Big Walnut’s Painter ready for change
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With her senior year hitting the halfway mark, Big Walnut’s Abigail Painter is ready for high school to be over and for college to begin.
“I’ve been in high school too long. It’s the same routine over and over again. I like change,” she said.
Abigail has attended the school district since kindergarten while living in the same house.
“I feel like living here my whole life, I’m ready to get out,” she said, adding that while she will definitely miss home and the area, “I’m ready to start something new.”
New for Abigail will be studying to become a biomedical engineer. She has applied to seven schools and has not decided which she’ll attend. Her top two choices are Case Western Reserve University and Vanderbilt University.
Abigail is considering going to medical school once she has her undergraduate degree.
“It depends on whether I am tired of school or want to go on,” she said. “I’ll see where everything takes me in the future.”
Abigail said as a biomedical engineer, she can conduct research or make medical machines. If she goes on to medical school, she is interested in dermatology.
Abigail said she decided on her career path after looking at her college options.
“My passions are math and science; math is my favorite subject so I wanted something with a lot of math,” she said.
Science teacher Nadine Adams said, “Abby’s gifts include her science and math skills. Although I’ve had her in three science courses and she’s always at the top of her class, she has not nearly reached her potential in high school. I am excited for her to go to college and excel in these areas and have the success professionally that I know she will have.”
This year Abigail is taking advanced placement calculus, advanced placement literature and composition, government, advanced placement chemistry, Spanish IV honors and anatomy.
Last fall, Abigail went on the school’s marine biology trip to Andrus Island in the Bahamas. Over the summer, she became scuba certified.
“It was a really good experience I can take with me,” she said. “It’s just a different way to get education.”
Math teacher Katherine Dawson had Abigail in her pre-calculus class her junior year and in advanced placement calculus AB this year. Abigail is a member of the school’s math honor society and helps tutor others, Dawson said.
“Abby is a well-spoken young lady and will be successful at the collegiate level. She works well with others and can see the big picture in mathematics. When given the opportunity, Abby can think ‘outside of the box.’”
Dawson added that Abigail has displayed her leadership skills both in sports and through various school clubs and groups.
Among the school clubs and activities that keep her busy are Big Brothers Big Sisters, Leo Club and Eagles First Flight. She is also secretary of her class, having served as vice president both her sophomore and junior year.
In past years, she also did choir and student council.
Abigail typically does her volunteer work through Leo Club, helping at Breakfast with Santa and the Christmas tree sale as well as at the humane society.
“I’m like one of those people, the busier I am, the more productive I am,” she said.
Even during her busy volleyball season, Abigail has no problem keeping up with school work, she said.
“Now that volleyball is over, work keeps me busy, otherwise, I would be taking lots of naps,” she said, laughing.
Abigail has played volleyball since the fifth grade, playing both club and at school so she had been playing year round. She decided to take this coming spring off from the sport.
She also works at a local pizza place.
“I’ve been there a bit over a year,” she said, adding that now that volleyball is over, she is working two to four days a week.
Before this job, she worked at a country club in the summer of 2011 and over the past holiday break, in addition to the restaurant, Abigail also worked at a retail clothing store.
“I like to stay busy,” she said.
She said she may play volleyball at Case-Western, but if she attends one of the larger schools, she would do intramurals.
During her junior year, the volleyball team went to the state tournament.
“I got to learn leadership skills from the seniors that year,” she said.
This year, the volleyball team went to district semis.
Abigail also played softball since she was five up until the eighth grade.
“Once I played volleyball, I loved it more,” she said.
With her high school career ending soon, Abigail said she is excited for more time with friends, prom, graduation and her graduation party.
She offers the following advice to underclassmen.
“Definitely don’t take it as a joke,” she said of high school. “You have to work hard. And as a senior, do not be influenced to take easy classes, but still challenge yourself.”
Abigail is the daughter of Scott Painter and Mickell Wallace of Sunbury.