Pascale Patterson advances as National Merit Semifinalist

While academic success may be evident for Pascale Patterson, senior, she has much more than that  going for her. From an amazing personality to an interesting array of activities, Patterson continuously opens herself up to the world and the opportunities that it presents.

Many high school seniors are involved in several curricular and co-curricular preoccupations, but Patterson stands out for hers. Eight students from West Linn High School’s current senior class emerged as National Merit commended scholars; however, Patterson is the only one who advanced to the National Merit Competition.

The National Merit Competition is a contest for school funds awarded based on Academic achievement and ability.  Patterson, a semifinalist, feels that she may qualify for the finalist cut-off because of her work and persistence throughout high school and earlier.

“I think [the ability to achieve]’s more hard work,” Patterson said.  “I’d say that 95 percent is effort.”

Although Patterson believes that she deserves her current standing, she affirms that WLHS’s other commended scholars deserve just the same.

“The PSAT is how you do one day in a 3-hour session of your life,” said Patterson.  “It just means I was better than [the other commended scholars] in that one moment.  They’re people who’ve worked just as hard.”

Patterson is more than devoted to academics as shown through this contest, but there is undoubtedly more to Patterson than meets the eye.

“Once you get to know me, I’m a lot different than when you first meet me,” Patterson said. “When I first met Mary Richardson (junior), she thought that I was going to be conceited and snotty because I was smart.”

However, now that Richardson has become close with Patterson, she thinks that she is hilarious. The same is true of Kaitlyn Wells, senior.

“Pascale is so funny,” Wells said. “I wouldn’t expect her to be as funny as she is.”

On top of humor, Patterson adds even more to friendships, according to Nicole Zavoshy, senior.

“She’s an awesome person,” Zavoshy said. “She always makes me feel better when I’m sad. She sends me pictures of cute animals. She’s just always there.”

Along with this, Zavoshy admires Patterson’s work ethic. “It’s intense,” Zavoshy said. “It’s enviable.”

Currently, Patterson takes several AP classes during the day, including Computer Science, Calculus BC and English. She also takes Spanish courses at Clackamas Community College. These courses, along with the addition of Robotics, the Red Cross Club and the Math Team do not weigh Patterson down with excessive work. Instead, she views her academic enrichment differently.

“I’m pretty relaxed about [my work],” Patterson said. “But at the same time people know that I’m not going to mess around with my studies.”

Tina LaFerriere, math teacher, has seen this first hand. She credits Patterson for her hard work and for being herself.

“She’s naturally gifted in the math and sciences, she has a good work ethic and a great personality,” LaFerriere said.

Along with this, LaFerriere credits Patterson for the puppies that her family breeds. Patterson’s family has been breeding Entlebucher Mountain dogs for the last five years.

“She has cute puppies that I can’t afford,” LaFerriere said. “I’m secretly jealous about this.”

Patterson loves breeding puppies because of her adoration of animals.

“I’m obsessed with cute animals,” Patterson said.

On top of animals, Patterson has a devotion to many things in her life: school, friends and extracurricular activities. She said that everything in her life is organized, but then there is her room.

“My room is a wreck,” Patterson said. “Everything is organized in my life except for my room.”

Patterson has utilized her organizational skills to further her in life. She has a GPA of 4.29, and she is in line to be valedictorian. Next year, she hopes to attend University of Washington.

“I’m hoping to go to the University of Washington to study Biomedical Engineering,” Patterson said. “I might want to be a doctor, and I might want to be an engineer, so I chose something in between.”

Patterson’s parents are motivational. According to Patterson, they have a significant influence on her, but they don’t pressure. Still, Patterson’s main motivation is intrinsic.

“I guess I’m worried that if I don’t work hard now, it will affect me later,” Patterson said. “If I do work hard now,  I will be better off later on.”