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Sophomore Hailee Sincerbeaux strives for excellence in all facets of her life

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School.

What do you think of when you see that word? Stress? Homework? Learning? Passion? For sophomore Hailee Sincerbeaux, school can be summed up in two words: passion and learning. She has always been passionate about learning new things, which is why she enjoys school so much despite her workload and stress levels. She credits her success in school and passion for learning to her devoted, passionate teachers that challenge and push her to excellence.

“I love to learn new things,” Hailee said. “I’ve always been really passionate about learning; I think it had to do with how the teachers challenged us. A lot of my teachers don’t just give you papers or busy work– they really challenge you to find a spark in what you really like and what you are learning.”

Hailee’s sparks were ignited this year in her assortment of advanced courses, which include Honors English 10, Chem 215, Algebra 2, and Spanish 4. Hailee opted out of APUSH because she knows how she handles stress levels, and Spanish 4 seemed like no easy task. Hailee started her Spanish journey in seventh grade and continued down the path up until now.

Next year, though, Hailee is trading Spanish for science. With a pre-med path in mind and a strong enthusiasm for science, Human Anatomy and Physiology (HAP) and physics seemed like the way to go for her junior year.

Hailee is interested to learn about how the human body moves and functions in HAP through memorizing various terms and looks forward to putting her strong math skills to the test with physics.

“It’s a really interesting thing to know how things move and what causes things to move,” Hailee said. “Teachers and people say it’s really important to take a memorization-based class and a math-based class if you’re going to take two science classes. HAP is more memorization, and I thought it would be cool because I’ve never taken a class like that before.”

Hailee is not afraid of the challenge those harder courses will offer because she is always striving for the best in everything she does.

“I think that [HAP and physics] will [challenge me],” Hailee said. “I’ve heard that HAP is a lot of memorization, so I think that’s going to challenge that side of my learning. With physics, just the math-based learning and that kind of science will be challenging.”

Along with her science-based courses, Hailee will further challenge herself in AP Lang next year. With another complicated course and a diligent teacher, Hailee thinks she will be putting forth her best effort thanks to her work ethic and supportive teachers.

“I heard that [Sarah Scobell] is very challenging, and she pushes you to be your best, and that’s what I need to further my writing and learning,” Hailee said. “It’s nice to have somebody to push you to be your best and not just someone to be there to explain what’s going on. [My teachers] want to see you get better and move forward with what you’re doing.”

Hailee is able to manage her strenuous workload because of the stress-reliever both swim and water polo is. Even though swim practices can be stressful in themselves sometimes, as soon as Hailee hits the water she knows her worries will drift away with each stroke.

“Sometimes you feel kind of stressed out and tired, but other times [swim] is a good way to relieve stress,” Hailee said. “If I’m stressed out about school or whatever, I jump in the pool, and it’s like I’m in a different place. I can focus on something else, and it helps me relax. It’s a nice thing to do after school to take your mind off of what went on [that day], like what homework you have or what test you have the next day. [I can] focus on something else, which is what I think I really like about it.”

On top of swim being a stress-reliever, it also provides a support system for Hailee. The close-knit team fights through tough practices together because her team is a family. It’s really special for Hailee to have that bond with her teammates, and she likes the stability both the support and the sport give her.

“I like [swimming] because it’s something that I’m used to,” Hailee said. “I love the team that’s here; people always say that the swim team at Forest Hills Central is a family. The practices are hard, but you’re a family, and you get through it together. It’s really nice to have that kind of support.”

Hailee found the same supportive atmosphere carried over to water polo. As a sophomore, Hailee was pulled up to the varsity team along with a couple of other sophomores. The varsity practices are tougher, but she thinks it’s really special to be a part of such a strong, fun, supportive team.

“[Varsity] is a lot harder than JV, but it’s a lot more fun,” Hailee said. “[The upperclassman] love having us there, and I love being a part of a team with them. It’s nice to have somebody you know, but [they] also take you under their wing and push you to be the best you can be.”

Hailee likes the competitive nature of water polo but enjoys the independence of swimming. When she is swimming, Hailee is only focusing on herself and independently improving her times. In water polo, Hailee is focused on having fun with her teammates and competing.

“Water polo is a team sport, where swimming is more individual,” Hailee said. “I don’t get as much time to focus on myself when I’m playing water polo, but it’s a really fun way to hang out with your friends. It’s competitive and a very interesting sport that I’ve never played; it’s so much fun to play such a contact sport.”

Hailee considers herself very competitive– even in activities beyond sports. She is constantly competing with herself because she is always striving for the best. Although this mindset can be challenging, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m very competitive,” Hailee said. “I’ve been competitive since I was younger; I don’t like to lose. I’m competitive with myself because I strive for excellence every time. I’m kind of a perfectionist. It can be a little stressful sometimes because, you know, things aren’t going [to be] perfect.”

Hailee doesn’t plan on changing this mindset anytime soon, which will come in handy in a few years when she is in the pediatric field. With a determined attitude and a passion for helping kids, Hailee hopes to be a successful pediatrician in the future.

“I would love to do something in the pediatric field because I love kids,” Hailee said. “That’s kind of where I’ve been focusing. I think that being a doctor is probably one of the most rewarding jobs out there because you’re helping people almost every day. I think that’s really why I want to become a doctor. I think helping kids is rewarding because their life is so young. It could be a life-or-death kind of thing, and I think saving such a young person’s life is so rewarding.”

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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central
Sophomore Hailee Sincerbeaux strives for excellence in all facets of her life