O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon teen named valedictorian at Metro-East Lutheran High

Heather Moore-Malec of O’Fallon has earned the honor of valedictorian status for 2017 Metro-East Lutheran High School graduating class.
Heather Moore-Malec of O’Fallon has earned the honor of valedictorian status for 2017 Metro-East Lutheran High School graduating class. Courtesy photo

Though she’s the youngest student in her class, O’Fallon’s Heather Moore-Malec, who turned 17 in February, has earned the highest GPA in the class of 2017 at Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville.

With a 4.18 grade point average, Heather will graduate as valedictorian at MELHS on Saturday, May 20.

Heather is the daughter of retired U.S. Air Force Col. William Malec and Elizabeth Moore-Malec.

Being born in 2000 she is the youngest in her graduating class. She skipped fourth grade.

Retired USAF Col. (Ret.) William ‘Bill’ Malec

The family relocated to O’Fallon in 2004. Heather started school at First Baptist Academy in O’Fallon, then was home-schooled for four years prior to entering MELHS.

“Being born in 2000, she is the youngest in her graduating class. She skipped fourth grade,” her father said.

Heather will be attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in the fall.

“She is in both the honors college and the pre-med program. She plans to study abroad and participate in medical mission trips,” Bill Malec said.

She has taken the most difficult classes in our curriculum which distinguished her from the rest of her classmates and was always well prepared and met each challenge she faced along the way.

Jay Krause, principal at Metro-East Lutheran High School

“It has been a pleasure to have Heather as a student here at Lutheran High,” said MELHS Principal Jay Krause. “She has taken the most difficult classes in our curriculum, which distinguished her from the rest of her classmates, and (she) was always well prepared and met each challenge she faced along the way.”

“She excelled at the most rigorous college preparatory curriculum offered at MELHS. She has also earned 21 college credits,” her father said.

She excelled at the most rigorous college preparatory curriculum offered at MELHS. She has also earned 21 college credits.

Retired USAF Col. (Ret.) William ‘Bill’ Malec

Heather’s academic achievements are many, including: 2017 Illinois State Scholar; Illinois State Music Teacher’s Association Merit award; National Honors Society; 2017 President’s Education Awards program for outstanding academic excellence; MELHS 2017 Certificate of Achievement in Spanish for taking four years of foreign language; Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Scholastic 2017 Achievement Award for outstanding academic achievement by an individual while in interscholastic activities; and, WYSE is a high school academic challenge competition team.

“She is well-respected by both the faculty and her student peers,” Krause said.

She is a member of the International Thespian Society for honorary student achievement in the theatrical arts, as well as the Theater and Drama Club member, and had roles in “Suessical,” “The Sound of Musical,” and “Carousel.”

She also played varsity tennis, serving has captain her senior year, No. 1 player junior and senior year, and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player last year.

Since ninth grade, Heather has been participating in many area summer camps and workshops at Saint Louis and Washington universities, to gain added experience in the fields of her interest, science and medicine, including SLU’s School of Medicine Adventures in Med & Science (AIMS) and Wash U’s Medicine Mini Med School program.

“I enjoy helping people and science and would like to go into a constant-learning field,” Heather said when asked why she has gravitated toward the field of medicine.

I enjoy helping people and science; and, would like to go into a constant learning field.

Heather Moore-Malec

In five years, Heather said she sees herself attending medical school.

Volunteering efforts have varied, ranging from the Junior Achievement program, local blood drives and church programs and leadership. She has also helped with Lutheran Field days, home and garden shows, plus arts and craft shows.

“As a member of First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, she attends service and Sunday school each week. Where time has allowed, she has participated in the student youth group, choir, summer camps, student life, and has helped with vacation Bible school and WinShape,” her father said.

When she’s not helping those in need, studying for tests, being active at church or staying in shape with sports, Heather said she still enjoys playing the piano, which she has done since she was about 8 years old.

“There isn’t much free time,” she added.

Singing, reading, listening to a variety of different kinds of music and spending time with family and friends are other top-of-the-list things Heather enjoys, she said.

With college around the corner, Heather said she will miss “family friends and having all four seasons” the most.

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