PENN LAIRD — Spotswood High School Principal Stephen Leaman ranks Sarah Figgatt as the top student he has worked with in his 35 years of public education.
So, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that the senior at Spotswood High School is one of the school’s four finalists for the 2014 Daily News-Record leadership award.
“I have worked hard, and I certainly do try to show my enthusiasm in all that I do at Spotswood, like in my activities,” Figgatt said.
The 17-year-old daughter of Steve and Joanna Figgatt plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she will major in communications and minor in psychology.
Her favorite school activity is her leadership of an anti-bullying program at Spotswood.
The program is beneficial to the community, and she enjoys helping create a happy social atmosphere in the classroom, she said.
She’s one of the top students in her class, earning a 4.259 GPA and ranking eighth in her class of 219.
When Figgatt is not excelling academically, she works as a cashier at a Food Lion grocery store and volunteers at Sunnyside Retirement Community.
In his letter of recommendation to the Daily News-Record Leadership Awards Committee, Leaman points out that Figgatt is taking the highest-level courses offered at the school in English, math and science.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Figgatt is a leader on the athletic field as well. She has served as a captain for the indoor track team, and received awards for both indoor and outdoor track.
“Sarah is recognized for her leadership and public speaking skills by her peers, teachers, administrators and community,” Leaman states.
The principal says her character demonstrates respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, citizenship, caring and fairness. She also is a person of integrity and is as dependable as they come.
Figgatt’s math teacher, Patrick McGrath, states in his recommendation letter that she has initiative and drive beyond her years.
“An extremely sharp young woman, with a great analytical mind, she understands abstract concepts readily, but is willing to ask questions when she does not,” he states.
“In my 15 years of teaching, she is the most energetic and positive young woman I have ever encountered,” McGrath wrote.
Besides maintaining a heavy course load, she participates in several extracurricular activities.
Figgatt is a co-founding member of the school’s math honor society, and also holds membership in the Spanish, Social Studies and National Honor societies, in addition to participating in the anti-bullying program.
“She is willing to participate in activities that are considered unpopular so that she may positively impact her community or for self-improvement by taking harder classes,” states McGrath.
Contact Jonathon Shacat at 574-6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org