Academics for All announced this week’s Summit Award recipient, Ashley Phillips. Phillips has built an impressive high school resume, which includes a 3.92 GPA, seven Advanced Placement courses and several extra-curricular activities.
As a Sheridan High School senior, Phillips has completed AP U.S. history, psychology, government, English literature, biology and statistics, as well as an independent study European history course. In addition, she is enrolled in four college courses through Sheridan College.
Phillips’ passion for history and government was first sparked while taking U.S. history with SHS teacher Kevin Rizer. She has nominated Rizer as an outstanding educator.
“Mr. Rizer is an excellent teacher who not only instructs students in the classroom, but also in life and on the field every day,” Phillips said. “He truly connects with students while offering different perspectives and sharing his personal experiences to ensure students are prepared for life beyond high school.”
Rizer said he is impressed with Phillips’ character and passion for learning.
“Ashley is one of the most driven and ambitious students I have ever worked with. Academically, she is both extremely hard working and intelligent,” Rizer said. “I am even more impressed with her character, however. She gives selflessly to students in my AP U.S. history class as a tutor to those struggling. As my teaching assistant during government class, Ashley both helps those students, and myself as well. Ashley’s integrity is most impressive. If she says she will do something, it will be done. Ashley has been a consistently great student, but she is an even better person.”
While balancing a challenging course load, Phillips also participates in Model United Nations, SHS band, We the People and the spring musicals. Her love of the theater began in third grade while she was participating in Tandem Productions. Rehearsals have begun for this year’s SHS musical, “The Boyfriend.” She is excited to perform this year under the direction of SHS music teacher Stephanie Zukowski.
Phillips began playing the trombone in seventh grade and has enjoyed the family atmosphere created by SHS band instructor Diane Knutson. Further, she explained that Knutson doesn’t just provide music lessons, she also teachers life lessons, including the importance of being a good person. Knutson values the time she has shared with Phillips.
“Ashley Phillips is a very talented musician and an outstanding person,” Knutson said. “Although she is extremely smart, Ashley also has the ability to laugh at her own mistakes and, because of this, is extremely fun and easy to have in class. Ashley is a great role model, and I value her positive attitude in my class. I’m so excited to see where the future takes her.”
In addition, Phillips is a member of Interact club, Junior City Council, National Honor Society, Student Council, Grace Anglican youth group and Big Brothers Big Sisters. When asked how she manages a rigorous and demanding schedule, she explained that her father, Paul Phillips, is very supportive of her.
“Being a teacher, he has encouraged me to work hard in school and has provided the tools to develop my own work ethic based on self-motivation,” Phillips said.
Phillips’ success goes beyond the classroom as she is also employed at Dairy Queen. She began working in August 2015 and was quickly promoted to shift manager. She enjoys the daily challenges, customers and especially getting to know her staff.
Following graduation, Phillips plans to attend the University of Wyoming as a recipient of the 2018 Trustees’ Scholars Award, the University of Wyoming’s top academic scholarship. She is planning to pursue degrees in secondary education, social studies and criminal justice. Academics for All congratulates Ashley Phillips!