DHS Valedictorian Sarah Vandewalle Headed to Tufts This Fall

Learn more about Danvers High's 2012 Valedictorian, Sarah Vandewalle.

Patch first met senior Sarah Vandewalle when she was nominated as a Whiz Kid this past October, for . 

Now, the soon-to-be graduate has earned the title of Valedictorian of the Class of 2012, and will address her peers and their families at this Saturday's graduation ceremony. 

Find out what Sarah's up to next year with our quick five question Q&A. 

Now that you're graduating, what's next? Any exciting plans this summer? College in the fall? 

This summer, I will be a camp counselor at Dance Camp at the Beverly Sterling YMCA. Though a few years ago the idea of dancing made me cringe, a few musicals inspired me to take classes there and now teach! I'm also very excited that this will be the first summer in a few years during which I'll actually have time to read and do projects for myself instead of AP classes. In the fall, I'll be attending Tufts University in Medford/Somerville. 

What do you plan to major in in college?

After some agonizing decision-making in the past year, I've decided to major in Drama. I know that might make people cringe, but Drama has been what I'm most passionate about. It's something I can use all of my talent, ability, and brain for. The Tufts Drama program will allow me to use my creative skills in acting, analytical skills in directing, writing skills in playwriting, mathematical skills in stagecraft, researching skills in dramaturgy and history, and so much more. However, I do really want to take on the extra challenge of finding a second major.

Tell us a little about your career at DHS.

As you can tell, I've been hugely involved with DHS Academy Theatre, and just finished my 11th show with the group. Music has been the other major passion in my life. I've been in the DHS Chamber Singers for four years, gone to Senior Districts for chorus twice, been in the North Shore Youth Symphony Flute Choirs for three years, played in and directed my church bell choir, and taken voice, piano, and flute lessons. I will certainly continue music in college. I've also done various community service projects with the Chamber Singers, Girl Scouts, Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, and National Honors Society.  

What are some of the things you're going to miss the most about Danvers High School?

Of course I'm going to really miss many of my friends. We've gone through this experience together and shared a lot of stories and laughs. It's odd to think I won't see them the first day of school next year too. There are also several brilliant and helpful faculty members I'm going to miss, one of the most actually being Ms. Ambrozavitch. During the past two years, she has been so helpful to me, my family, and my beloved Academy Theatre and chorus. She's always on the students' side, and I hope I'm lucky enough to have someone like her at Tufts.  

What advice would you give underclassmen at DHS about finding their way to success?

I think the most important thing for underclassmen to do is to put everything you have into what you're doing. If you're not doing something wholeheartedly and doing it right, it's not worth doing. This goes for schoolwork, extracurriculars, jobs, and volunteering. Find a way to get excited about your work. Also find something you're truly passionate about, maybe a subject or class or club, and stick with it. That's what makes life worthwhile.


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