Academics For All’s Summit Award winner this week is Calan Szmyd.
Szmyd is a senior at Sheridan High School, and is a two-year member of National Honor Society with a 4.0 grade point average. She is taking advanced placement chemistry, French 3, pre-calculus, percussion, symphonic band, career development, photography 2, and journalism. Previously she has taken three years of English, two years of French, AP psychology, three years of history/government, four science classes, three years of math, and six music classes (including being in the orchestra her junior and senior years).
For her straight-A performance with a full class load, she has earned academic letters as a freshman, sophomore, and junior; and should earn one this year as well.
Szmyd’s favorite book is “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins. She read it quite some time ago and then saw the movie when it came out, which Szmyd describes as “Pretty good, but not as good as the book. I like the mix of romance and action, and the post-apocalyptic theme.”
As a freshman, Szmyd attended the Center for a Vital Community youth leadership camp, volunteered at the Holiday Community Dinner, and was active in the Vertical Church youth group.
As a sophomore, she help set up the Christmas stroll, helped paint a house with the Wesleyan youth group, and volunteered at the Dog & Cat Shelter fundraiser.
Last year, Szmyd traveled to Rapid City to help with a Christmas dinner and program for the He Sapa Ministry, which serves the Lakota tribes of South Dakota. She helped the Wesleyan youth group with highway clean-up projects both her junior and senior years. And this summer, she has plans to travel with that group to Nicaragua for nine days of ministry and work.
As an All-State flute player, she has been in the Wyoming All-State Marching Band twice: first in the 2011 Rose Parade, and this past year in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She enjoyed the trip to California better because she made more friends in the band that year — despite the fact that the march was longer and more gruelling. She described the trip to New York City as “It was pretty amazing to see all the big skyscrapers.” She also enjoyed seeing “Phantom of the Opera” on that trip.
During the summer of her junior year, Szmyd was a member of the University of Wyoming sponsored Wyoming Ambassadors of Music.
It was a group of approximately 140 Wyoming high school students that spent about 15 days performing in western Europe: England, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany.
Her favorite subjects in school are science and music, so naturally two of her favorite teachers are Rhonda Bell (chemistry and AP chemistry), and Diane Knutson (band).
Szmyd nominated Knutson as the teacher most deserving of our Summit Award, stating “She is like my mother-at-school.”
“It has indeed been a privilege to teach Calan for the last five years,” Knutson wrote. “We have marched in the Rose Parade and Macy’s Parade together as well as traveled to Europe with the Ambassadors of Music. I have enjoyed every minute spent with her. She is an outstanding student and musician who has the desire to make a difference in others’ lives. I will miss her next year, but I am excited to see where her dreams take her.”
She hopes to attend the University of Wyoming to “pursue at least a master’s degree in a science.”
Szmyd has not fully decided on a career, but has been talking with Dr. Ian Hunter about the possibility of becoming a physician’s assistant or a full-fledged medical doctor.
Calan is the daughter of Steve and Shellie Szmyd.