Sarah O'Connell named Kiwanis Academic Student of the Month
Sarah O'Connell named Kiwanis Academic Student of the Month
The Spring Valley Kiwanis Club recognizes Sarah O'Connell, daughter of Bryan and Kathy O'Connell, as its March Kiwanis Academic Student of the Month.

The Kingsland senior describes herself as "a very active person in school activities." She participates in Key Club, National Honor Society (NHS), Knowledge Bowl, basketball and volleyball. Of these activities, she says she likes NHS and Knowledge Bowl the best. Her past extracurricular activities include the prom committee, school color guard and peer tutoring. Her favorite subjects are history, biology and chemistry, but she doesn't like art class.

Outside of school, O'Connell keeps busy working at the A&W. "I like how flexible my hours are and the people I work with," she related. She's also been a member of the Girl Scouts and Catholic Youth Organization.

"I am a big reader, and I love to watch movies," she said about interests during her free time. "I also get very addicted to TV shows. My favorite movie is 'Pitch Perfect' because I love the music. I love to bake and cook, and I'm pretty good at it. I'm also a quite good knitter, which is a really fun thing to do while watching a movie."

She's a fan of country music and "I would say Harry Potter books are my favorite, but they are not books...they are a lifestyle. So my favorite book is 'The Selection' by Kierra Cass. It is like 'The Bachelor' meets the 'Hunger Games'."

She'd gladly pass up liver and onions, but she particularly enjoys a good sandwich. Her biggest pet peeve is "when people change the plans that we have had made for a while."

If she could travel to any country in the world for free, she would choose based on various factors. "If I could go anywhere, I would want to go to either Ireland, to learn about my family heritage, Italy, for the food, and Australia for the culture and great weather. If I could go to any state, I would go to Louisiana - I have always wanted to go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras."

The 18-year-old has great women as her role models. The three people she admires most are her mom, Queen Victoria and Hilary Clinton - "my mom, because she is always there for me, Queen Victoria because she was a great and kind leader, and Hilary Clinton because she is paving the way for women to take more leadership positions in our country's government."

Sarah has current aspirations of helping local people, and long-term aspirations of making people healthy.

"As president of National Honor Society, she would like to remind everyone that the NHS clothing drive is Saturday, March 23. If you want to donate, you can drop it off at the local churches or at the community center on Friday, March 22, from about 3 to 5 p.m., and we would like to invite everyone to come shopping on Saturday. Everything is free.

Her hope after graduating from school is that she can pursue a career in medicine. "I want to be a doctor because I want to help people and save lives. However, I used to want to be a teacher, a very noble profession. If I could do one thing for the world, I would find a cure for cancer. I know how painful a struggle it can be, and I don't want anyone to have to go through that."

The Kiwanis will honor Sarah and her parents at this week's meeting, Wednesday, March 20.