Stellar student excels beyond the stables

Brielle Young, Co-Editor in Chief

Having perfect grades, consistently participating in the community, along with maintaining her own hobbies, junior Sarah Garfield demonstrates her leadership skills as she takes life one stride at a time. 

 Garfield has created quite a reputation for herself around campus: her academic prowess, talent, and selflessness have truly allowed her to excel as a leader in high school. However, this determination and drive is not a new development; her prior experience connecting with animals set up the beginnings of a foundation for her success. 

“I started riding horses around eight years ago,” shared Garfield. “I fell in love when I first started riding and I am still in love with it eight years later.” 

Garfield’s first experience with horses began when she walked into Casperey Stables’ open house where she saw a smiling horse named Beau. From that moment, she recognized that what she believed would never become a passion for her, left a lasting impression on her. Her tenacious drive to succeed can be attributed to her various show-jump competitions. 

Partaking in local posse shows, dressage, jumping, and pleasure classes and competitions, Garfield exemplified expertise and skill through her various wins and rewards, evidenced by her “basket of ribbons in her closet.” Although she did have to stop competing due to financial circumstances, Garfield has a knack for making commitments to her passions, and interacting with horses is no exception.

“I still ride horses as a hobby and passion, and work at the barn as a job,” explained Garfield. “Casperey Stables has a horse camp during the summer, winter, and other dates outside of school.” 

As a previous camper who eventually aged out of the program, Garfield continued to show commitment to this activity and served as a counselor in training, connecting with younger campers, and developing her impeccable leadership skills. This past summer, she was promoted to a paid camp counselor, demonstrating that she “still maintains the goal of pursuing her passions, even when life gets in the way.”

In addition to her stellar sporting achievements, Sarah excels in academic and community service endeavors. Garfield holds several officer positions while handling a demanding course schedule. 

Garfield currently serves as Key Club Secretary and has held officer positions with the largest community service organization on campus since her freshman year. She had also held office in the Future Business Leaders of America organization, where she was Secretary last year. Tackling such demanding positions, especially with them beginning as an underclassman, Garfield truly embodies the spirit of school involvement. 

Going beyond club involvement, Garfield participates in a variety of academic activities. As a junior in Mr. Bartenslager’s Experimental Science course, Garfield makes scientific discoveries and conducts experiments utilizing the scientific method. Last year, her research on “the effect of a specific gene responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s on the behavior of Drosophila, or fruit flies” earned her first place at the PBC school science fair in the Biochemistry category. Following this motivational win, she went on to secure a finalist award at the District science fair in this same category. 

“This year, my research will be about the effect of top predators on CO2 sequestration (amount of carbon dioxide) on Bromeliad-Daphnia Reservoir ecosystems,” enthused Garfield. 

Sarah not only excels in science, but she has an incredible ability to craft fantastic literary works. She has been published in several books including the “Do the Write Thing” Anthology, the “Built With Writer’s Block” Anthology, and the “Apelly Rising Stars” Collection. She also competed in the Palm Beach Central High School Cambridge International Creative Writing Contest last year.  To continue with her love for creative writing, she has just teamed up with Centra’s AICE Coordinator and AICE Literature teacher, Ms. Tamayo, to create a literary magazine to showcase other talented and aspiring writers on campus.

As she continues to make plans for future club events, scientific research, and writing competitions, Garfield makes the grade in challenging courses. An academically strong student, she has demonstrated her dedication to academics by maintaining a 4.0 GPA. 

“Sarah is an outstanding and exceptional student in academics and personality, shared Biology teacher Ms. Rainford. “She was more than willing to help her peers.” 

Garfield definitely takes inspiration from her family when it comes to assisting others. Her mother, who works with special needs students, and her grandfather, a retired pediatrician, have instilled in the important values that she has carried from a young age. 

“Sarah is very compassionate, practical, and honest,” explained junior Grace Obeso. “She is such a great friend because she gives the best advice.” 

Garfield “learned from a young age to embrace the differences people have.” She especially reveres her mother and her grandfather, but the rest of her family have instilled in her the importance of “an education and kindness.” 

“I regard education, friendliness, and care for others as main values,” discussed Garfield. “I am inspired to be like the better version of myself shaped by life experiences because I know that everyone, including me, has room to grow.” 

Although she is unsure of what she would like to be in the future, she is leaning more towards a science field with a concentration in Genetics or Biology. However, she is open to the idea of double-majoring or minoring in English; she does not want to let go of her creative writing side. 

Her outstanding achievements have paved a bright future for Garfield. She would love to attend the University of Florida for her undergraduate studies and, if circumstances and finances permit, she would be honored to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. at an international school or an Ivy League university. 

It is undeniable that Garfield’s astounding achievements in extracurricular and academic pursuits will take her far in life. Considering all of her wonderful accomplishments, caring nature, friendly disposition, inquisitive nature, and optimistic outlook on life, Garfield exemplifies what it means to be a superb student and devoted leader.