Betsy Leija

Senior Spotlight


Lizzie Graff, Reporter

Betsy Leija, a flourishing senior at John Adams High School, has accomplished much over the last four years. Through her rigorous courses and avid participation in the track and cross country teams, Betsy proves that she will leave Adams high school with a positive message.

She would describe herself as kind and understanding, as well as open to talk to anyone about any topic of discussion. Her friends and family would describe her as easy-going, humorous, open-minded, available when needed, and comforting. On top of being a fantastic person, Betsy is a fantastic student. 

Betsy is a partial IB student. She has taken IB Film HL, IB English HL, History of Americas HL, and Spanish HL. Betsy said that the teacher that made the most significant impact in her high school career is without a doubt Mrs. Staton-Verduzco: “Mrs. Stanton-Verduzco is easily one of the most influential people in my life and I am so proud I get to call her my teacher as well. She is always there for her students and shows that she cares like no other teacher through her actions. I was feeling a little discouraged earlier this quarter and she went out of her way to write me a personal letter reassuring me that I knew the correct steps to take and to not judge myself so harshly. This prompted me to continue pushing myself.”

Betsy is a member of multiple teams, clubs, and organizations including NHS, SHH, Pride Club, JAVA, ISO, Model UN, Mock Trial, Track, and Cross Country; Betsy is a very busy student. Betsy was intrigued by cross country and track because Mr. Plasschaeart asked all his students to join track her freshman year, and it ended up sticking with her until senior year. She said, “At first I thought I would stay on as a manager all four years, but the team was really amazing and I found myself wanting to run alongside them and get closer. The seniors my freshman year really helped me fall in love with the sport and showed me that with hard work and determination, I could get to where they were.” 

Sports are not Betsy’s only talent, she is also a very active member of many clubs at Adams. Betsy joined NHS and SHH because she feels that they are both nationally recognized societies that reflect her personal values. A large number of her friends were in Mock Trial and Model UN, so she ended up being a part of those clubs, as well.

When it comes to Betsy’s life after college, she has a few plans. She plans on applying to DePaul University, IU Bloomington, Notre Dame, Butler University, University of Indianapolis, and Holy Cross College. She said she chose these colleges because, “I want to be able to live in a big city that still feels relatively close enough to home so Chicago is absolutely perfect for me. However, I am also really content with staying in Indiana and moving just a bit farther south in order to still feel like I moved away a bit.”

Reflecting on her four years at Adams, Betsy recalls some of her favorite memories with friends.  “One that specifically jumps out was when I was hanging out with Leti and Kika this year, and Leti and I kept saying the same things. It was really funny and weird to see how close we’ve gotten in the short amount of time they’ve been here.” If she could give any advice to underclassmen, she would tell them to get out and talk to people! “The worst that can happen is they’ll blow you off, but in that case, you can move on and talk to other people. The world is full of so many amazing and interesting people that you’ll seriously miss out on a lot by keeping yourself inside the box and not branching out.