ST. CLOUD, Minn -- The setting was familiar, and the last name was too, but the young woman playing the violin with the school orchestra is very much her own person. The setting is St. Cloud Apollo High School and the young woman in question is Apollo senior Allison Reichl.
One of three National Merit Scholars at Apollo, Allison is following her brother John as a KARE-11 Academic All-Star, and don't think for a minute it's not an accomplishment that Allison is going to cross off her "to do" list.
"My parents didn't really try to compare us", says Allison. "But, I always compared myself. You always compare yourself to your siblings, right? "
Maybe Allison compares herself to her brother because there aren't too many other who would even attempt to take on her schedule. Something she's looking forward to fine-tuning in college.
"Sometimes, I think I spread myself between too many activities here", says Allison. "So, in college it will be nice to focus on one or two and pick what I really like to do, because I've tried a lot of things."
You can say that again. All-Conference with the violin, Allison is also a 2-time winner of the state MMTA contest on the piano. Student Government and Student Body President, Allison carries a perfect, unweighted GPA of 4.0. A 3-sport athlete and captain in Swimming, Nordic skiing and Track, Allison was a Triple-A award finalist at Apollo. An award-winning member of future problem solvers, Allison credits her parents with exposing her to, and encouraging her to participate in many activities in high school.
"They also wanted me to do other activities", says Allison. "Like, academics have always been first and foremost, but it's been important to do sports and music because they wanted me to be well-rounded, not just straight academics."
Ranked fourth in a class of 258, Allison also scored a 35 in her one and only attempt at the ACT, which prompted her to consider, albeit briefly, going back and taking another shot at a perfect score of 36.
"I thought about it, but 35 is good enough," Allison laughs.
Both of Allison's parents are doctors, and her brother is also studying to be a Doctor at the U of M. But, Allison, who really likes math, is considering a career in bio-medical engineering, depending on where she attends school.
Says Allison, "I just want to do something different and not go with the family, I guess, and be an engineer instead. "
And, while she's still working through the college application process, Allison anticipates another major deviation from the path taken by her big brother.
"I want to go to college maybe far away, where he goes to the U", says Allison. "I may want to go to California, depending on where I get in so, I don't mind adventure, I guess."