A lifelong artist, BKW’s top student will pursue her dream of animation

Nicole Carr

— Photo from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District

Nicole Carr

BERNE — Nicole Carr has always loved art and drawing, and she has known from a young age how she wanted to pursue this passion in a career.

Carr, who is 18 and from Berne, overheard when she was 5 years old a family friend say that she was going to be studying animation at college.

“And then it clicked,” said Carr.

Carr, who is the 2019 valedictorian at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, will be studying digital media and animation at Alfred State College.

“I’ve always loved movies, like Disney movies … ,” she said. “I never grew out of them.”

When asked about her career aspirations, Carr said it would be amazing to work for Disney, but she also noted that Blue Sky Studios, best known for producing the movie “Ice Age,” is located not too far away in Connecticut.

Carr has entered some of her work in art shows. Her usual medium is Copic markers — a popular brand for comic-book artists — on paper, but she has recently started drawing digitally.

Carr also creates comics. One revolves around a character whom she said somewhat resembles her. Another is titled “Meet Stu,” about her cat named Stuart.

“I used to bring people over to meet Stu,” Carr explained, of the title.

Carr, who has attended BKW since kindergarten, is a member of National Honor Society and the student service society — a program in which students help raise money for or participate in charitable works. She has also been a part of the stage crew for the school musical.

Carr has competed on the school’s MasterMinds team, a quiz-bowl style academic competition.

“It’s kind of like ‘Jeopardy,’” she explained.

She recalled a tournament involving school staff, where she and the other members of MasterMinds taught the teachers how to play.

“Everyone said they had a lot of fun,” she said.

Carr had to prepare two speeches before graduation. One is her speech as valedictorian at the commencement ceremony. The other is for her younger brother’s eighth-grade moving-up ceremony.

She said that she hopes to congratulate her peers and their hard work in her speech at graduation. She also wants to thank those who contributed to her and her fellow students’ education.

“Because it’s something I value more than anything,” she said. “And my parents taught me that education is the most important thing.”

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