Class of 2020 senior Francisca Dogbe smiling outside
What grade did you start attending SLP Schools?
1st grade
What activities were you involved in while you were a student at Spring Lake Park High School?
  • Pep Band: 9th-12th grade
  • Baseball Manager: 9th-12th grade
  • Jazz Band: 11th-12th grade
  • Panther Mentors: 11th-12th grade
  • National Honors Society: 11th-12th grade
  • Knowledge Bowl: 11th grade
  • Girl's Tennis: 9th grade
What teacher or teachers have had the biggest impact on your educational journey and why?
I would say that Ms. Tycast, Mr. Lukkasson and Mr. Meier were teachers who had the biggest impact on my journey at Spring Lake Park High School.
Ms. Tycast was always someone I could turn to whether I was going through a hard time or if I just wanted a laugh. She inspires me every day to continue to be a strong, achieving woman. I look up to her. She is my role model. Ms. Tycast made me feel confident about myself and the things I have achieved. She always reminded me to think of myself in a positive way rather than a negative way. She has seen me in some of my worst times and has encouraged me and has made me feel stronger than I thought I was. Her kindness and empathy that she has showed me have helped me become the woman that I am today and will help me to inspire others.

Mr. Lukkasson also impacted my journey by giving me some life lessons. When I started band in the ninth grade, I was very insecure about the way that I played. That insecurity also was reflected in other situations outside of the band room. Mr. Lukkasson always motivated me to do my best with everything I had in front of me. When I decided to join the Jazz Band, I saw a noticeable difference. Mr. Luckkasson pushed me to be a risk-taker. He showed me that it was okay to make mistakes and celebrated me when I achieved something that I had my mind on. The day that I did my first jazz band solo set off a ripple effect of risk-taking. I was starting to become more confident in playing and that translated to different situations in my life. Mr. Lukkasson always believed that I was capable of more than I thought. This ultimately empowered me to solo when our band went to Havana and that confidence and good feeling were only possible because of Mr. Lukkasson.

Finally, the third teacher who impacted my SLPHS journey was Mr. Meier. My first encounter with Mr. Meier was unforgettable. He asked me if I was going to leadership camp during my freshman year of high school. I was a little skeptical about leadership camp at first but I still went. I ended up in his group for leadership camp, and that was the best experience of my high school career. Mr. Meier was a teacher who noticed my leadership skills and encouraged me to keep being a leader. Mr. Meier always told me to look on the bright side and spread positivity. He saw the leader in me and was always challenging me to continue to lead. Mr. Meier is the definition of a leader and I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to connect with him.

What's your favorite school memory?

My favorite school memory would have to be the showcase performance that the bands performed this year. We were able to play songs that a lot of people knew as well as had singers and dancers. The production of this event was so spectacular. It felt amazing to know that we as a whole band community were able to put on a phenomenal performance with popular artists in the time that we had.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to attend the University of California, Davis on a pre-med track. I plan on majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior as well as minor in German. I hopefully plan to attend medical school as well in hopes of becoming a surgeon.

How has Spring Lake Park Schools prepared you for your future?
Spring Lake Park Schools has given me many valuable life lessons and connections that will prepare me for the future. My connections with teachers and students have allowed me to see situations from multiple perspectives.
What advice do you have for incoming ninth graders or students new to Spring Lake Park High School?

I would say that if you are an incoming ninth grader or new student to SLPHS, you should join activities and athletics if you can. I feel like a big part of my high school experience that was super enjoyable was due to the fact that I was in clubs and sports. If you get involved with the community that you are in, your high school experience will be better off. I would also advise that you should make connections with teachers and staff members. They can be a great source to talk to whether it may be about homework or personal life. Staff members are here for you and by having a connection with them, you will have a support system. Another piece of advice is you should participate in events that are catered to you, especially for a freshman. All the freshman events, whether it is basketball, football, Coco and cram, etc., are made for you and you should take advantage of going to them. Lastly, I would say that you have to put effort into your education. If you are an incoming freshman, don't slack off. You are capable of doing a lot in your future and you shouldn't jeopardize that achievement by not giving your all. I've learned that you get what you give in high school and it is very important that you are always trying to do your best.

What are you doing to stay busy during the pandemic?
I am either working out, doing chores, baking/cooking or watching Netflix to stay busy during the pandemic.
What makes you SLP Panther Proud?

I am SLP Panther Proud because SLP has given me many opportunities to explore the things that I wanted to learn more about as well as has provided a caring and progressive environment for me to learn in. The staff members at SLPHS have mentored me, prepared me for college and have allowed me to express myself.