Whitehall High School senior Savannah Ross, who has been engaged over the past summer and fall in a lot of community projects, was notified last week that the project she submitted for a Girl Scouts of America Gold Award won. Ross was also named student of the month in October 2021.
Between extracurriculars and being an honor student and Junior Auxiliary member at the American Legion Post, Ross has been busy. She celebrated the opening of her Gold Award project at the Whitehall Rec Center on Nov. 21. The project consisted of research and creating signage of local wildlife that could be seen in the area.
Here is more about her acceptance of the award and her fall semester:
Q: Was the student-of-the-month award a surprise to you?
A: I was completely surprised when I got the award! I knew they did the awards in previous years, but due to Covid I believe they stopped them for a few years. I had no idea they started them again until I received it.
Q: How would you describe yourself today in comparison with who you were the first day as a freshman?
A: I’d say I’m more confident now compared to my freshman year. Before I’d miss out on lots of opportunities due to lack of confidence. So, I’ve learned that I need to step out of my comfort zones so I don’t miss out.
Q: Walk us through what your typical Monday was like last semester. Paint a picture – if you will – of what it was like.
A: A typical day varies for me depending on if it’s an “A Day” or “B Day.” On A days my first class is pop history. I really enjoy having this class first since we have a lot of discussion-based work, and it wakes me up for the day. Next I go to English 101, which is definitely the most difficult class I’m taking this year. After that my A Day ends with gym. On B Days I begin with social studies 12. Then I have photography. My third class is math and financial applications. This is the most interesting math course I’ve taken since we learn math for real-world scenarios. I then end B Days with chorus.
Q: Congratulations on winning your Gold Award! Can you say what it was like working on that while also maintaining exceptional grades?
A: There were times that is was challenging to balance both. Not only did I have to focus on school work but also my Gold Award project. I’d spend a majority of my free time from school working on my project. It was definitely worth it though!
Q: Can you explain your personal experience dealing with the transition from classroom to online learning at the beginning of the pandemic?
A: Transitioning to online learning was a bizarre experience for me. I never expected that something like that would happen. It was challenging adjusting to online lessons, especially for classes like gym. One good thing from online learning was that I got to sleep in later and every day was pj day!
Q: What is a life lesson that the pandemic has taught you?
A: The pandemic has taught me to appreciate my high school experiences more. Due to COVID I missed out on a dance recital, 10th-grade trip to D.C., attending prom my sophomore year and many other things. After having missed out on these I was able to appreciate it even more when I got to dance on stage again, got to go to Washington D.C. my senior year, and finally was able to wear my prom dress.
Q: What was your class load like last semester? What core classes were you taking? Can you tell me about your favorite and least favorite?
A: Thankfully I already passed a majority of the required classes to graduate in previous years. This allowed me to have a lot of flexibility with my schedule this year. I got to take a lot of the classes that I really had an interest in. My favorite class is photography since I can be creative with my work for the class. I wouldn’t say I have a least-favorite class, but the most challenging is English 101. This is a college English course so I’m not used to the level of work for the class.
Q: You do so much outside of school, but can you summarize what projects, hobbies and activities you were doing outside of school?
A: Outside of school I am involved in football/basketball cheer and dance. I am also a member of Girl Scouts and a Junior Auxiliary member at the American Legion.
Q: What are some things you are looking forward to after high school?
A: After high school I am looking forward to attending college. I’m excited for the new experience that I’ll have, but I’m in no rush to graduate.
Q: What does the student-of-the-month award mean to you? Has it motivated you more to continue what you’re doing?
A: I was honored to receive the award. It was great to know that I was being recognized for my academics, volunteering and other extracurriculars. The award inspired me to continue working hard and improving my academics/extracurriculars.
Q: You’ve rounded the corner and are getting closer and closer to graduation. Is there anything you’re hoping to accomplish before graduation day?
A: One of the main things I was hoping to accomplish before graduation was getting my Girl Scout Gold Award. I have been working on this project for almost a year. Thankfully I officially received the Gold Award this past week. Now I hope to maintain good grades until graduation.