Lauren Klepinger headed to Whitworth to study English on a full-ride scholarship

Veritas senior Lauren Klepinger would love to be the next J.K. Rowling, but even if she were to pen a fantasy series as explosively popular as the Harry Potter books, don’t expect her to shout about her success from the rooftops. That is just not her style.

In that way, she’s very much like the famous author, who has shied away from the limelight after writing a string of worldwide SETH GORDON - Best and brightest - Veritas valedictorian Lauren Klepinger finished her career with a 3.98 grade-point average and will attend Whitworth University on a full academic scholarship.

It is Klepinger’s combination of talent and humility that so impresses the faculty at Veritas School, where she will be valedictorian when the class of 2014 receives its diplomas at graduation ceremonies Friday.

“She’s one of the most curious and capable students I’ve had in a long time, but she’s the furthest thing possible away from being elitist,” public speaking and United States history teacher Geary Linhart said. “She’s one of the students that wants everybody to feel comfortable and involved.”

Linhart praised Klepinger for being an eager, yet diligent student, which propelled her to a 3.98 grade-point average.

She even created an ad-hoc creative writing group in which she provides fifth-grade students with writing prompts and reads their works aloud during lunch.

“She’ll understand something or be right on top of the curriculum, but then she’ll have a curiosity or inclination to know even more,” Linhart said. “She has this doggedness to even go after that.”

Klepinger, who has attended Veritas since the second grade, said she appreciates both the teaching style that comes with a classical Christian education at the private school, but also the emphasis on the arts, including music, writing and public speaking.

In addition to the required subject of Latin, Klepinger also took the option to study both French and ancient Greek while at Veritas.

“I’ve just enjoyed the thought process and the discussions and how much they emphasize thinking through everything and not just memorizing straight facts and information,” she said.

Klepinger will attend Whitworth University in the fall to pursue a degree in English, with an emphasis on writing, in hopes of a career in publishing.

She has already submitted her first novel, “I am Drifter,” which she completed early in high school, for publication. She is currently work on at least two others and has sent out her senior project, a play called “Society,” as well.

All of her experiences prepared her well for the Whitworth Honors Col­lo­quium, where she and other honor students were challenged to complete a group project, give a speech, participate in the discussion of an article and write a brief topical paper.

Klepinger had already been offered academic scholarships by Whitworth, but was selected as one of the winners of the colloquium and will receive a full tuition scholarship.

“I was not expecting it at all because everybody there was very smart and I met a lot of people who seemed like they had a very good handle on everything they were doing,” she said. “I was just in it for the experience and maybe I would win something.”

Klepinger has chosen to pursue publishing because she realizes her dream of becoming a fantasy author requires a lot of time and luck, but Linehan, for one, isn’t worried about things working out for her.

“She just has the curiosity to be a great dogged learner,” Linhart said. “That’s really what’s going to take her far.”

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