default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Lodi High School valedictorian Elizabeth Long plans to study civil engineering

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Elizabeth Long

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:08 am, Fri May 25, 2012.

Elizabeth Long, 18, was giddy with excitement standing at the entrance to the Grape Bowl on Thursday night. She had a speech to give, awards to receive, and four years of college work staring her in the face. But that wasn't her main concern.

"Right now, I'm just hoping my bobby pins hold," she said, pressing her white cap tightly to her red-gold curls.

The girl who earned a 4.619 grade-point average and valedictorian status toyed nervously with the end of her gold honor cord as she waited to line up with the rest of her class.

Straight As were Long's main goal when she entered high school. But on the way to that end, she found herself on the path to valedictorian.

The inspiration for her speech came to Long in the shower. Many people had advised her to begin with a quote, but she preferred to give her own message.

"It's about being your own person, even if that goes against all advice," she said.

In the fall, Long will study civil engineering at University of California, Berkeley. Then she'll shoot for a master's degree in architecture before starting on that career.

She wouldn't have done it if science teacher Todd DeGrandmont hadn't encouraged her.

"He thought I'd be good at it, and pushed me to try," she said. "He cares about teaching, and it shows."

As for this summer, Long doesn't have any plans.

"I'm just going to wing it, and see what life brings," she said.

Long attended Reese Elementary School and Elkhorn School. Her parents are Dave and Linda Long. Her sister Catherine Long, 15, just completed her freshman year at Lodi High.

Long is a member of the California Scholarship Federation and competed in Science Olympiad. Last year, her Rube Goldberg project earned third place at a regional competition.

Long said her dad was absolutely instrumental in getting through school.

"He bailed me out so many times," she said.

Long likes to run and competed on both the track and cross-country teams.

One day, she hopes to travel to Spain to brush up on her Spanish language skills, or Paris to visit the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

She has had some exposure to international travel. The summer before high school found Long in the Ukraine on a mission trip with her church, painting houses and helping to harvest hay.

"It turns out language isn't as much of a barrier as you might think. Once you get in there and try to talk, you can usually communicate," said Long.

The moments before the ceremony were ticking away, and Long was lost in thought.

"I'm just really proud of all of us. I think we have a shot to really do something in this world," she said. "If you put in the time and you put in the work, you can make it happen."

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com. For more information about local education issues, read our Education Café blog.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists