by Bruce Strand
Alyssa Spofford has excelled in music and theater while leading her class academically as well. Spectrum’s valedictorian plans to keep singing, but her focus now will be pursuit of a medical career.
“What I’d like to be is a pediatric cardiologist,” said Spofford.
Biology and chemistry were the Zimmerman resident’s favorite classes, with math also ranking high. She will major in biochemistry and pre-med at Bethel College.
Spofford, daughter of Craig and Kara, compiled a 4.085 GPA, leading a class of 44, via sheer determination as much as anything.
“I have an issue with getting low grades,” Spofford explained. “That’s not something I’m OK with.”
There’s a personal reason for her specific career choice. Her grandmother suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is also known as a silent killer of young athletes. It’s hereditary, so Alyssa had to be checked for it at age 13 (she was negative).
The Spectrum community will remember Spofford more for her clear, soaring voice and the sensitivity she brought to roles like the patient Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music” this spring. Her rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” was a show-stopper.
Asked what was most fun for her at SHS, Spofford declared, “Music and theater, most definitely.”
Her roles also included Good Witch Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz,” the Ladybug in “James and the Giant Peach” and Marcie in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
She sang with the choir and chamber choir all four years. She hopes to join the Bethel choir “as a stress reliever.”
Spectrum choir director Marsha Kirkpatrick said Spofford took a leadership role right away in the alto section as a freshman.
“As she matured and studied voice, her confidence grew, as well as her vocal range,” Kirkpatrick said. “She ended her career at Spectrum as a leader in the first soprano section. Her range and skill were evident in ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ a physically challenging and demanding piece.”
Spectrum requires a senior project. Not surprisingly, hers was music-oriented. She learned eight vocal pieces and sang for residents of four nursing homes. She organized small fundraisers at school that generated $150 for the music department and hosted the senior voice recital in October.
“She is a lovely young lady,” Kirkpatrick said, “who will go far in whatever she chooses to do.”
One non-music project she enjoyed at SHS was a study of mass communication and social media and their long-term effects. Using a pickle jar for her presentation, she warned that “we may end up locked in our own little glass jars, and not interacting with people.”
Spofford’s methodology for straight A’s was: “Keep up with homework, get absolutely everything in on time, study for tests, and really attempt to learn the material, even if it’s boring.”
Climb every mountain, ford ever stream, Follow every rainbow, Till you find your dream.
Asked if she’s a climb-every-mountain kind of girl herself, Spofford smiled confidently, and answered, “Oh, I’d certainly like to think so!”