Sunday, May 26, 2024

Brainy multi-talented student, twice-crowned queen named SHS valedictorian

Mitchell to study music education at Texas Christian University

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The words of wisdom Springtown High School valedictorian Kate Mitchell wants to share with her fellow Class of 2024 graduates are to choose kindness.

“It takes so much more effort to be mean and to hold grudges and to gossip,” Mitchell said. “It takes so much effort and energy to do that, when you could just be nice and have a good day without really trying because people don't want to have an issue, so if you don't spend the energy on the issue, then there's not going to be an issue.”

But as far as she knows, being kind is not a problem for the SHS community at large. Teachers really care about their students, Mitchell said; fellow classmates are friendly, and administrators want to set up the high schoolers for success.

“I love just all of the working parts and the people in this community and school district that are all trying to just build the best place that they can,” she said.

Mitchell has had a busy school year. She served as captain of the Springtown Showstoppers and drum major/ French horn player for the Sound of Springtown while also being crowned queen twice — at homecoming in the fall and at prom in the spring. And she managed to secure her spot at the top of her class, academically.

Balancing band and dance team rehearsals alone has been a challenge for Mitchell. She would often spend 14 hour-days at SHS to keep up with her activities.

“I would get up to the school at 6 a.m. to set up for marching rehearsal, have marching rehearsal until school starts, go to school all day, have dance practice from 4-6 (p.m.), and then stay after six to help a little bit, and then after six, 6:30 to 8:30, would be another marching rehearsal,” Mitchell said.

Academically, Mitchell said she has high standards and has strived to maintain all As throughout high school. Just this year, she learned to accept a B grade.

“You can't keep it up forever,” she said.

Mitchell had been ranked No. 1 in her class since freshman year, so being named valedictorian was exciting but not shocking to her, she said. Though getting the top spot is an achievable goal for freshmen, Mitchell wouldn’t recommend that other students make that their main priority. She said she earned the valedictorian title because of her standards, not because she consciously sought it out.

“I think if you obsess over something like that, then you're going to be a lot less happy throughout high school when you should really be focusing on relationships,” Mitchell said.

After graduation, Mitchell plans to attend Texas Christian University to study music education, and she may go on to earn a master’s degree in performance. She hopes to combine her love of music and teaching — which she has some experience with through leading the dance team and as a drum major — to become a band director.

Even as she prepares to graduate, Mitchell is still thinking about the student organizations she’s leaving behind and wishes them success in the future. For the Sound of Springtown, which didn’t make it to state this past year, she hopes the band members will be determined to do better in next year’s competition. For the Showstoppers, she wants the dancers to build on this year’s success at Nationals, move beyond the basics and be able to further their knowledge of technique.

“I want to make sure that I'm setting them up for success as well,” she said.