to be named a National Merit Semifinalist?
TAEKYU LEE: I think being named a semifinalist means I can say with more certainty that I did not waste away my high-school years and instead used my time to improve myself. I think it is achievements like this that truly show how my hard work has paid off and pushes me to keep trying my best in my future endeavors.
CE: What kind of advice would you give juniors who will be taking the PSAT this fall?
TL: I would encourage them to study up to the date of the test. Even if there isn’t a lot of time left, I would still recommend taking at least one practice SAT exam. The biggest struggle for me was the timed reading section, so I think practicing pacing yourself is very useful for getting higher scores.
CE: How have you adapted to virtual learning?
TL: Although I would still prefer in-person learning, I think I have adapted to virtual learning to some extent. I try to engage in discussions during class so that I can focus on lectures, even if they drag on for entire class periods. I make sure to spend my breaks between classes away from any screens to recover from staring into my laptop for over an hour per class. I take notes and do homework on paper rather than a word document to minimize the time spent on my laptop.
CE: What are your hopes for your senior year?
TL: I hope that the pandemic will diminish by the second semester so that my senior year isn’t completely ruined. I want to make the most of my last year in high school and make some good memories with my friends, maybe do something with them that I have never done before. I also hope to finish the IB program and earn the diploma I’ve been working all this time for. And I really hope graduation won’t get canceled.
CE: Where do you plan to go to college and what do you plan to study?
TL: I still have not whittled down the list too much, so I do not have a definite answer for what college I want to go to. I plan to study biochemistry since I am interested in that field of study and because I plan on attending medical school after undergrad.
CE: What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
TL: I am involved in orchestra and clubs such as Musical Ensemble Club, Future Doctors of America, Smoking Obsession/Addiction Prevention Club, Math Team, and March for Our Lives. I have also volunteered in the hospital and food bank during my high school years
and am involved in my church’s youth group as president. I have been playing piano and cello since elementary school.
CE: What advice would you give incoming freshmen?
TL: I would advise them to keep their futures in mind as they go through high school. They only have about four more years until they are officially autonomous, and they should take their development during this time seriously. But on the same note, I would also encourage them to make the most of the remaining years of their childhood and do things that would make them happy. I think finding a balance between those two things is crucial.
CE: What have you been doing outside of academics to get through the pandemic?
TL: I think one of the most helpful things that have gotten me through the pandemic is playing the piano. Practicing it gives me a chance to escape my thoughts and enjoy the bliss of music. There are so many different compositions to play that I could never grow tired of the piano.
CE: What is the first thing you plan to do when the pandemic is over?
TL: I just really want to see all my friends, face to face. The first thing I would do is hang out with all of them in one big group. Honestly, any social activity sounds fine at this point.