Sidney Smith’s aptitude to succeed earns her the spot as this week’s Sheridan High School Summit Award winner.
Smith carries a cumulative GPA of 3.896. “Education is very important to me,” she said. I work hard, not just to earn a high grade, but to learn the subject matter.”
Smith received academic letters her freshman, sophomore and junior years.
Additionally, she has been awarded the University of Wyoming’s Trustee Scholarship.
Not afraid of a challenge, Smith’s senior year course load includes such demanding classes as Advanced Placement British literature, AP French, AP U.S. history, AP physics, orchestra and pre-calculus.
English is Smith’s favorite subject.
“Sidney is very motivated to succeed academically,” Sheridan High School Gifted and Talented English instructor Jeanne Hackman said. “She is open to any challenge.”
Smith devotes many hours reading for academic advancement and for pleasure. Her love for reading is evident as Smith scored a 35 out of 36 on the reading portion of the American College Testing standardized test.
Her favorite novel, “Jane Eyre” written by Charlotte Bronte, finds Smith reading it many times over because of its in-depth exploration of the main female character’s feelings.
Smith relishes novels that put her in deep thought.
While most students began their musical career in the second or third grade, Smith started her musical career in the eighth grade. She has played cello in orchestra performances, festivals and clinics her freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.
Sheridan High School Orchestra Director Razmik Sarkissian guided Smith to achieve musical success.
“Mr. Sarkissian demands perfection and expects excellence,” Smith said. “He taught me that working hard results in success.”
Smith’s sheer desire to succeed playing the cello led her to earn a letter in orchestra her junior year. This was one of Smith’s most rewarding high school achievements.
Last summer, Smith developed a newly found passion for playing golf. She finds that it relieves stress in her demanding academic life. Smith is a member of the Sheridan High School Lady Bronc golf team.
Besides playing golf whenever the weather permits, Smith spends her down time hanging out with friends and family, spending many hours reading at the library and working at her mother’s printing business.
This well-rounded senior also volunteers at the Republican Headquarters, attended the Sheridan County GOP convention and various community service projects.
The strongest influences in Smith’s life are her mother, Shelleen Smith and her grandmother, Carlene Braithwaite.
Smith says of her mother, “I respect my mom’s drive to survive adversity. She is a very strong woman. She is very supportive of me and has always believed that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”
Furthermore, Smith admires her grandmother’s strong will and independence. Grandmother Braithwaite instilled a “never give-up” attitude in Smith’s quest for success in and out of school
As for her future, Smith finds the study of the mind fascinating. She intends to pursue a career in either international law or psychiatry.
“To assist people in resolving their legal issues or to prevent, diagnose or treat mental illness would be intellectually challenging,” she said.
Smith wants to exercise her French language skills by studying abroad in France for a few years. She hopes to continue her collegiate studies at Southern Methodist University, Washington and Lee University or the University of Wyoming.