Sara Gallagher is Nansemond River High School’s 2013 valedictorian. She has her sights set on a career in politics after being inspired by her AP government class and watching debates during the presidential election.
Sara Gallagher is Nansemond River High School’s 2013 valedictorian. She has her sights set on a career in politics after being inspired by her AP government class and watching debates during the presidential election.

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NRHS valedictorian D.C.-bound

Published 8:23pm Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nansemond River High School’s 2013 valedictorian sees herself breaking partisan deadlocks in Washington later in life.

Sara Gallagher, an aspiring politician, learned of her achievement only on Thursday.

“I kind of knew all year,” she said, “(but) I think three of us (were) tied at the beginning of the year.”

Gallagher’s interest in politics has bloomed only lately — thanks to Wayne Goin’s advanced placement government class and watching the televised debates during last year’s presidential election season.

“The class was great,” Gallagher said of AP government. “At the beginning of the year I had no idea what I wanted to major in.

“I have gotten really into government, and want to do something with that.”

So when Gallagher ships off to The Catholic University of America in the fall, conveniently located in Washington, she’ll major in political science, she said.

“They have an internship program, and I’m hoping to get one on Capitol Hill in my junior year,” she said.

Like most Americans, Gallagher isn’t a fan of the partisan bickering in Washington.

“It’s frustrating, seeing everybody not getting on when there’s a simple solution,” she said.

“All the history points to one answer, but nobody will get to it.”

Gallagher’s toughness on the soccer field could serve her well in Washington politics. She has played soccer since she was about 3. She is also captain of the swim team, a member of the BETA Club, and works part time at Chesapeake Square Plato’s Closet.

Ultimately, Gallagher would like to be a senator, she said, adding she has “a pretty firm opinion” on most issues of the day.

“Like gun control — I think that’s stupid,” she said. “It’s not going to stop the crime, they are still going to get guns. I don’t have solutions to every problem yet, but I have a pretty good idea of right and wrong.”

Gallagher has been completing her exams with her leg in a brace after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament playing soccer. She has the same operation on the opposite knee last year.

“I have to make up my AP lit test on the day of prom, because I missed it,” she said.

When Gallagher learned she was valedictorian, she took a photo of the letter and sent it to her parents and sister.

“My sister saved it so she can scrapbook it,” she said.

“I was just proud of myself.”

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