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EHS Senior Spotlight for September 2022: Meet Hazel Penner

Immediate Release

Hazel PennerDo you have any ‘words of wisdom’ to share with your classmates as we begin the 2022-2023 school year?

My advice would be to cherish every moment. High school has gone especially fast for me since I missed out on a lot of things while being virtual. I never expected that I would have so little time in a normal high school setting. I am so grateful that I am able to spend my senior year in actual school and prepared to enjoy every aspect of it. 

What are you most looking forward to this school year?

I am most looking forward to prom and graduation. I have grown up with many of the people at my school, and I am excited to spend these last significant moments of high school with them. 

What is your advice to freshmen just starting their high school career?

My younger sister, Sadie, will be a freshman this year and I have heard all types of panic from her and her friends. My advice to her, along with the rest of the freshmen, is to not stress about starting out in high school. There is a lot of unnecessary build-up about high school, but you are not going to get lost in the halls or anything like that. Truly, just trust yourself and focus on what is important to you. 

Hazel PennerWhat activities do you participate in school? 

I am the Captain of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer and Lacrosse teams at school, and the Basketball Manager for the Girls’ Basketball Team. I am a part of many clubs, including Student Council, Key Club, and the Yarnworks Club! I am also a member of the Honors Choir program at Ewing and of the International Thespian society, involved in the musical’s tech crew as a co-costume master. I am also the President of the National Honor Society at our school. Lastly, I am a Peer Leader and super excited to work with the freshmen this year!

What activities do you participate in outside of school?

Outside of school, I work at Cafe72 on the weekends and during the summer. During the spring and summer, I volunteer at Ewing Recreational Soccer and help coach young soccer players. 

What awards or acknowledgements have you received in school or outside of school?

Some acknowledgements I have received in school are winning homecoming court my junior year, being selected captain for the soccer and lacrosse teams, and being selected president of the National Honor Society. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of?  

I am most proud of being selected to be a Peer Leader and Captain of the soccer team. One thing I value most about myself is the ability to make others feel comfortable. By having the position as a peer leader and captain, I feel that I can better reach more people, especially freshmen, who might need guidance or just someone supporting them along the way. 

What is your favorite memory of high school to date? 

My favorite memory of high school was my first chorale performance this past winter. This concert was the first time we performed in nearly two years and I sang my first solo. Frankly, I was so nervous. In the end, I felt extremely proud of what we accomplished, and having the opportunity to sing with such talented people.

Who is your favorite teacher or coach and why?  

My favorite coach is Ms. Pederson. She has always believed in me, while pushing me to my best. She is here for me in every aspect of my life, along with all the other girls on the soccer team. I am so grateful to have a coach who works so hard and sacrifices so much for us. We are her family and she is ours. 

Hazel PennerWho or what has impacted your life in a positive way?  

The decision to switch into choir and meeting one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Minter impacted my high school life very positively. When I first joined choir a couple days into my freshman year, I was terrified of singing by myself and was feeling really alone at school. Upon walking into the choir room, I instantly felt supported and loved. Mr. Minter has created such a supportive, loving environment that has impacted my life in so many ways. He taught me how to believe in myself, for which I will forever be grateful. 

How do you define success?

Success to me is being persistent enough to accomplish your goals. You cannot compare your success to others; you can only work to make yourself proud. You are successful when you work for your own satisfaction, rather than anyone else’s expectations.

What are your plans after you graduate from Ewing High School?

After I graduate from Ewing High School, I intend to go to a four-year college and study psychology. I am planning to attend graduate school and become a therapist.  I am not sure which type of therapy I would like to go into, but I know that I want to prioritize helping people in my professional life. It would be an ultimate goal of mine to join the effort in integrating the medical and mental health fields in order to help provide everyone with greater access to mental health care. 

What is your favorite quote or book? 

My favorite book is “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut.