Academics for All is pleased to present this week’s top prize winner Isabel Cleland. This sports 4.0 scholar shows daily her true dedication to whatever she pursues.
The burden of the first semester indicates the direction she has chosen to direct her future studies. Dual enrollment served her in Sheridan College classes including criminology and criminal law as she completed her semester-long internship with Judge John Finn on the 4th Judicial Circuit Court. Cleland’s training allowed her a variety of experiences that culminated in the observation of her first jury trial.
“She was great at Chambers,” Finn said of Cleland. “It gives me great pleasure to have her as an intern, and I give her the highest marks regarding her interactions with me and my staff.”
She began competitive swimming at the age of 10 for Cleland.
“She’s willing to serve her teammates by taking on some not-so-flashy tasks, and to set an example,” said SHS swimming coach Brent Moore. “Isabel has a way of making the toughest exercise fun. She has a real heart for others. Not only is she improving herself, but doing so makes her team and classmates better.”
When Cleland was asked about her leadership, she explained how during COVID-19 she worked with the girls to put their different beliefs aside and work as a team. She believes that girls will look for a high-ranking man and what they have to offer. Cleland also talks about exploring young swimmers and encouraging them to continue their participation in the swimming program, especially in high school.
Family is very important to Cleland.
“The two main people I look up to are my parents because they are so passionate about what they do every day,” Cleland said. “They have always pushed me to be my best self, and for that I will be forever grateful.”
She learned from her father how to get things done, and from her mother she learned how to be adaptable, both qualities that she knows will serve her well in the future.
Cleland claims that she grew up in the wrestling room where her father coached her, and learned to keep stats at a young age. Cleland is currently working as a manager for the SHS wrestling team, a job that she totally enjoys. Not only does she spend time with her father, but she feels that she contributes to the team’s overall success by organizing equipment, video matches and being the “information keeper”.
Cleland made the most of her high school years by participating in the All-State and All-Northwest Orchestras, volunteering weekly to the National Honor Society at Highland Park Elementary, and working as a big sister once a week through the Big Brother Big Sisters.
Cleland has established many positive relationships with teachers at SHS. Cleland nominated Claire Gerber, SHS English teacher, as her Outstanding Teacher.
“She’s always willing to help out in her own time even if it’s not about class,” Cleland said.
Gerber also praised Cleland.
“I was honored to have Isabel in class at the beginning and end of her high school career and witness her grow with confidence and skill,” Gerber said. “She truly is a model of dedication and kindness. Her calm drive is a model for her peers, and her hard work in all aspects of her life will take her to amazing places.”
College plans include attendance at the University of Wyoming where Cleland has received a Cowboy Commitment Scholarship and admission to the Honors College. The following wise words from this week’s Top Prize winner sum up her belief in how people act in life, “People won’t remember the accomplishments you achieved but they will remember how you were always there for them.”
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