September 23, 2018
School & Youth
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  • Clifford Jamieson, the valedictorian for Severna Park High School’s class of 2018, will attend Yale University in fall 2019 after taking a gap year.
    Photo by Maya Pottiger
    Clifford Jamieson, the valedictorian for Severna Park High School’s class of 2018, will attend Yale University in fall 2019 after taking a gap year.
  • Clifford Jamieson, the valedictorian for Severna Park High School’s class of 2018, will attend Yale University in fall 2019 after taking a gap year.
    Photo by Maya Pottiger
    Clifford Jamieson, the valedictorian for Severna Park High School’s class of 2018, will attend Yale University in fall 2019 after taking a gap year.

Clifford Jamieson Excited To “Explore Interests” At Yale

Maya Pottiger
Maya Pottiger's picture
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June 27, 2018

Clifford Jamieson was busy during his four years at Severna Park High School.

During his sophomore year, he was elected class president, which led to his involvement with the Student Government Association. Jamieson helped plan prom, as well as organize other student events and activities.

He was involved in Mock Trial all four years of high school, serving as the captain his junior and senior years. He even got to argue in front of Judge Cathy Vitale — and won the argument.

Jamieson participated in Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival all four years, as well as other singing and theater productions. During his freshman year with Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival, Jamieson sang a lead part in a rendition of Jackson 5’s “ABC.”

Outside of school, Jamieson served on the WoodsWork committee, which plans an annual mission trip each summer to build houses with Habitat For Humanity.

He was also the valedictorian for the class of 2018.

It all paid off. He was accepted by early decision to Yale in December.

“My dad went there. He never pushed me toward it,” Jamieson said. “He’s very ‘do what you want,’ but just visiting there and getting to know about it since elementary school, I got kind of obsessed with it, and it became my dream school.”

However, getting into Yale was not Jamieson’s sole motivation to become valedictorian.

“I think I’m naturally academically centered. I naturally enjoy doing the work and reading and studying,” Jamieson said. “It served as somewhat of a motivator, but it was more like, ‘I’m going to go ahead and do this. If I get into Yale, that’s great. If I don’t, I’m still learning and doing what I love.’”

Though he deferred from Yale for a year and won’t attend until fall 2019, Jamieson said he plans to go in undeclared. Though he has participated in a variety of extracurriculars, Jamieson said he’s never had a “dream job.”

“I’ve gone through phases of saying it would be really cool to be a lawyer, or it would be really cool to be a biological researcher, but I’m enjoying the opportunity to go to school and take a bunch of weird classes I never thought I would take and explore my interests,” Jamieson said. “From there, I think going to college and learning and being exposed to other students will lead the way.”

While at Yale, Jamieson said he wants to “take advantage of the opportunities” to join some sort of theater, singing or a cappella group.

Once he leaves, Jamieson will miss the community in Severna Park, going to the beach and taking boat rides.

“The community that we have here is very kind,” Jamieson said. “In my speech at graduation, that’s something I focused on. The students I’m around are really nice and have always been very supportive throughout middle school and high school. I’ll miss that the most.”

During his gap year, Jamieson said he plans to spend one semester working and saving money, and the other semester traveling.

“I’ll admit it was a leap-of-faith decision, which is pretty unlike me,” Jamieson said. “I’ve spent a while planning it out now.”


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