veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


veritas exquirere


Spotlighting OPHS class of 2024’s passions

As high school comes to an end for the class of 2024, seniors are approaching the pivotal moment in which they choose their career paths. The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be scary, but keeping up with your passions can help you feel closer to home.  Here are some senior students’ passions. 

Drew Koval: Tennis 

Drew Koval, senior varsity tennis player at OPHS, is attending Washington University in St. Louis next fall to play Division III tennis and study mechanical engineering. 

“I started playing tennis when I was three because of my brother,” Koval said. “He’d been playing for a few years at that point and I wanted to give it a shot. I realized I was pretty good and fell in love with the sport.”

Having a passion for a sport like tennis at such a young age is what creates motivation itself. Koval has always loved tennis, which is what brought him closer to figuring out his career path. 

“I really enjoy competing, so that’s been a big motivation for me,” Koval said. “As I got older, I started putting a lot of focus on my academics and gave myself a goal to pair my athletics and academics together in order to play college tennis at a top university, which motivated me to improve my game even more.”

Cole Walker: Music

Cole Walker, a senior at OPHS, will be attending Colorado School of Mines for mechanical engineering but hopes to continue music in the future. 

“Covid was really when I first began perusing drumming,” Walker said. “My dad was a drummer in college so we had a cheap electric set that he used from time to time and I decided to start learning,”

When asked about how he first became involved in music, Walker shared a significant moment that shaped this becoming his passion. 

“I had only been drumming for about three months without proper lessons when I met Ryan, the singer of our band [the Kanan Band],” Walker said. “He said that his band was looking for a drummer. I joined and it pushed me to get better.” 

While Walker heads off for Colorado in the fall, he doesn’t plan on leaving his passion behind. 

“When I go off to college, I want to take this with me and keep playing drums and making music,” Walker said. “I am far from an amazing drummer but I enjoy it and am lucky enough to have had the experiences I’ve had.”

Elizabeth Dusek: Theater

Elizabeth Dusek, a senior at OPHS and member of the Thespian Society, will major in Musical Theatre Dance at Chicago College of Performing Arts. 

“I discovered my love for theater not long after [I began dancing at three,]” Dusek said. I took [my elementary school plays] very seriously and in my mind considered them as important as a professional production.”

Dusek credits her family for their unwavering support throughout her theater journey. 

“My parents are very supportive of the arts, and my [dance, vocal and theater] teachers never settle for mediocrity, they always push me to not be a stagnant person or performer,” Dusek said. 

Dusek reflects on her strenuous college audition process and how it only strengthened her self-confidence. 

 “This is what I love to do, and I am well aware of the challenges and the sheer amount of rejection, but this is my passion, and nothing else would fill the void,” Dusek said. “The college audition process [was] one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I would have never done it unless I was confident in myself and my perseverance.”

Andrew Kunesh: Theater

Andrew Kunesh, a senior at OPHS and member of the Thespian Society, will be majoring in political science at Colorado State University. 

“I first discovered my passion when I watched the production of Pippin in my sophomore year,” Kunesh said. “It looked fun and I already liked to sing and improv so it did not seem very far from my comfort zone.”

The supportive atmosphere in theater is what drives Kunesh to continue acting and singing. 

“The main motivation throughout my time in theater came from the people and how fun the environment was,” Kunesh said. “Without the supportive environment and the encouragement, it would never be as amazing of an experience and something I work to improve in as much as I do.” 

While Kunesh doesn’t plan to continue theater in college, community theater is an option in the future. 

“In some distant universe, I am a professional actor achieving great success in front of my millions of adoring fans. Unfortunately, I don’t see that in this universe,” Kunesh. “Theater will always be a passion for me.”

Siena Morgenthal: Art

Siena Morgenthal, a senior at OPHS, has committed to the Corcoran School of Arts and Design at George Washington University to major in fine arts. 

“[In seventh grade,] I took art with Mrs. Cadle at Medea Creek Middle School and instantly fell in love with it,” Morgenthal said. “I immediately knew I wanted to continue art as my career path the second I joined that class.”

 Morgenthal shed light on the challenges those pursuing creative fields often face as a result of society’s preconceptions. 

“The stigma and stereotypes of going into the field of art as a career has always remained upsetting to me and I have always wanted to prove that stereotype wrong,” Morgenthal said. “You can have your passion as your career if you truly believe in it, your dreams aren’t just dreams.”

Morgenthal channels inspiration from the world around her as well as fellow artists. 

“I know this sounds cliché but I would genuinely say everything [inspires me,]” Morgenthal said. “My close friends, family, teachers and other artists have remained my biggest inspirations. Mrs. Mendez inspires me every day by pushing me beyond my limits to fulfill my potential. The world around me is constantly inspiring me daily.”

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Ava Harris
Ava Harris, Editor-in-Chief
Ava Harris is currently serving as the 2022-2023 features editor for the Talon newspaper. She joined the Talon in the 2019-2020 school year as a Senior Staff Writer. She is now in her third year of Journalism, one of the Talon's longest working editors.
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