Superintendent’s Spotlight: Stefanie Sommer


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Stefanie Sommer

February 10, 2022

Warwick Valley High School senior Stefanie Sommer is not only a National Honor Society member and varsity swimmer, she’s also an engaged senior class and community fundraiser, tutor to young students, and dedicated Girl Scout. While she spends a lot of her year in and around the pool, she always finds time for her studies and to help others.

“I’ve been on the varsity swim team for five years now, and I’ve been captain for the past three years,” said Stefanie. During those three years, she has also assisted with managing the boys swim team, helping run practices, write line-ups, and taking charge of set-up and scoring at meets. “Pretty much making sure everything works.”

When the Wildcats season ends, Stefanie goes right back to her club team, the New York Sharks, which is planning a training trip to Tampa, FL this spring. When she’s not in the natatorium, Stefanie can be found anywhere there’s a senior class fundraiser happening. She gets the impulse to help out from her mom, who heads the Class of 2022 parents’ fundraising efforts.

“My mom’s always been on PTA, so I’ve always been around, on the back end of stuff, helping out,” said Stefanie. “This year we’ve done two clothing drives already, and we’re doing a candy drive right now for Valentine’s Day.”

Stefanie is also the Treasurer of the Empty Bowls group, which has raised more than $1200 for Backpack Snack Attack this fall. 

“We made bowls and necklaces, and went to the Warwick Makers Market with them,” she said, adding that the group currently has something in the works with Future Farmers of America. “Right now we’re working on vases and plant holders, and we’re hoping to team up with the FFA students to buy the plants and do something with them.”

As a member of National Honor Society, Stefanie can be found in the library every Thursday afternoon tutoring students from Warwick Valley Middle School.

“I’ve been helping out with a lot of math, which is great because I want to become a math teacher,” she said. She added that she’s in calculus now and enjoys the applicability of it. “It also comes easy to me – which I guess is a reason I like it – but I like how the problems apply to real life; how it’s something I’ll actually use somewhere.”

Outside of school, Stefanie is a long-time member of Girl Scouts of the USA. She is currently working on her Gold Award, an honor earned by completing a large-scale project during which Scouts apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained through their years of scouting, to find a solution to a problem or issue in their community.

“You can think of it as the Girl Scouts equivalent of being an Eagle Scout,” explained Stefanie. “I’m making Busy Bags for hospitalized pediatric patients. They have crayons, colored pencils, coloring books, stickers. They’re going into these animal print drawstring bags, then I’m delivering them to the local hospitals.”

Stefanie said that she got the idea to give kids things to keep their minds occupied when they are hospitalized right from her own experiences, adding that she’s had her “fair share of trips to the hospital”.

“I’ve been in the ER before for broken bones, and I don’t know what I would have done with myself without a phone,” she laughed. “That made me want to give back by figuring out what I could do to help the little kids who don’t have phones get over their boredom and pain; to kind of distract them.”

Stefanie has already been accepted to Mount Saint Mary College, where swimming and math both figure into her college plans.

“I’m going to major in secondary education and minor in Spanish, while I swim for their team,” she said. “And I want to get into some coaching.”

Good luck, Stefanie. We can’t wait to see where your talent, strong work ethic, and community-mindedness will take you.


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