Dakota Cramer

Senior Spotlight: Pioneer Academy’s Dakota Cramer
Posted on 05/21/2024
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Character, gratitude, kindness, grit, determination and persistence aren’t qualities that are captured in Pioneer Academy’s four-point school grading scale, but if they were, the May Pioneer Academy Senior in the Spotlight would definitely be a 4.0. When teachers and staff nominated senior Dakota Cramer, these were a few of the many characteristics that flowed from their descriptions of her. So, it is a pleasure to honor her with this recognition.

Dakota joined Pioneer as a ninth grader and has completed almost all of her coursework at Pioneer, with a short school stint done out of state. Coming out of middle school, Dakota said she lost her motivation and drive to be a great student. She stated she did just enough to survive but didn’t do what was needed to thrive. That all changed a little over a year ago when she realized the importance of school and a different approach was necessary. When asked what made her switch her thinking, Dakota referenced a home visit her counselor made that showed her how much people cared about her success. Hearing this message and receiving more daily reminders from her Pioneer teachers that “she matters,” Dakota made a decision to be a better student and gradually began to apply the skills to do so.

When asked what she felt was holding her back her first couple of years, Dakota said her lack of motivation and procrastination were the most difficult to work through. She was very appreciative of the Pioneer teachers who didn’t give up on her.

“They pushed me to meet my potential when I doubted what I could do,” she said. “They believed in me which helped me believe in myself.”

She continued to explain that with teachers like Mr. Echebarria, who made his English lessons relate to student’s lives, it helped her understand how important school was to help her develop in to the person she wanted to be.

Today Dakota is about to graduate and step out on a new adventure to continue school at Western Nevada College. She plans to get her associates degree, and then transfer to a university to study business and marketing or veterinary medicine. She said she has a passion to help animals in need but would like to possibly combine her interest of business and marketing in a future career. Though she said she is a bit nervous and apprehensive about stepping out in the world, she said she feels prepared and ready to take on new experiences.

Pioneer has had the pleasure of working with Dakota for the majority of her four years of high school, and the teachers and staff witnessing her transformation are confident in her future. We are excited to see her take on her next adventure.

(By Cary Jordan, Pioneer Academy Counselor)

All students named as a weekly Senior Spotlight are featured at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Carson City. The Rotary Club of Carson City is a vibrant and dedicated group of professionals and community leaders committed to making a positive impact. The club welcomes individuals who are passionate about service and enjoy opportunities for personal and professional growth, networking and fellowship.