By Aidan Sheedy, Staff Writer
On the track, they call her “Crashley” and “The Thack Attack.” Senior Ashley Thacker has made quite a name for herself in the BMX world and in the New Paltz community. Approaching graduation, Ashley reflects on her last four years and looks forward to the next four. “I love being in high school and seeing my friends, but I am ready to be able to have my own experiences as an adult,” she says.”
While Senior year has obviously not gone as planned for any of us, Ashley was actually very excited to come back. For her, it was the little things that she missed the most. Things such as during band class when, “we got to chill out in the auditorium for a bit after playing,” she says. “It was nice to be able to sit, relax, and hang out with everyone. I’m definitely missing those small moments.”
In school, Ashley is a part of band jazz band, and softball. She has played softball since she was little, and has played every year at the high school. “It’s nice to be able to create a team bond,” she says, “You already know everyone, but on a team, you get to create relationships you wouldn’t inside of school.”
Ashley has consistently shown interest in cyber-technology. “I’ve been a computer person,” she says. “Ever since about 5th grade, I’ve simply been fascinated by today’s technology.” In the future, she hopes to have a career in cyber-security. To aid her along the way, Ashley started taking classes at Ulster BOCES in junior year for college credit.
Her biggest achievement she reveals, is receiving two certifications for IT support; one for PC Pro, and one for IBM Linux. Ashley says, “being able to put those two certifications in my name is really big, and I’m proud of myself for that.” In terms of colleges, Ashley is excited to attend Norwich University in Vermont, which is the oldest private military college in the United States. She will be studying Computer Security and Information Assurance.
Moving away to college may not be the easiest transition for any student. Ashley is opportunistic about her adult life and leaving the nest of New Paltz, where she has lived her entire life. “I love being in the high school and seeing my friends, “she admits, “but I want to be able to have my own experiences as an adult.”
Outside of school, Ashley is on a US National BMX team with about 25 other racers from the Northeast region. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new and amazing people from it,” she says, “I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime and I’ve gone to places I may never come close to again.”
Overall, Ashley considers herself a successful person. She believes part of it has to do with her parents’ impact on her. “They really push me to be my best,” she says, “They’ve helped me through things that I couldn’t on my own.”
When its all said and done, many students look back through the years and wonder what kind of person they were and how they’ve grown. In Ashley’s case, “I want to be remembered as someone who was always there for her peers and was always working hard.”
Featured Photo: Provided by Ashley Thacker