Valedictorian: Sarah Schechter


Katie Walsh , Staff Writer

Sarah Schechter’s group of friends have a saying when faced with a dilemma — they say, “WWSD,” or “What would Sarah do?”

     It means a lot to Schecter that her classmates look up to her and follow her example.

With a 4.75 grade point average, Schechter is graduating Danbury High School as the valedictorian of the class of 2017.

  When she was told during her sophomore year that she was No. 1 in her class, she became motivated to “make it a goal to stay there.”  She calls it “an honor to be valedictorian and it’s amazing to see all the hard work come out to this.”

  Schechter is a dedicated and determined student who “works hard and tries to do well in all classes.” She states that she “talks with [her] teachers about how to improve [her] grades and study habits to achieve the best grade possible in that class.”

    English teacher Christina Taylor- Riendeau, who was Schechter’s English III teacher and now her YPP teacher,  commends Schechter on her qualities of “dedication, determination, willingness to work with her peers, kindness and her analytical yet passionate nature.”

    Taylor-Riendeau considers Schechter her “right-hand and friend.”

“I think she’s the best. She’s just a great person and motivates me,” she says.

     Aside from the classroom, Schechter is involved in multiple clubs and sports teams. She gives back to the community through helping out with church choir and youth group. She is a part of DHS’ National Social Studies Honors Society, National Honor Society and Board of Governors’ executive council.

    Schechter has run cross-country, indoor and outdoor track for all four years of her high-school career. During her senior year, she was a captain for cross country and the outdoor track and field team. Her teammate and friend, Julianna Carney, applauds Schechter’s incredible job as captain.

“She is a great leader, as she is a great role model for what it means to be a student athlete,” Carney says.

   Being a student-athlete can be challenging, but Schechter made a plan to work for her.  “I try to manage my time and make sure I am able to do both sports and academics,] to the best of my ability. I would make lists for tasks I had to complete and keep myself organized to make sure everything was done on time.”

  Carney praises Schechter for her determination in everything she does, “Sarah is so special because of her unbelievable work ethic. She can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to, which is what allows her to succeed both as a distance runner and as a student. Sarah is never satisfied with a task until she has given it all of her effort, and her immense success throughout high school has resulted from that effort.”

    Schechter is set to attend the University of Connecticut in the fall with a full scholarship, majoring in Natural Resources. Schechter credits her AP Environmental Science teacher Beth Frost, from her junior year, for inspiring her to take this route.

“The amount of passion she had for the environment and the way she conveyed that in our lessons helped me decide my path and inspired me to do that in my future.”

       Schechter also thanks her family for her achievements. “My family always tells me to try my best and they’ll be proud of me regardless of how I do. They’ve supported my decisions and understand the amount of time and effort that I put into my work. They have definitely helped me grow as a person.”