Being named salutatorian of a graduating class of 264 students is a source of pride for Lindsey Bonte. It was just not her ultimate goal.
“I really just wanted to beat my brothers,” she said matter of factly.
Coming from a large family, all with educational and athletic accomplishments, Bonte grew up in a competitive environment. So getting one up on her band of brothers left Bonte feeling a little extra special about her recent graduation from Shelbyville High School.
A late riser to the top of her class, Bonte always produced solid grades but not the kind one would expect from someone that finished with the second best grade point average in the graduating class of 2019.
“When I was a kid I was in AE classes but I was never an all ‘A’ student or had the aspiration to be an all ‘A’ student,” explained Bonte. “It was the same in middle school. I was getting ‘B’s’ and ‘A’s’ and I was OK with it.
“My freshman year (of high school), I realized I could handle these classes. As the classes got harder, I had to be better. I took OK classes and got ‘A’s’ and ‘A-minuses’ but as I got into (advanced placement courses) I felt like I had to get ‘A-pluses.’ I think it was not more realizing I was smart, it was more I can do better and be better than my brothers. I’m really fueled by beating things that I’ve done in the past. I think I was trying finally when I got to high school.”
The challenge of bettering her brothers is now gone. But her motivation to succeed is still driving her and she thinks that will help her at Indiana Wesleyan University.
“I think I will thrive in college,” she said. “I thrive on deadlines. I am not a procrastinator at all which has worked a lot in my favor. I don’t like to wait. I like to get things done immediately. And I like to do them right.”
Through her affiliation with Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Bonte took several trips to Indiana Wesleyan over the years. Choosing to continue her educational track in Marion was an easy decision.
“I basically fell in love with the place,” she said. “It’s like a second home.”
Bonte plans to study Graphic Design and Marketing which will slow down her cheerleading career.
“I’m not doing competition (cheer) because I’m doing two degrees and that is going to be a lot,” she said. “So I am just cheering basketball and football seasons up there.”
Bonte loves children, she is spending this summer working as a nanny for a Shelbyville family, and following a track into education seemed like a reasonable plan.
“I really wanted to be a teacher for a while but I don’t know if I would have the patience for that,” she explained.
Fascinated with art and how marketing works, Bonte foresees a career as a magazine editor in her future or assisting companies with branding efforts.
“I would go to the grocery store and pick what I buy off the pretty packaging,” said Bonte of what inspired her career choice. “And I really enjoy art and the graphic side with computers.”
Bonte was active at Shelbyville High School, staying involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Latin Club, National Latin Honor Society and Student Council as well as being a cheerleader.
“I have cheered for seven years. All of junior high and all of high school – and soon to be in college,” she said.
Growing up around brothers, Bonte is a huge sports enthusiast who found her own team to compete with in cheerleading.
“I think I like the most about it is it’s a lot more physical than people give credit,” said Bonte. “Though people might dog on it that it’s not necessarily a sport, I’ve put in enough work to know it’s a sport. I know that stunting and tumbling is very athletic. It takes a lot of work.
“I also enjoy sports in general; all of my brothers have played sports. Sadly, I’m not foot-eye coordinated so I couldn’t play soccer like I wanted to. So I love that I can do cheer and be part of any sporting event I wanted to.”
Always game to do something at SHS, Bonte relishes her time walking the hallways of what is now her alma mater.
“I would like to say I was a kid who went to every event I could and so my best memories were like participating in Homecoming activities, parades, doing floats for student council, going to soccer games immediately after practice with my friends, whether to support my girls who were on the team or going to the guys’ games and supporting them. And I loved anything cheerleading that was not necessarily a game. I loved cheer camp always, I know not everyone else liked cheer camp, but I did.”
Lindsey Bonte is the daughter of Mike and Kelly Bonte. She has four brothers, two half-brothers and a half-sister in her large family.