On Thursday night at Commencement for the Deer Park Class of 2017, senior Troy Bosse will address his fellow classmates as valedictorian—the top of his class after four years of hard work.
Troy’s mom—and Deer Park Board of Education President—Peggy (Compton) (’88), will be looking on. But for the mom of three Deer Park graduates, as well as one herself, the sight will not be unfamiliar. In fact, 29 years earlier, she stood in the same spot, the valedictorian of her class.
Troy’s brother, Ryan (’14) will be there, as well. In 2014, Ryan also stood at the podium. Another valedictorian. Troy’s sister Katelyn (’16): she’ll be in the crowd also, likely reminiscing about standing on the same stage just a year ago.
Three children of a Deer Park valedictorian; three valedictorians themselves.
“We never really talked about that,” Ryan said discussing whether there was pressure to follow in mom’s footsteps. “It wasn’t what we focused on. If anything, it was mom helping me by going over my homework. She helped critique all of my papers. The valedictorian thing was never focused on.”
Ryan, now a rising senior at Trine University where he plays soccer, is involved in Greek life and participates in service groups, said his parents were much more concerned about their kids doing their best.
“It was just an expectation that you’re going to get A’s because you have the capability to get A’s,” Ryan said. “Do everything you can to get good grades and if you don’t what was the reason?”
Katelyn, heading into her second year at Belmont University, echoed the same sentiment, adding landing at the top of her class was much more about her own accomplishments, rather than living in a shadow.
“I didn’t feel pressure, but it was something that I wanted to do,” she said. “Once I saw that I was on track to reach that, I said, ‘OK, I’m going to do this.’ I received so much support from both my family and my teachers. It was always something that I just hoped that I could do.”
Katelyn remains very involved at Belmont, working for the Athletic Department, joining a sorority and traveling for service projects.
With Ryan and Katelyn setting the bar high, one would think the pressure would be on for the final graduating member of the Bosse family this year. Not the case.
“I never really felt very pressured at all,” Troy said. “I didn’t even notice it really. I just did my work. My mom made sure my work was done and done well. Sometimes I would do it just as fast as I could. She made me take my time and do it right.”
Troy will join Ryan at Trine to play soccer and major in engineering this fall.
Peggy is certainly proud of her children’s accomplishments, but is very quick to push all of the credit toward them.
“Honestly, it was easy,” she said. “As a parent, it’s really easy when they’re young. We sat and we did homework together. We read together. They just owned it from there—a lot of hard work on their part.”
With three children now set to be sitting in college classrooms, Peggy and Gary Bosse—who is president of the Deer Park Wildcat Boosters—now can take a second to reflect on all that has been accomplished by their children.
“Gary and I are extremely proud,” Peggy said. “We’ve always instilled good values and good study habits, but who would’ve ever thought this? It’s kind of surreal actually.”