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The Overachiever of TV’s High School Confidential

Kimberly Winnubst (CAS’09) appears on the WE TV documentary series High School Confidential, whose final episode aired this week


Photo courtesy of WE TV

Like many high school students, Kimberly Winnubst wanted her college application to stand out. So, before she started high school, Winnubst (CAS’09) agreed to participate in a video-diary project that would chronicle her high school years. Now, three years after graduation, her story — and those of 11 classmates — appears on the WE TV documentary series High School Confidential.

“When it was happening, we didn’t think it would go anywhere,” Winnubst says. “We were just high school girls from Kansas. Who would want to watch us?” But when these girls began to face unwanted pregnancies, anorexia, the death of parents, drug problems, and in Winnubst’s case, the struggle to be “perfect,” the show became more compelling than they’d imagined. (Winnubst is dubbed “the overachiever” on the show.)

About five or six times each year, Sharon Liese, the show’s creator, sat down with each girl — as well as with family members and friends — and filmed interviews about their lives. Camera crews went to important student events, such as soccer tournaments and the senior prom. Liese then edited more than 500 hours of footage, creating eight one-hour episodes that ran on the network channel WE TV during the last two months.

The final episode of the series appeared Monday, April 28. The channel schedule, which includes rerun information, can be found here.

Winnubst describes herself as “a naïve little 14-year-old girl” in the series. But she is still driven to succeed. A philosophy and political science double major with a minor in theater arts, she tells WE TV that she also plays intramural soccer and is the historian of her sorority. “Just like in high school,” she says, “I figure I’m not doing enough unless I’m on the edge of a nervous breakdown.”

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.

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