Following in the footsteps of both of her parents, one Mt. View High School student has seen her hard work culminate in the honor of being named valedictorian for the class of 2012.

Anna Piotti has always taken her academic endeavors seriously but she never approached school with the intention of being top of her class; that happened as a result of what she described as a combination of working hard but also knowing when to accept grades as they are and not worry about her grade point average.

“Both of my parents were valedictorians of their class, but they never pushed that on me,” Piotti said. “I knew I had the capability to do it and I always tried to do my best. It just so happened that I came out on top of my class.”

Piotti said she found out she was class valedictorian about a month ago – a surprise to her that she said apparently wasn’t surprising to her classmates – and is honored to speak at graduation.

“Everyone else seemed to know I was valedictorian before I did,” she said. “My parents were very proud, but I think they both expected it.”

Some of Piotti’s favorite subjects in school were German and math classes because she said she loved the challenge of learning a foreign language and she is a “mathematical thinker.” However, she admitted some courses, such as chemistry, were tough.

“I spent lots of time studying and reading the textbook. I don’t think I ever read a textbook like I did the one for chemistry,” she said.

Besides her academic prowess, Piotti is involved in several clubs and juggles three athletic schedules throughout the year. One of her favorite activities is her choral class, which she said is always fun to participate in. Piotti also acknowledged, with pride, her involvement in math club.

“It may sound geeky but that’s what you get for being class valedictorian,” she said.

With the school year beginning to wind down, Piotti is ready for whatever the future throws at her. She is planning to attend Bowdoin College, where she is considering majoring in history or German, although she still isn’t quite sure.

“I know I want to walk out of there with a teaching certificate but I’m not sure exactly what I will major in yet,” Piotti said.

Bowdoin College wasn’t initially her first choice – Dartmouth initially drew her attention – but after visiting both campuses, Piotti said she knew where she belonged.

“Bowdoin sounded more like me and I loved the campus,” she said.

Of course, before Piotti begins her college career, she still has to deliver a speech on graduation night; a task that doesn’t appear to faze her, although she admits, somewhat guiltily, that she hasn’t started working on the speech yet.

“One of my best friends is the salutatorian and we are going to work on our speeches together, so that we don’t cover the same topics,” Piotti said. “I want mine to be creative and to be different. I want my classmates to be proud.”

Public speaking can be difficult for many people but Piotti is confident she can handle the responsibility because she knows she has the support of her classmates.

“Even if I mess up I don’t think they would care too much,” she said.

MVHS principal Cheri Towle said she is proud of what Piotti has accomplished and said the majority of students at the high school excel in different ways.

“Our students are very involved and Anna exemplifies what we want students to be,” Towle said.

Piotti offered a few words of advice for other students who would like to excel in the classroom.

“You should just work hard and have fun. If you’re happy with the grades you are getting then you shouldn’t worry about it,” she said.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or bholbrook@villagesoup.com.