Senior Spotlight: Sara Laine McNew '18

Posted by Rebecca Moore - 16 May, 2018

2018-05-15T17_13_25.734ZEach senior class is made up of students with diverse interests and talents. The School has left its mark on them and they on it. In the little time we have left together, we'd like to offer some portraits of our seniors, to show how they have benefited from their time at Randolph and are prepared for what's next.

Do you remember your first day at Randolph?

I came to Randolph in 9th grade. I wanted to step out of my box and have a new experience. I had done my visit day shadowing a good friend who went here, and on my first day of high school these two seniors I had danced with took me around and showed me the things they loved. I felt very at ease and at home immediately.

How has Randolph taught you to think more independently?

We did a lot of writing in English junior year. We wrote narratives and we did the I-Search, where you choose a topic of personal importance. This was the breaking point in my writing. I chose my faith as my topic. I learned how to push past what I thought I could do and not just reiterate the same three paragraphs. It turned out I had more to say than I thought I did.

2018-05-15T17_16_03.886ZWhat has the Honor Code meant to you?

A lot! I have friends on the Honor Council, and I know how seriously they take it. It is what they say it is. The Honor Code creates a nice atmosphere and trains us for college. My friends at other schools without one wish they had it.

What did you learn about yourself through the college process?

My process was pretty irregular, and I'm proud of the way I handled it. Originally I had one idea in mind. I wanted to take a gap year and go to LA for dance. I did the last two years of Interim in LA, first shadowing a dancer and next a choreographer, but when I got home I had some doubts as to whether I was ready to do this for a gap year. But I didn't stress. This process taught me to be patient and not close doors that aren't being closed for you, and to keep my options open. A friend called me and suggested I audition for the dance team at the University of Alabama. The audition packet was due that day. I faxed it over. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it except for that friend and my parents. I was thrilled when I made the team and I am genuinely excited about going to Alabama next year. It's important to trust the process and not let other people's opinions sway you. Nothing is permanent, and no one is forcing you to be at a certain place. I knew at the end I would end up where I was supposed to be. 

What was your greatest challenge at Randolph?

The hardest class was 9th grade biology: the labs and tests were tricky. Overall, my big challenge was learning to manage my time and figure out how to make up work I missed due to dance. I often travel by myself and have had to manage my time and be proactive about managing the workload. It's helped me become more independent.

Where can you be found when not in class?

The library, working, and this year, with senior privs, either at home or in the dance studio.

SaraLaine-AlexaWhat activities have you been involved in?

I have been dancing at my mom's studio since I was two-and-a-half. That takes up all my free time. I dance from 4:40 until 7 or 9 PM. Junior year, Alexa Nunn '17 asked if I'd be interested in being part of a dance team the School was starting. This year, I was the captain. It's been a great leadership role and good preparation for what's coming in college.

Who taught the football team that dance?

I did! The team saw that Huntsville High had done one at their pep rally, so they wanted to do one, too. I choreographed it and taught it to them. Some of the boys took it really seriously and learned the routine in three practices. It was so random and so funny.

Homecoming Week and Pep Rally - 4989115

Homecoming Week and Pep Rally - 4989114Homecoming Week and Pep Rally - 4989113

Lunchroom favorite?

Chicken tenders with buffalo sauce.

What should people know about Randolph?

This is a place where you can truly be yourself. It's a comfortable place, like a second home. The faculty have helped me to grow and learn and be prepared for the next chapter of my life. People think you have to be a certain way to go here, but I have found so much diversity.

2018-05-15T17_16_16.310ZFavorite school tradition?

Interim tops it. I have had experiences through Interim I couldn't have had otherwise. The Chicago trip in 9th grade was great class  bonding. In 10th grade, I stayed in Huntsville and did community service. It was such an eye-opening experience because I hadn't realized what joy it brings. In 11th grade, I shadowed Allison Holker on "Dancing with the Stars," and this year I shadowed a choreographer in L.A. These were some of the best weeks of my life.

Best memory?

Senior year! I have made some of my best memories this year.

How would you like to be remembered?

Staying true to who I am, standing up for what I believe in and trying to make a difference.

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Topics: college, Freedom, I-Search, Interim, dance, Seniors

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