Lauren Coffey, Indiana Academic All-Star

To say that the 2020 Valedictorian of Plainfield High School is driven would be an understatement. Lauren Coffey has earned many prestigious honors, and her focus and dedication to her academic success should not overshadow the many extra-curricular activities that benefitted from her participation and leadership.

Coffey earned several honors during her senior year. In addition to being named Valedictorian of the senior class, she was named a National Merit Finalist and an Indiana Academic All-Star.

Public and private high schools accredited by the Indiana Department of Education may nominate one senior each year to be considered for the Academic All-Star award. From these nominees, a selection committee chooses regional winners and the 40 Indiana Academic All-Stars. Selection is based on

  • A mathematical formula that combines the SAT or ACT composite score and the seven-semester grade point average; and
  • Academic achievements and honors, academic courses and academic extracurricular activities; and
  • Other extracurricular activities, community service and leadership qualities.

As a National Merit Finalist, Coffey was one of 1.6 million students who took the PSAT as a high school junior. From that pool, some 50,000 students with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores qualified for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. In February, 15,000 Semifinalists were notified that they advanced to Finalist standing.

Her next stop will be Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where she plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering as she prepares for a career in the pharmaceutical or medical field.

When asked what her academic successes represent, Coffey was quick to respond, “hard work and determination, learning how to focus and do well on big tests, and put in the work that is required to meet my goals.”

Never one to put all of her energy into the classroom,  Coffey served as secretary of National Honor Society, and was a cheerleader, student ambassador, and a member of FCA, Spanish Club, Junior Optimist and Riley Dance Marathon.

Like other seniors, Coffey will never forget the fun and school spirit she experienced during both football and basketball Homecoming weeks. As a cheerleader, she especially loved seeing the excitement and participation that her classmates brought to the events.  She added that she feels her class may be unusual in that there is a true sense of connection, with classmates showing sincere kindnesses, being welcoming and inclusive to one another.

Despite a very busy four years of high school, she wishes there’d been time to continue playing her flute in band. Even with perfect attendance throughout middle and high school, Lauren Coffey clearly made the most of every moment.