Claire Schmitt and Donald Conway are both seniors and student athletes here at La Follette High School. They are both very familiar with the concepts of hard work and success linked with their respective talents. These two Lancers have important skills like time management, dedication, and perseverance locked down and it especially shows in the way they excel in both athletics and academics.
Balancing student life and athletics can be a very difficult task to ask of a high schooler and it can be a hard concept to grasp. Claire Schmitt is very aware of the focus and commitment needed to be successful in her athletics while also succeeding as a student. Schmitt has been very involved through her four years here at La Follette. She has played la crosse, basketball, softball and tennis. In addition to athletics she is President of the National Honors Society, and helps lead clubs like Power club and Project Unify. She always makes sure her homework is a priority in the rare free time of her busy schedule. Through playing sports here at La Follette Schmitt has learned several valuable life lessons that don’t just apply to her athletics. “I’ve learned to never give up, move on from mistakes, and to go into things with an open mind,” she said.
Schmitt has been very successful in her classes here at La Follette and has earned a 3.91 GPA throughout her first 3 years of high school, in addition to her Most Valuable Player award in tennis, and a Scholar Athlete Award in tennis. With such strong academics, and such a highly decorated portfolio she has a wide range of options for college and career paths after high school. Schmitt has applied to UCLA and expressed an interest in attending other smaller private schools in the Los Angeles, California area to major in education and one day become a teacher. As far as playing tennis in college, she says she’s glad she played in high school but won’t be continuing to play in college.
“Become close with the people on your school team. I’ve made some of my best friends through playing sports,” Schmitt advised incoming student athletes. She also recommended communicating with your teachers to let them know what they can do to help you. There is no doubt that wherever Claire decides to take her talents after high school, she will be very successful and accomplish amazing things.
Similar to Schmitt, La Follette senior Donald Conway has also prospered in both athletics and academics. Recently named a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship he is extremely well-rounded and has achieved a significant number of academic awards while also running on the boys cross country team. Conway has been earning awards for his outstanding academics since his freshman year when he won the school trig star award. Throughout his high school years he has also won the Wisconsin Youth Leadership Certificate, was accepted as a member of the National Honors Society, and won the AP Scholar award for demonstrating college level thinking on his AP exams. Conway was named as captain of the La Follette boys cross country team along with fellow teammate Chris Wolfe for their senior season. Donald is a great role model and helps younger students on the cross country team. Younger students even ask Donald for help and advice regarding their school work, confirming his exceptional leadership attributes. “It’s definitely important to get assignments done on time,” Conway informs younger students. “Develop good study habits early. Everyone has a way they learn best and when you find out what that is for you, that is how you can study,” he explained.
Donald has evidently found out the way he learns best as he has maintained a 4.0 GPA that includes honors and AP classes throughout his entire high school career. “Time management is key,” he added. Conway credits his success greatly to his ability to manage his time wisely and juggle his many different activities he’s involved in. Between cross country, track, winter and summer running, the math team, physics tutoring with Mr. Reichling, and national honors society, Donald has a lot on his plate year round. “When you don’t have a lot of time you have to spend your time wisely,” he explains. Donald is also very serious about his athletics and his role on the cross country team. He has learned the value of being on a team but most importantly, he has learned to “take it really serious...how you choose to spend your time is important and you don’t always necessarily choose to spend your day at school, but you choose to spend your day at athletics and so that should be important to you,” Conway said.
He has applied to the University of Chicago where he says he would go into molecular engineering, he has also applied to Northwestern in Evanston just outside Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin where he has previously done a microbiology internship. He isn’t completely sure of what he wants to do with his valuable intellect after high school but he is interested in math, physics, and the environment. With his go getter, hard working mindset Donald will certainly achieve great success in his bright future.
Schmitt and Conway certainly have embodied La Follette’s Lancer Pride motto and excelled in all their athletics and academics. All lancer students should strive to follow in the footsteps of these exceptional student athletes.