The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Sarah Portz

BSM’s class of 2022 has some incredibly hardworking students; this year seven seniors went above and beyond and earned the title of valedictorian and Sarah Portz is one of them.

Portz has always prioritized her school work, and earning the title of valedictorian demonstrates the amount of effort she put into her academics. [It’s] like acknowledgment that my hard work has paid off … like this actually was for something even if it was really hard sometimes,” Portz said.

Becoming valedictorian is no easy task. Portz needed to fully commit herself to achieve her goal and at times it became challenging and required her undivided attention. One class in particular came close to breaking Portz’s 4.0. “The class that probably came closest was AP Human Geography my freshman year. I had a 92 going into the final first semester and I was so happy the way that final went;, it was such a relief,” Portz said.

While managing and maintaining her 4.0, Portz simultaneously participated in a lengthy list of clubs and activities. “Ultimate Frisbee first and foremost … RKVC, NHS, I used to do volleyball, I played and then I was manager,” Portz said.

Portz learned how to juggle her social life and her school work in order to stay emotionally healthy. Her main tip for students wanting to achieve valedictorian status is to find balance. “Do your homework, make sure you study, and put adequate time into your classes. Then also be able to get sleep, but also be able to find the balance between doing all of that and maintaining relationships and friends, and social fun things like Frisbee,” Portz said.

Portz learned many important lessons while on her pursuit of success, lessons that gave her insight for future students looking to become a valedictorian––most importantly to not let the academic drive consume you. “It’s a good goal to have but you shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself to get it that you’re sacrificing other things in your life. I wish someone would have told me that,” Portz said.

By being able to find that happy medium between school and fun, Portz found that her favorite part about BSM was the fall football games. “I like watching the Dance Team at football games … just the football games in general, they’re just like a fun back-to-school thing,” Portz said.

The knowledge and life skills Sarah has gained during her high school career will transfer over to her next four years of college. “I’m going to [University of] Wisconsin-Madison, studying neurobiology and I want to be a doctor eventually,” Portz said.

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