Will Buerger, 18, was chosen by his classmates to give Mt. Lebanon High School’s 2018 commencement address, “The Impact of a Smile.” He lives on Mayfair Drive with his parents, Dan and Laura, and his sisters, Emma, 20, and Rebecca, 15. Will was student body co-president for the class of 2018. He was a member of marching band, drumline, orchestra, and choir; principal percussionist with the percussion program, and played leading roles in many musicals, including Daddy Warbucks in last spring’s “Annie.”
What about your Mt. Lebanon education has prepared you well for college and life? Reflecting on my high school experience as a whole, many of my best teachers taught me how to learn and how to love learning. Those are skills that I’ll need for my whole life and will hopefully serve me well.
What about Mt. Lebanon High School might you like to see changed? As with other academically distinguished schools, there is a culture of high pressure that now seems to originate within the student body itself, so it’s easy to lose yourself. I hope more students realize they’re at school to learn and develop passion, not to earn grades or get into college.
Politics and parents aside, who is your hero? There’s not one singular person who I view as my hero, but two people I particularly admire are Lin-Manuel Miranda and Elon Musk—role models who push the envelope of what’s expected with an unbelievable drive.
Is there a single high school experience that stands out? Performing in the high school spring musical each year. As a freshman, I auditioned on a whim, and those shows were where I developed most into the person I am today.
What advice would you give someone who hopes to do well at Mt. Lebanon High School? Academics are important, but don’t lose sight of your well-being. Make time to find your niche, discover yourself, and realize what makes you tick; that’s how you’ll be successful in high school.
Will is studying computer science and biochemistry at Brown University. Read where the rest of the Class of ’18 is studying here.