Andi Meeks reached the end of her four years at Shawnee High School with the highest grade-point average of any student in the class of 2020. She’s well equipped to give advice to younger students, and when asked in May to do just that, this is what she offered.
“Try to use your time as wisely as you can,” Meeks said. “School always comes first.”
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That was true for Meeks even though she also excelled in soccer, where she was part of the winningest class in school history, and basketball and on the football field, where she kicked field goals and extra points as a junior and senior for her dad Rick’s team.
As much as she loved sports, Meeks made the classroom the priority, as she’s always done.
“I’ve always been a perfectionist,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to have As. If I get a B, I freak out. I had a B sophomore year in Advanced English. I’m not that great in English. That killed me. That’s the only B I’ve ever had.”
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No one knows how hard Meeks works better than her mom, Kristin Meeks, who taught Andi in each of the last three years in biology, anatomy and college biology.
“She’s really conscientious,” Kristin said. “She’s a type A personality for sure. Her studies definitely come first. She holds herself to a really high standard. Part of it I wonder if it’s because her parents are teachers, and we’ve always taught her the importance of good grades and learning and keeping ahead of that stuff. She’s a really bright, fun kid. That has helped her in the classroom. She’s really enthusiastic about learning, and she’s engaged. If she doesn’t understand, she’s going to let you know and she’s gonna keep advocating for herself until she gets it. From that standpoint, I’m really proud of her because I think that that’s going to make her successful.”
Like every other senior in the area, Meeks dealt with the uncertainties the coronavirus pandemic created this spring. She said the online schoolwork was stressful because she had extra time on her hands but still had to get the work done.
“You have to have the self motivation to do it,” she said, “and I’ve also been super upset about not being able to have a normal graduation or prom or senior send-off, which is kind of sad.”
Meeks plans to attend Wittenberg, play soccer and major in nursing. She wants to become a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant because she has always enjoyed helping people.
Meeks had a full scholarship to Tiffin University but visited this spring when students weren’t on campus.
“I just didn’t like it as much as I love Witt,” she said, “and also my dad went to Witt, and I wanted to make him proud.”
Meeks certainly did that during her junior year when she kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give Shawnee a 17-14 victory over Jonathan Alder in the final week of the regular season. The victory clinched Shawnee’s first playoff berth in five years.
Meeks was a first-year kicker, and that was one of two field goals she made that season.
“I’m not a big risk taker,” she said. “When my dad asked me to be the kicker my junior year, I was, “No. I can’t do that. I can’t do that.’ Then I finally was like, ‘OK, maybe I should try it.’ Then that kick happened, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m doing this my senior year, too.’ I’m just amazed by it. I think it’s pushed me to take more risks in my life.”
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