Isabella Hertzig isn’t sure if she’ll be wearing Tar Heel blue or Wolfpack red during football season in the fall. She might be wearing both.
The 2015 East Wake Academy valedictorian plans to pursue a dual-enrollment biomedical engineering degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State. It will be the next step toward her goal of becoming a veterinarian.
“I wanted to (stand out) when I apply for a graduate veterinary program,” said Hertzig, who graduates Wednesday in Raleigh leading her class with a 4.78 GPA.
Hertzig’s love for animals stems from the many pets she has had in her time. She currently has two dogs and a hedgehog named Pipa. She considered medical school, but said she’s “less of a people person and more of an animal person.”
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Fitting her portfolio, Hertzig preferred math and science in high school. She enjoyed AP environmental science the most.
“It was more than just equations or chemicals,” she said. “It was something I can actually make a difference in.”
Hertzig, the daughter of Paul and Dawn Hertzig of Wake Forest, stayed busy at the public charter school in Zebulon.
She cheered and played soccer for four years and played volleyball two years. She was the vice president of the EWA National Honor Society, the president and founder of the school’s Math Club and a member of the Green Club.
Between all that and a job, however, she still found plenty of time for friends and fun. In high school, she said, you have to.
“I wouldn’t give up hanging out my friends and my high school experience to be No. 1 in my class,” Hertzig said. “You have to have friends and be involved in school and do well in school. You can’t just do one.”
Among her top hobbies and interests are joining friends at the park or pool or for a pickup soccer game, and spending quality time with her pets. She also has this thing for makeup.
“I really like makeup,” She said. “I have an insane amount of makeup. My first three paychecks, I spent like $500 worth on makeup. That’s what my friends know me for.”
Ten years from now, Hertzig wants to have her own vet clinic, a nice house – but not a mansion – and stability.
The jury is still out on whether or not she’ll miss school uniforms.
“I think on my last day of school I tweeted I never have to wear a uniform again,” Hertzig said. “I’m torn because wearing them I have no way to express myself, but I’m going to miss them because I like to wake up like five minutes before I leave and just throw it on and not spend an hour getting dressed.”
What: Commencement ceremonies for East Wake Academy will be held at Meymandi Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
When: June 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Who: EWA’s Class of 2015 includes 66 graduates.