Top Indian Creek grads prepared for STEM careers

Indian Creek High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian want to apply their book smarts to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Allison Harris, the valedictorian, plans to pursue a career in pharmacy, starting her path at Butler University this fall. She took an interest in the sciences in middle school, and has followed her passion through high school, naming chemistry and biology as her favorite subjects. As a senior, she has maintained one of the highest GPAs in Johnson County at 4.709, in part thanks to the wealth of Advanced Placement, or AP, classes she has taken. This year, she was enrolled in AP chemistry, AP calculus and AP literature.

Outside the classroom, she was a three-sport athlete, competing on the cross country, basketball and tennis teams. She was also president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter.

Some of her favorite memories from high school, however, revolve around her involvement in the Riley Dance Marathon, which raises money for the children’s hospital, she said.

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“We were able to raise money for a good cause,” Harris said. “This year, we all joined a video call and we put on the dance marathon and had power hour. We had incentives and people could donate. Anyone could join in live from the school’s website.”

Jarod Ball, the salutatorian, is also fascinated by science, and hopes to go into engineering.

His journey will begin this fall, when he starts classes at Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette. Science, along with music, are two passions that drove his high school career, he said.

“With the sciences, I have always been curious about the world, and my fascination with different things in part has to do with media and science fiction,” Ball said. “With band and music, I joined in middle school and I loved it. I love making music. Working with people is always very inviting and very fun.”

Ball has been involved with marching band since freshman year, and has been involved with symphonic band and jazz band since sixth grade, he said.

Academically, Ball achieved a 4.564 GPA. This year, he took honors chemistry 2 and AP literature, AP music theory and AP calculus.

“It’s always been normal for me to get my work done and make sure I’m doing well in classes.”

Ball plans to continue that commitment to academics in college, and hopes his studies in engineering launch him into a career in aeronautical engineering design in which he will work on spacecrafts, he said.

“Hopefully I’ll secure a career related to math or something related to technology moving forward that can help with spacecraft and space exploration," Ball said. "I’ve been into sci-fi my whole life, which got me into the idea of exploring not only the world but (beyond that).”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”The Harris File” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Allison Harris

School: Indian Creek High School

Class ranking: Valedictorian 

Age: 18

Parents: Beth and Jason Harris

College plans: Major in pharmacy at Butler University

Career goals: Pharmacist

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Name: Jarod Ball

School: Indian Creek High School

Class rankling: Salutatorian

Age: 17

Parents: Cassandra and Scott Ball

College plans: Major in engineering at Purdue University

Career goals: Aeronautics engineer