WAYNESBORO – Anna Fridley is someone you would like to have on your side.
The Waynesboro High School senior is very interested in counterterrorism, and that may one day become her focus.
“My dream is to work for the CIA and help with counterterrorism,” she said.
Fridley admits that she has been influenced by family members, one of whom works for the FBI and others who are in government.
“I went to Georgetown this summer for an international relations program and got to go to the Chinese embassy. And I got to to talk to the former director of the CIA,” she said. “I was also on Capitol Hill and talked to congressmen. That confirmed my interest in government and counterterrorism.”
For now, all that seems quite distant.
The Waynesboro senior is finishing up a very successful high school career both athletically and academically.
And for her accomplishments, she has been selected as the school’s winter nominee for the City/County Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
Fridley is very adept in both swimming and soccer. By the time she graduates, she will have accumulated four varsity letters in swimming, and two in soccer.
“Swimming is very individual and probably the most mentally challenging,” she said of the two. “You have to believe in yourself or it can completely change your race.
“For soccer, I love it because it’s team oriented. You have to work with everyone on the field. Also, it’s a contact sport. You get to be aggressive.”
For Fridley, a four-year high school goal was accomplished recently when she advanced to the regionals as part of the 200 individual medley relay where her part was the 50 breast stroke.
“That’s always been a goal of mine,” she said of the regionals.
Having garnered all-district and all-regional honors, it is now off to the 3A State Meet this Friday where she will be swimming in the 400 free relay.
The Waynesboro senior started swimming when she was five years old. By the time she was nine, she was part of the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club.
Later, she advanced to the high school team, first on the jayvees as an eighth-grader and then the varsity since her freshman year.
During her varsity career, she has swum the 100 breast, 100 butterfly, 500 free and the 200 intermediate relay.
“My favorite is the 100 breast stroke,” she said. “I’ve started getting really good in it.”
Just like swimming, Fridley became involved in soccer at a young age. “It was around the age of four, and I was with the youth soccer programs until I was 11, at which time I started travel soccer,” she said.
She moved into the high school program as an eighth-grader on the jayvee squad, and advanced to the varsity as a junior.
On the pitch, you can usually find her as a midfielder.
“I can set up opportunities for us to score a goal, and also play defense for stops,” she said.
Academically, Fridley excels in the classroom with a 4.1 grade point average. She currently ranks 12th in a senior class of around 200 students. Government is her favorite subject.
Fridley carries a rigorous senior class load. At the Governor’s School, she takes AP statistics and AP environmental science along with dual enrollment geospatial information systems through James Madison University.
At Wilson, her courses include AP government and dual enrollment English through Blue Ridge. By the time she graduates, she will have accumulated 40 college credits.
Despite a rigorous athletic and academic schedule, Fridley still has time for numerous extracurricular activities.
She is the vice president of her senior class, secretary of the honor council and chairman of the prom committee as well as a member of the National Honor Society.
She has been in the school choir, and for two years, has participated in the school musical. She has been involved in art for three years and is a member of the pep club.
For Waynesboro Public Schools, she participated on the grading committee. She is also a part of its facilities committee on whether to renovate the present high school or recommend the construction of a new building.
Outside school, she is a member of the Youth Philanthropy Council of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.
During summer, she is a lifeguard at Waynesboro’s War Memorial Pool and also helps as a swim coach at summer meets.
Fridley has been accepted at the College of William and Mary. She also considered Christopher Newport, the University of Virginia and James Madison University.
“At William and Mary, I love the class size, school size, professors and club sports. It’s perfect for me. I plan to major in political science with concentrations on counterterrorism.”
Waynesboro Athletic Director Derek McDaniel has nothing but praise for its senior selection.
“She’s just a well-rounded individual,” he said. “She’s very active in school and involved in many things. She’s a great athlete and role model. She’s what you look for in your leaders, and will be successful in whatever she does.”
Each public school from Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro selects fall, winter and spring nominees, then selects one finalist. One finalist will also be chosen from nominees made by area private schools.
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