Academics for All is pleased to announce that Katelynn Brooks, daughter of Brent and Jeanne Brooks of Sheridan, is this week’s Summit Award winner. Brooks has charted a unique course through high school, setting goals and using her remarkable organizational skills and drive to become a leader in and out of the classroom.
Brooks has a perfect 4.0 GPA, commenting, “I’m an extremely hard worker. That’s why I have the grades I do.” Her coursework has included Advanced Placement psychology as a sophomore and English 1010, a college writing course added to the high school curriculum this fall. She is currently in her second year of an agriculture business independent study and spends two periods a day at an internship with the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
Her teachers acknowledge Brooks’ work ethic, but also describe her as “extremely bright,” “a talented writer” and “very analytical.” Carol Stewart, who teaches English 1010, said, “Katelynn has such a depth of curiosity and maturity; she’s an impressive, wonderful writer. She is also very humble.”
Michael Clift, Brooks’ junior English teacher, said of her, “Katelynn’s openness and willingness to work reveal a young woman who has a rich intellectual life and an essential curiosity. She uses the same intensity to listen as she does to accomplish complex tasks.”
When she was freshman class president, Brooks decided that she wanted to eventually become the student body president. She was student body secretary as a sophomore, student body public relations officer as a junior, and is now President. According to Ward Cotton, an Agriculture Education instructor who advises the student government, “Katelynn learned every year from her successes and her failures. She has adapted and overcome obstacles. She’s now an outstanding president. Her leadership skills are really good.”
Brooks points to public speaking as another of the skills she has had to develop to succeed in student government. She organized and emceed the homecoming pep assembly this fall, which multiple teachers assessed as “one of the best ever.”
Brooks competed as the No.2 singles player on the varsity tennis team for three years. She credits tennis with helping her develop mental toughness and learning how to “withstand a tremendous amount of tension and pressure.” Clift noted, “Her work ethic turns into a fiercely competitive edge when she plays.”
Brooks is a member of National Honor Society and FFA. Since eighth grade she has volunteered almost 200 hours at the senior center. She’s competed in varsity soccer as well as tennis.
Brooks describes herself as “good at planning ahead and deciding how much time is needed to complete a task well.” That trait and a willingness to prioritize help her manage time and meet her many commitments. She played violin from first grade through last year, when she was in the All State Orchestra. But she stopped playing this year, saying, “I couldn’t invest enough time to reach my full potential.”
Brooks expects to attend the University of Wyoming and study business administration. She hopes to go on to study international business and diplomacy. She would like to “work alongside individuals in oppressed parts of the world, helping them find a trade and getting their products to market.”