Anastasia Stergiadis has been named “Pirate of the Year” at Riverview Community High School.
Pirate of the Year is voted on by teachers and faculty,” Stergiadis said. “It’s basically a person who lives by ARRGH, the mission statement of Riverview schools – academics, responsibility, respect, growth and honor.”
The acronym ARRGH is used for the mission statement because the mascot for Riverview Community Schools is a pirate.
The “Pirate of the Year” also represents the school at all times, donates their time and displays selflessness.
“You’re what people think of when they think of Riverview. One of my teachers called it the Heisman Trophy of RCHS,” said Stergiadis.
With her parents, Danny and Kim, and younger sister Olivia, Stergiadis has lived in Riverview her whole life. She went to Forest Elementary School.
Going into her senior year in the fall of 2019, Stergiadis was both excited to spend the momentous year with friends and teachers and a little sad that her high school years would be coming to an end.
“I was excited to enjoy and make the most of the year,” said Stergiadis. “I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I would have to.
She played varsity soccer since she was a freshman, as well as basketball, helping the team win two district championships.
By her senior year, Stergiadis was president of the Spanish Club, secretary for the RCHS National Honor Society, helped plan Cuts for Kids, a fundraiser for Children with Hairloss, served on the student council and Connection Club, a mentorship program for freshmen.
She described Riverview Community High School as her second home.
“I loved going to school. I looked forward to it every single day.”
She took advanced placement and honors classes. She wanted to be as involved as possible in her senior year.
When it came time to start applying for colleges, she had to make some difficult decisions. She’d originally planned on playing women’s soccer in college. But due to a torn ACL in her junior year and other considerations, she decided to focus her applications on academics, rather than sports.
“I had to switch what I was looking for in a college and look at them from different angles,” she said.
Stergiadis applied to and took campus tours at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, the University of Toledo, Wayne State, and Saginaw Valley State University.
“My family are diehard U-of-M fans. Blue and gold is in my blood,” she said. “But at Michigan State, it felt like home. I loved it, the programs and opportunities.”
As her senior year went on, Stergiadis looked forward to prom and graduation.
Unfortunately for the class of 2020, things got complicated in March. When the governor declared that all schools would close, Stergiadis and her friends felt some disappointment, but some hope that they’d still be able to finish the year at school.
In addition, she had hoped to come back to play her last soccer season at RCHS. After tearing her ACL last spring, it took a lot of work and effort for her to be able to get back to playing.
Sadly, Stergiadis and her classmates would not get to return to finish out the school year.
“I didn’t get to play. It was heartbreaking,” she said. “We only had one practice before the school closed.”
She was deemed captain of the team.
“The initial news hit me hard.” said Stergiadis. “I was so sad for a long time that I wouldn’t get to experience what everyone else got to experience with their senior year.”
With time, she has been able to move past the loss of the end of her senior year. She finished the year as a graduate with highest distinction, which required a GPA of 4.0 or higher, a score of at least 1240 on the SAT test, and at least six honors credits.
Riverview Community High School plans to hold a graduation ceremony for seniors Aug. 4.
“We don’t have any other details yet. I’m just excited that I get to walk across the stage in front of my friends and family who have been there to support me along the way,” she said.
“A virtual ceremony would take away a little of the sense of accomplishment, I think. It wouldn’t be as special.”
Stergiadis won several scholarships, including a Riverview Hall of Fame award, the Charles F. Mikesell Memorial Award, as well as from the Forest Elementary Parents Club, the Spanish Club, a soccer camp scholarship and a Michigan Scholar Award from Michigan State University.
“I just want to say thank you to my parents and family, the teachers and staff at RCHS, and my Spanish teacher Mrs. Kristen Weber for helping me find a passion for Spanish,” she said.
Stergiadis will start her classes at Michigan State University in the fall with a goal of majoring in humanities concentrating on pre-law, and Spanish. She hopes to be an attorney or work in public policy.