Reaching Mile High
May 24, 2012 by Sadye Hazan
Freshman Sydney Egeler sees the glass half full.
Freshman year may be scary for many students with going to a new school, having new teachers, and meeting new people. Freshman Sydney Egeler sees it differently; for her, it’s a new beginning.
On Thursday, April 5, 2012, students and their families gathered at the Boettcher Concert Hall at 5:30 to honor the students who were awarded the Mile High Scholar Award. For Mile High Scholars, one student from each grade in each school is selected for his/her good leadership, good grades, and his/her support of the school, community, and friends. Sydney was given the award along with 300 other students, and the three other students from Thomas Jefferson High School. The Mile High Scholar program honors Denver Public School students in a city-wide ceremony, where honorees were able to meet Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and are given the key to the city on a lanyard, along with a packet with Rockies tickets and coupons for free ice cream. TJ Principal Sandra Just said that to pick the Mile High Scholars of the school she talks with the counselors about the students and gets a list of names. Once she has that list, she sits down and talks with Assistant Principals Mike Cristoff, Scott Lessard, and Lani Nobles, and chooses the final recipients of the award. “We look for students who show the qualities of a Mile High Scholar,” explained Just.
“The ceremony was long but rewarding,” said Egeler as she described the ceremony. She said it was all going so fast for her, but that she had fun. “The mayor gave an inspirational speech about being an eagle and how we should be able to soar,” said Sydney who, when she first found out that she got the award, was really excited. “I knew my hard work had paid off.”
This year, Sydney has taken Biology Honors, Spanish Three Honors, AP Human Geography, Geometry Honors, Intro to Center for Communication Technology (CCT), and is an assistant for Counselor Erin Thompson, who claimed that Sydney is one of the best student assists she has ever had. “My favorite classes are Intro to CCT because we get to work with computers and Biology Honors because I really understand biology and I find it really interesting.”
Sydney is one of the few students in the Biology class to maintain an A, which can be difficult for some students in Scott Thomas’ class. “To do well in biology you need to study hard and take notes. I really like Mr. Thomas because he is really loud and definitely not boring,” Sydney says with a smile.
In addition, Sydney is part of the Thomas Jefferson Student Council, where she helps plan school activities and community service projects. “It helps me get more involved within the school, which I really enjoy,” said Sydney, which is the main reason she decided to join student council. Treasurer Derek Steffes and Counselor Erin Thompson are the sponsors of student council, and Sydney said she finds both of them very funny, which makes her student council experience more enjoyable.
Coming from Hamilton Middle School, Sydney says she notices a lot of differences. “I like the TJ administrators a lot better because they are more fun.” She says she also enjoys the fact that she has more freedom in high school. “I just like high school better in general,” Sydney says happily.
Sydney is not only a stellar student, but a hard working athlete, as well. She decided to try out for the TJ Girls’ Soccer team in the spring. “I wanted to play soccer mainly because my cousin [TJ Alumna] Julia Puckett played soccer a few years ago and I just wanted to try something new,” explained Sydney, who had never played soccer before. She now plays either center defense or center midfield for the Junior Varsity team. “I really like TJ soccer. I have a lot of fun and I have made a lot of new friends as well as play with my old friends,” stated Sydney, who plans on playing for the team for the rest of her time at TJ.
Sydney’s coach for soccer speaks highly about her as a player. “Sydney is doing well for being her first time playing soccer,” said Head Coach of Junior Varsity, Marcelino Yantas. “She has a good attitude and pushes the team to do their best. She does well in the classroom and is a good example. She will be a great soccer player in the future.”
Sydney is not the first of her family members to attend TJ. In fact, she is a second generation Spartan, which made it an easy decision for her to come here after middle school from Hamilton. “Most of my family came to TJ and none of the other schools just seemed right for me,” explained Sydney.
In her TJ future, Sydney hopes to stay involved with the TJ Student Council, stay on the soccer team, and maintain good grades. “I didn’t know what to expect being a Mile High Scholar, but it is really exciting,” said Sydney. Great job and keep up the good work!