McKenzie came to Mesa this year from Norco High School, and so far she loves it here.
“There’s nothing that I dislike about this school. I like it a lot better. This school has a lot more school spirit and they’re a lot more together and accepting of each other.”
However, in the beginning, McKenzie had a hard time coming to Mesa because she didn’t know anybody.
“At first, I was mad because I have moved around a lot so when I settled in Norco and had my group of friends, I liked Mesa, but I didn’t want to leave my friends.”
One thing McKenzie struggles with is the perception that people have of her as Mrs. Soldin’s daughter as opposed to who she really is.
“I am her daughter, but I am my own person,” McKenzie said.
Being at Mesa, she has learned: “How to accept who I am and not care what people actually think of me and make a lot more friends and that changed me.”
This has worked to make her a stronger person.
“I know people who talk behind my back and I know stuff like that just comes with being a teacher’s daughter, so it’s just made me stronger.”
Mrs. Soldin agrees with McKenzie as well.
“I think it’s unfortunate because she is not me. She is somebody totally different. She’s got her own personality and her own way of doing things. I think she’s a great girl to know and so many students may enjoy or not enjoy my class because I’m an adult, I’m not a peer, and I may be tougher on students and allowing late work or not allowing late work and she doesn’t have anything to do with that, she’s just a student, a kid, like the rest of you guys and she shouldn’t be judged based on things that I do or don’t do.”
She also added, “It’s nice [for McKenzie to be at Mesa] because as a parent it allows me to be more on top of her education by making sure she’s enrolled in the right classes and doing what she’s supposed to be doing. It allows me to have great communication with the teachers, especially because I know them. And it’s easy for me to attend any of her activities because I know that they’re going on and when they’re going on. And when she was in Norco, it was quite far away from where I worked that I’d have to rush out of here and go watch her games. Then I wouldn’t be able to see some of my Mesa events and I really love watching my Mesa students, so it kind of combines the two so it’s the best of both worlds.”
McKenzie is involved with Mesa’s cheer and drama programs and hoped to next year join choir. Her two current interests are the things she is most passionate about at Mesa.
“They’re pretty much different sides of me. Cheer’s my more athletic side and drama’s my more artistic side.”
McKenzie hopes to “Get to know as many people as I can and talk to me. I know that might not be possible, but I just want a lot of people to get to know me as more than Mrs. Soldin’s daughter.”
When asked about her most favorite thing at Mesa she said, “My most favorite thing at Mesa would probably be homecoming because it topped last year’s homecoming because I got to dress up. Last year it was very casual so I wore jeans and a sweater.”
One thing McKenzie is looking forward is “Making more and better friends and being a part of Varsity Cheer and being a part of drama and hopefully be in choir next year. And just being more involved with the school.”