BRISTOL – Emma Schatz used light-hearted competition within her family as a means to drive herself to be the best.
Schatz, of Burlington, was named St. Paul Catholic High School’s valedictorian of the class of 2021. Growing up with four sisters is part of what fueled her to work so hard in school, she said.
“They definitely drove me a lot to get where I am today,” Schatz said.
Schatz’s father and older sister were both named salutatorian of their respective classes, which provided an extra incentive for her during her four years of high school.
“Not that it was a competition, but I’m very proud to have beaten them,” said Schatz, adding she means that in the most loving way possible.
She also said she wishes all the best luck to her younger sisters.
Schatz has chosen to attend Loyola University in Chicago, where she will major in theoretical physics and applied mathematics. After that, she said, she will probably attend graduate school.
Where her continued education will lead as a career remains to be seen, but she says she would love to do something in research and development in aviation or space flight.
“NASA may be far-fetched, but maybe something in aerospace,” Schatz said.
Schatz recently received an Archdiocesan Summa Scholar award presented by the Archdiocese of Hartford. She also holds the office of Secretary for the National Honor Society and is involved in student government and the varsity soccer team, chess club, wrestling manager, Respect for Life Club, Spanish Club, Foreign Language Honors Society and philosophy club. She was also named a commended student in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Learning she was the class valedictorian was most rewarding, as she says “school has been a very big part of my life.”
“It felt almost reassuring in a way,” Schatz said.
Being class valedictorian was even more special for Schatz because her very close friend, Sophia Gerst, stood alongside her on stage at their graduation ceremony as class salutatorian.
“My salutatorian is my best friend in the whole world,” Schatz said, as she hugged Gerst minutes before graduation.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.