Gifted teens go the distance

Brianna Hartleb and Emily Elliott

Seniors Sabrina and Luke Monsees have devoted their four high school years to success.

Both students have earned recognition from National Merit. Sabrina is a National Merit commended student while Luke is a semi-finalist. A commended student is not qualified for the National Merit scholarship but is recognized for his/her achievements.

“Schools recognize National Merit. Some colleges will offer full rides or at least scholarships. Most colleges will at least give you recognition,” Sabrina said.

Luke and Sabrina are both involved in other school activities and excel in those fields as well. Cross country coach Dale Brown is proud of the determination Sabrina has for running. “Running has opened up four years of her life. I don’t think she could even begin to imagine just how much running has changed her life,” Brown said.

Luke is president of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and Key Club. Both students have learned to juggle their schedules to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed.

“It’s hard to prioritize but you have to make a schedule and stick with it so you can balance your commitments,” Luke said.

Although they are alike in many ways, gifted resource specialist Carrie Marcantonio has gotten to know them both and sees distinct differences in their personalities.

“My favorite characteristic is that she [Sabrina] is a Hufflepuff. She’s a loyal competitor, but she won’t step on people to beat others,” Marcantonio said. “I love talking to her about the things she’s passionate about. She’s not like a typical high school student. She’s more of an old soul here to hand out her wisdom to her fellow students.”

The love they have for knowledge does shine through in both Luke and Sabrina.

“Luke has a teachable spirit. He sees other’s opinions and understands that not everyone is going to have the same opinion as him,” Marcantonio said.

For their younger brother, junior Collin Monsees, being related to Luke and Sabrina puts a lot of pressure on him.

“I think it’s kind of cool to have a brother who does so much and is
able to keep up with it. I am number one on the tennis team which is something Luke hasn’t done,” Collin said.

Both Sabrina and Luke look forward to a finishing their high school careers being in the top of the senior class and beginning their ascent into greatness.