Thirteen years ago a family of 15 moved from Russia to Spokane. The third-youngest in that family, Angelina Chebotareva, went on to leave a lasting impact at Spokane Valley High School.
Chebotareva graduated in May with more than just a diploma. She left behind a legacy.
It started two years earlier when she was elected ASB vice president as a sophomore. A few months later, she already was bringing her ideas to life. One of those was a gift exchange program around the holidays that any student could participate in.
“My family does Secret Santa and I was thinking that I wanted to bring it into the school,” said Chebotareva. Students purchase four gifts for $1 each. And for four days those gifts are handed out to other students who also signed up for the program. Chebotareva organizes the entire event every year.
But that’s not the only new program she implemented. She also created an honor roll program for Spokane Valley High School.
Chebotareva said she created it because she knew that colleges really look at GPAs.
“I wanted to honor students and have them strive to get high GPAs because colleges look at those to accept you,” she said.
Since its creation the list has increased dramatically every year. So Chebotareva made it harder. Last year she raised the honor roll GPA requirement from a 3.2 to a 3.35.
“Students were just trying to get the 3.2 and not get anything higher. So we raised it. Maybe next year we’ll raise it even higher, because colleges are looking for that,” she said.
Spokane Valley counselor Suzanne Scott said Chebotareva still signs all of the awards and certificates for the honor roll program. She credits Chebotareva’s tenacious and strong-willed personality for her achievements.
“When she says she’s going to do something, she gets it done,” Scott said. “She has a really strong work ethic.”
That work ethic has helped Chebotareva as she’s made the transition from high school student to the Running Start program at Eastern Washington University, where she’s pursuing her degree in economics.
But the senior said it’s been a pretty smooth transition. “Teachers say that college is hard, but I thought it was not hard,” Chebotareva said. “I thought it was easy actually. You come to class, do what you’re told. If you need help go to the tutors, and the school can help, too.”
Chebotareva attributes her success to the project-based learning system at Spokane Valley, as well as her counselor and the other faculty and staff.
She must maintain her sterling GPA over the next two years at EWU to keep her scholarship. But she’s not nervous about maintaining the grades. She has a motto she created for herself: “Success comes from action and action comes from will. Don’t hold yourself from being successful. It takes a mindset to get there.”
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