Smyrna High seniors lauded as scholars

Every year since 1984, the Delaware Secretary of Education has tapped seniors as scholars — students who show strong work ethic and are dedicated to their studies, while also showing accomplishments outside the classroom.

Students are chosen by their principals for their academic records and community service. Below, learn a little bit more about the seniors through the nomination statements principals provided and a brief Q&A. Next week, more seniors will be highlighted.

Smyrna High School

•Mia Davis is a driven student who strives to be successful in everything she participates in. She served as co-president of Future Health Professionals, president of the Smyrna Youth Leadership organization, Class of 2020 secretary and the senior representative for Smyrna High School of the Youth Philanthropy Board. She volunteers at Startt Me Up Racing stables, helping with harness racing horses.

Mia Davis

How have you prioritized academics throughout your education?

Academics have always been something that I knew that would get me to the life that I’d wanted. So, my sophomore year of high school, I decided that I would not play softball in college and prioritize my education before sports.

How do you keep motivated?

I keep motivated by knowing what I’ll do in the future. So, with any career I pick, if I pick medicine and I know I’ll be helping people and saving their lives. And if I pick animals, I know that I’ll be saving their lives and helping them. I keep motivated by looking towards the future knowing what to do.

•Sarah Larose is a highly motivated student athlete who sets high expectations for herself and fully applies herself to each activity she is part of. She serves as class treasurer and treasurer for the National Honor Society. Additionally, she was team captain for cross country, state champion in the 4 by 800, conference champion in the mile and two mile, and second-team all-state for cross country.

Sarah Larose

What does it mean to be recognized as a scholar?

It’s a pretty cool honor. I mean, I remember when my counselor called me down … She was telling me it was a really big deal … It definitely means a lot to be able to be recognized and especially, I feel like now, after like this whole quarantine thing going on, it’s nice to be recognized in some way.

With schools having changed recently, has your perspective on schools altered at all through remote learning?

I definitely appreciate learning in school, I’d say. It’s easy to be like, ‘Oh, like we have so much work and I have so much stuff to do,’ but in the end it’s like you make time for it and you figure out ways to cope with a heavy schedule of AP tests and honors. I also really do appreciate the teachers that are still working hard to make sure we’re getting the education we need. But definitely, I would say I appreciate school a lot more.

•Leila Sebastian is a very dedicated individual who tries to excel in all aspects of her life. She is the president of the National Honor Society and the captain of the field hockey team. She is also a student representative for her graduating class. In her free time she is often volunteering at the local opera house or babysitting.

Leila Sebastian

What does it mean to be recognized as a scholar?

Well, I think that it’s a way of validating all of the work that I’ve put through and everyone else who’s recognized, everything that they’ve done in their schoolwork and just being a well-rounded student, and the drive and determination, I think this was validating that and it was a nice way to show that our efforts were noticed.

How do you want to use the momentum from this recognition as you go forward in your education?

Well I’m hoping to, once I get to college, be surrounded by people who have also striven for excellence their entire lives and will continue to push me towards that because I think I do better when I’m surrounded by people who are working just as hard as I am. The university I am going to have a really, really good staff of professors, and I’m hoping that that will also continue to motivate me and push me to do my best.