By Elizabeth Lowe
BROOKLANDVILLE – Samm Stewart has earned high marks in the classroom during her high school career – despite playing five sports.
“Sports have helped me balance my time – it keeps me focused,” said Stewart, a senior at Maryvale Preparatory School who has a 4.21 GPA and takes advanced placement and honors courses. “I go to school, then I have my sports, then I do my homework. Keeping myself busy … helps me get everything done.”
Stewart was one of 60 seniors – three from each of the 20 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore – honored by the Department of Catholic Schools at the 21st Distinctive Scholars Convocation April 23.
Other honors include being a member of the French, Math and National Honor societies.
This spring, Maryvale faculty members made Stewart the school’s nominee for the annual McCormick Unsung Heroes, for being a role model, her character and sportsmanship.
“It’s an honor to be nominated,” she said. “I do what I have to do and do it well and hopefully others will see that.”
“She’s just an all-around great girl, very committed to her sport as well as her school work,” said Terri Moeser, Maryvale’s athletic director. “She leads by example, always has a smile on her face, team leader on-and-off the court, just somebody that encompasses everything Maryvale strives for girls to do.”
As Student Council president, the 17-year-old leads weekly school-wide announcements and helps plan school fundraisers.
Stewart, who graduates June 7, will head in the fall to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she plans to major in biomedical engineering.
“She is a woman of integrity, she is intelligent and she has a great sense of humor,” said Mary Pat Tilghman, Maryvale’s campus minister. “She has a lot of choices in her future. She’s going to make a big difference.”
A parishioner of St. John in Westminster, Stewart attended its parish school for nine years.
“It (my faith) has been something that has been a really important part of my life because it has been a part of my everyday life,” Stewart said. “It’s constant. I can go to my faith.”
Her service work includes volunteering at St. Vincent’s Villa Residential Treatment Center in Timonium and Camp St. Vincent, a summer camp for homeless youths at Patterson Park in Baltimore.
“I love kids,” Stewart said.
At Maryvale, Stewart has played junior varsity lacrosse and varsity softball. This year, she played varsity field hockey, basketball and now badminton.
“I wanted to do a spring sport,” Stewart said. “I tried lacrosse and it was OK, I tried softball and it was OK.”
Stewart is excited she had the opportunity to be a member of the Lions’ badminton team, which made its debut this spring.
“It’s just so fun and it’s different from all the other sports I’ve played,” Stewart said. “I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”
Maryvale Preparatory School
Credentials: Parishioner of St. John in Westminster; Student Council president; Distinctive Scholar, member of the French, Math and National Honor societies; plays varsity field hockey, basketball and badminton; will attend the University of South Carolina
Copyright (c) May 11, 2013 CatholicReview.org