Editor’s note: Following is a series of articles featuring Northshore high-school graduates.
Cedar Park’s Sturm is an A-level student
Amy Sturm ponders the question for a second, smiles and replies: “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a B … it’s embarrassing.”
The look in her eyes says she knows she’s nailed all A’s — always — in her schoolwork, but she’s not one to brag. But her super success can’t be denied: 4.0 grade-point average, National Merit Finalist, Washington Scholar, editor in chief of the yearbook and more.
When the Cedar Park Christian senior strolled down the hallway last Thursday, one friend nudged her and said, “Hey, Amy, congratulations.”
It’s probably a greeting she’s used to by now, and it will surely continue into her college years and beyond.
Sturm will be in the spotlight at Cedar Park one last time at 7 p.m. June 7, when she’ll represent her class as a valedictorian at graduation in the school sanctuary.
In the fall, the Kenmore resident will continue her studies on a four-year, National Merit Finalist tuition-free scholarship to LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Her dad, Bob, also attended the small liberal-arts college, which focuses on mission work, something she’d like to delve into someday.
“It’s gonna be different. I love that it’s a small school — it will stretch me in areas … that are good. More real-life,” she said.
Cedar Park guidance counselor Amy Bettinger just might be Sturm’s biggest fan.
“She’s well-rounded in every way. Not only academically, but athletically. It’s neat to see a person who’s that competitive,” Bettinger said.
Sturm was armed with many bright answers and stories during an interview with the Reporter.
Her take on academics: “I’m interested in learning. My dad’s smart and always helps me study, he kind of encouraged my interest in different areas (math and science are favorite subjects). I’m using the gifts the Lord has given me. I think that I’ve been blessed, and I’m using it to my full potential.”
Athletics? “I’m not that tall out there, but I can hold my own,” said the 5-foot-9 ½ basketball post.
Perhaps Sturm’s most important, and favorite, activity is swimming with the special-education kids twice a week in the Woodmoor Elementary pool. (She also has worked with deaf and blind youths in the Philippines.)
She was drawn to special-ed youths after three of her siblings passed away from Batten’s disease, which leaves children unable to walk, see or talk.
“Growing up with my siblings, I’ve become more of a sensitive kind of person (and learned) to value those people,” she said. “It’s easy for me to love them. I like being able to touch them.”
Added Bettinger: “Her’s is a heart for others — that’s so inspiring. Her commitment to special education is thorough as anyone’s. I’ve never seen it (before) in a student.”
Sturm also teamed up with her yearbook staff to put out a memorable product two weeks ago. Titled “True,” the book focuses on “Being true to friends, teachers and our school,” she said.
“True” won the best project book award for middle-sized schools during a summer camp and netted the group a new digital camera.
The highlight of the camp, however, was stepping into leadership roles when the Cedar Park yearbook adviser fell ill.
“The six of us started doing things on our own, organizing. We got it done and did it successfully,” Sturm said.
Her yearbook experience was challenging and frustrating at times, but she came away from it with some life lessons under her belt.
“It helped me learn what it was like to be a leader,” she said. “How to delegate jobs to others, but also to trust the people I work with.”