Thompson is Star Youth

Her spirit gives so much to so many.
Lisa Marie Thompson is a senior at Richmond High School. She is the daughter of Rodney and Linda (Clark) Thompson of Richmond. She has a 15-year old brother, Dean.
If anyone took the Carnival Cruise Lines’ plug to “Get out there,” it would have to be Lisa. She has been involved in so many different activities, she couldn’t be any more well rounded.
“In this day in age, teens of course face many issues. One that always seems to be present is the overwhelming question, ‘Who am I?'” Teens spend almost all of high school trying to figure this out. They work so hard just trying to find their niche,” Lisa said. “Every day, teens just want to figure out their personal identity – to figure out what they really want and what true talents lie inside them. It is an ongoing battle to simply figure out where you fit in.”
In just four years of high school, Lisa did work hard to find herself. She seemed to fit in just about any and everywhere. That’s where you found her. Somehow, she managed to be a part of practically everything RHS had to offer and still get good grades.
Beginning with activities that she was involved in for one year, Lisa was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Newspaper, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and served as a manager for Cross Country. She also tried her hand, and feet, at pole-vaulting her freshman year proudly making the varsity team.
Lisa spent two years as a member of Key Club, and served as wrestling manager. She joined student council, serving as junior class president, and is currently the senior class president. She has been a member of Future Business Leaders of America for the past three years, serving as secretary her junior year and vice-president her senior year.
But, it was band, cheerleading and track that claimed her heart throughout the four years in high school.
Lisa started on the flute in the sixth grade, and has now accomplished seven years on the instrument. The past three years she has been second chair. She made All Conference Band two years and the past three years has been the drum major, leading the RHS Marching Spartan Band in parades and onto the field.
“It was amazing being the drum major,” Lisa said. “It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever done. It took real leadership — something I’ve never had before. To lead over 65 people was awesome.”
As a varsity cheerleader all four years, Lisa is senior captain. The tiny, dark-haired beauty resembled Tinkerbell in her role as ‘flyer’ in many of the cheerleading stunts. She has also been on the varsity track team and was awarded the All Conference Academic Award.
One of the highlights of her senior year came during football season when she was crowned Homecoming Queen, voted by the students of Richmond High School. When her name was announced as the 2009 Homecoming Queen, she said she smiled broadly as tears of appreciation trickled down her cheeks.
Lisa’s activities didn’t end on the RHS campus. She was part of a youth group for three years, and a little league cheerleading coach for two years. She completed over 35 hours of community service as part of her National Honor Society commitments, and two years serving over 10 hours in community service for Key Club.
With so many organizations and activities on her resume, Lisa can adamantly say, “My advice for students is to get involved! Get involved in your school and community. I feel that this is the best way to truly find yourself and figure out what you love. Get involved and don’t hold back. Try different things as often as you can and take a chance whenever it’s available. Don’t go through life wishing you could have done something. Don’t be afraid of getting out there and making yourself look like a complete fool! Don’t be afraid to be passionate about something or to try something for the first time.”
To that end, Lisa ventured forth into theater for the very first time in her life in this spring’s RHS Drama Club production of “Our Town.” Though she kept saying she “just had a little part,” she put as much effort into it as she would’ve if she were in a starring role. Having really enjoyed this new experience, she said she wished she would’ve gotten into doing plays sooner.
Another new pathway, er, runway for Lisa was her entry into the Miss Ray County Scholarship Pageant on March 20 at the Farris Theatre. As one of nine contestants, Lisa was in a new and unfamiliar world. True to her ‘go for it’ nature, she put her all into the competition and had a great time. The audience voted Lisa the “People’s Choice” winner.
Lisa is very proud and passionate about Richmond – the community, the school and her senior class. She talks about all of them often.
“The most positive thing I see in our school is the rise in school spirit. I can’t even express the happiness I feel seeing red and white everywhere. Friday nights on the football field and on the basketball court will only bring back incredible memories, because of the amazing support we had. I swelled with pride every time I watched the bleachers fill up,” she said.
“I love my town and I love that they support us 100 percent. I can’t express the appreciation I have for the people,” Lisa continued. “The only improvement I could see in our town is even more school and community involvement with each other.”
If dynamite comes in small packages, then this young lady is a real firecracker. She urges the youth work together to put their best feet forward wherever they are, at school and in their communities.
“Youth need to give back to their community and show them they care,” she said. “Always go out there for your school and community. They have supported you all your life, and now it’s time to repay them. Work to get more involvement in school, and strive to make your town and community a better place. You can never do enough, but yet every little bit helps.”
Lisa gets emotional as she talks about her classmates. She really does have great pride in them and their possibilities. Her energy is contagious, as is her positive attitude. She talked about the remaining weeks and months as they sweep past her, knowing her precious senior year and life at RHS is drawing to a close.
If Lisa could share one thing with her classmates, it would be for them to know how much she really cares about each one of them and how important it is for them to support each other.
“Youth can help each other by being supportive of each other. Back each other up, and show you care,” she smiled. “My best example of this would be my class. I am so incredibly proud of my class and I brag about them everyday (noted!). They mean the world to me and they are all I know. I wanted to make the speech at graduation just so there would be someone who meant every word they said, and truly cared about this class. I want them to know how special they are and how much they have affected my life. To feel like that about your peers is what I believe will help our youth.”
Lisa plans to attend Missouri State University and major in political science. She hopes to go on to law school in Washington, D.C. and establish herself in international law and affairs.
Photo: Above: Lisa captures an almost Mary Tyler Moore pose. (Courtesy of Tom Schmidt Photography)

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