Model Student


Prototypical high school life’s best reference is found in a 60’s teen-true-crime with a dog, a group of meddling kids and a mystery van. One of the fan favorites being science nerd Velma Dinkley who is the perfect representation of a brilliant high school student with interests residing in the sciences.

Throughout the show, Velma’s schtick is that she’s always losing her glasses; and it’s always played out the same. She drops them on the ground in the midst of a case or right as a clue is in front of her, creating tension and a pause-for-laughter-moment with the audience. Velma is portrayed as the smartest member of Mystery Inc, yet still finds herself to be the clumsiest and making the most amount of mistakes. She’s so clumsy in fact, you might even begin to think there’s something more to her: maybe her glasses hold some sort of power that allows her to be smart and they’re the real reason she’s able to put together so many clues… but maybe that’s reaching. Or maybe not. Perhaps it is the same way for Truman junior Nedra Seigfreid who shares that same pair of magical glasses—though hers are plum and oval, not black and squared. 

Seigfreid is the first student to come to mind when you think of the word smart. She plans to go into Environmental Engineering after high school and prepares herself by taking some of the hardest courses Truman and its sister programs have to offer. In addition to her smarts, Siegfried is a student you’ll find everywhere: “I’m in three clubs here at school and a couple of other things outside of school. I’m the president of GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), the president of Book Club and a lead in Robotics.” Taking about ten seconds in between, she remembers, “Oh, and I’m a part of Student Senate!” Siegfried’s goal is for each club to be “successful” and to be the leader everyone else needs. This is proven when you notice that a large part of Seigfreid’s club incentives revolve around charity and volunteer work: “I do volunteer work sometimes outside of school as well.”

“But it’s also not easy,” Siegfried begins, “There are a lot of nights like this where I work on school work for hours straight because I have other things to take care of earlier.” In this, Seigfreid reminds me more of Velma—beyond the magical glasses. Perceived as the “smart girl,” Siegfried experiences struggles with academics, but also struggles because of academics: “People shove me into the stereotype of ‘smart person nerd girl’ and honestly that prevents a lot of people from actually getting to know me,” she continues, “It’s also that [people] generally have high expectations of me. B’s [seem] punishable.” Though, under the smart-effect glasses, I found a very bubbly personality belonging to someone who enjoys learning but also enjoys taking charge and helping the community and peers around them. 

The same is said by the individuals who’ve taken the time to get to know Seigfreid. Junior Ian Ferguson says, “There’s not many things that can get her super down. She doesn’t let minor setbacks stop her from making progress in whatever she’s doing,” and concludes, “I admire her optimism [and] perseverance.” 

At the beginning of Scooby-Doo, Velma is nothing more than her intelligence and brain; but when the audience began to recognize her character, they were entranced and had to know more. Model Student Nedra Seigfreid is just that. Beyond her smarts, Siegfried is a leader who wants to be there as a support, someone you can rely on and a friend to those who understand that she’s more than a pair of magical glasses. 


Earlier this year we did a story on student stress in which Nedra Siegfried played a big role:

Nedra also plays a big role in the GSA club which was featured earlier in the year:

Categories: News

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