Mineral County High School student Amanda Rivero.

When Amanda Rivero smiles, her bright eyes reflect the brightness inside, as she honestly admits her favorite subject in her junior year at Mineral County High School is pre-calculus. With an ease toward math, her logical brain has benefited her scholastic journey toward becoming a high achiever.

“Grades count,” Rivero explained. “There’s a spirit of friendly competition among the students here, as we all try to aim high. The school testings’ have changed over the last few years, but this is the year I have to concentrate on great ACT testing scores to hit my college goals. What I concentrate on now will pay off later.”

ACT testing emphasizes English, Math and Science scores, with a possible 36 points, but minimum points are required to graduate within the State’s standards which are then measured against national averages. Students are encouraged to build toward a solid scoring to assist in their future college or career choices.

As an articulate young woman, Rivero is smart enough to balance a busy lifestyle that includes getting up at 4 a.m. on Saturday mornings to properly open McDonalds early morning shift. Besides working and holding a full time high school schedule, she balances a sports life on the seasonal high school girls’ softball team which is revving back up this month. If that weren’t enough, Rivero is also involved in taking a college course in Administrative Criminal Justice, which will contribute toward the career path she has already chosen in law enforcement.

“I watch all the shows about criminals and especially the investigative ones. My favorite would be Special Victims, probably because they are really helping people come out of bad situations. I would prefer that type of law enforcement because I like to help others and there’s a need to accomplish something that brings justice.”

Rivero shared that she was in the middle of writing a paper that weighs arrests and policing efforts between ethnic groups. Using the examples from the Ferguson, Mo. uprisings, the students are drawing a conclusion regarding unjust arrests and fair policing behavior.

Rivera is also hoping to see the four-day school week pass, stating that the athletes usually miss part of Friday’s classes due to away games. Rivera acknowledged that living in a rural area and playing sports means there is transportation time which isn’t great for the teachers that loose part of their students. “During any season, the athletes have to leave early which messes up the learning time for the Friday afternoon classes. I think it would be better for the teachers and the students because we wouldn’t be missing classroom instruction and have makeup work.”

With a simple elective class in her school schedule, she elected to be a teacher’s assistant in the pottery class, to help stimulate her creative side. Looking forward there were two aspirations in her future.

She will be joining the police academy right out of high school and she’ll be playing great soft ball this season because her father, Cory Rivero is the head coach. “He can’t play favorites, so I need to pull my own to show everyone that I’m playing on my own abilities.”

Her comments show Rivera is smart in many ways, including her well-honed people smarts.