North Kingstown High School’s valedictorian Mary Beth Clarke may be leaving South County for her next degree, but she won’t be straying out of state. Next fall, she’ll begin her pursuit of a bachelor’s in marketing at Johnson & Wales University.
Clarke says she hopes to one day be a marketing analyst, which will allow her to combine multiple interests into one career. As a top student it’s no surprise Clarke has varied interests. When asked to pinpoint her favorite subject, it’s difficult to narrow it down.
“Mathematics is one of my favorite things,” Clarke said. “I’ve taken business classes that I’ve really enjoyed. I kind of like everything, I guess. I also really enjoy Spanish.”
Outside of her daily studies, Clarke also enjoys playing the flute and was president of the high school’s business club, DECA.
“That has given me so many opportunities,” Clarke said. “I love that and being president of that helped me improve my leadership skills.”
Clarke admits that her academic success took some sacrifices, but aiming to be the best she personally could be has always been important to her.
“It wasn’t my goal to be valedictorian,” she said. “I just always wanted to try my best and do the best that I could. Those values were instilled in me when I was young.”
All of Clarke’s work has certainly paid off. As a junior she received a Young Leaders award from Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner and got her Gold Award for Girl Scouts after helping to make her church, Christ the King, more youth-friendly. She also received a scholarship award from Johnson & Wales and the St. Timothy Award from the Diocese of Providence.
Clarke’s plans for college involve many different ways to branch out and see new things. She wants to study abroad, get internships, and may even be interested in the Disney College Program.
There’s still a whole summer between high school graduation and the start of college, and Clarke plans to use the break to enjoy herself. She’ll be working at Brickley’s, going on a family vacation, and spending time with friends before they go their separate ways for college.