The Life of an Academic Excellent

Zhou Describes Herself as Hardworking


Maddie Port, Contributing Reporter

Junior Savannah Zhou is one of Linn-Mar’s finest in academic accomplishments and standing, and some may wonder just how she got where she is today. In an interview with Zhou, it became clear just how dedicated she is to her studies and maintaining her 4.45 GPA. Many know Zhou to be one of the most intelligent students at Linn-Mar High School. Another junior at Linn-Mar, Allison Hanson, describes Zhou as being “musical and very talented,” as well as “engaging in conversation.”

That’s how other people see Zhou, but how does she see herself?

“Hard-working because I always try my best to do my best at everything I do. Determined, because I don’t back down when I face challenges and difficulties, but instead try my best to face them. Forgetful because I somehow always forget where I put my keys and my phone!” said Zhou.

Savannah’s hard-working and determined traits have fueled her to become one of the most intelligent within the school, while her trait of forgetfulness shows her imperfections and helps others to better relate to her.

An average school night for Zhou is quite different than that of most other students. She doesn’t only have homework to complete, but must also balance this homework with her job as a math instructor at Mathnasium, practicing her instrument, and helping tutor other students through her tutoring center. After her school day, she begins her evening with a three hour shift at her job, instructing math at Mathnasium, goes home to eat dinner, occasionally squeezes in some time to practice her viola or piano, and then sits down to complete four or more hours of homework. Zhou says time management used to be a bit of an issue for her but she is getting better about this.

“Now I manage my time well and I follow a pretty consistent schedule, so I stay on task. Of course there are always things that come up, but I prioritize and can still get things done on time.”

Not only is Zhou an academically accomplished student, but her extracurricular involvement is quite impressive as well. She holds many leadership positions and proves to thrive in these challenging positions.

“I’ve always wanted to participate in a lot of clubs and activities because I like to stay involved. High school is the time to try new things and get yourself out into the world.”

Some of Zhou’s roles in her clubs include her position as co-principal in Linn-Mar’s orchestra, where she is responsible for leading the section and getting fingerings and bowings. She is also the Business Liaison for FBLA, and is responsible for reaching out and maintaining business connections with the community, she is the president and creator of the M.A.S.S Tutoring Center, overseeing and coordinating all aspects of the center.

Zhou’s initiatives within the school have been a success, but she also has accomplished a few initiatives outside of school, within the community.

“I want to be an active participant, not only in school, but also in the community and be able to give back and make a difference.” She has begun to leave her mark on the surrounding community by starting a club that helps raise awareness for wildlife and animals that are becoming endangered as well as organizing a trash pick-up within the community. She also hopes to start volunteering in multiple local and national organizations this year.

What has ultimately helped Zhou accomplish her academic success and navigate successfully through her challenges is her goal-driven mindset.

“I always have a goal in mind and I keep it in mind until I have accomplished it. Once I have reached a goal, I set a higher one.” Most importantly, Zhou says, “If I can’t excel with talent, I try my best with effort.”

Zhou’s busy lifestyle may be somewhat hectic at times and may not allow much time for socialization, but she says she enjoys keeping busy with school and that it keeps her entertained. She enjoys the challenges of learning and wouldn’t trade her busy, late nights for anything. Although Zhou is the primary proprietor to her great successes and initiatives, she says she honestly does not know who she would be without her family and their support and she says she is forever thankful for them and for the opportunities they have created for her. She also thanks the amazing support she has had from her teachers and friends that have helped her along the way.

Majorly, Zhou is grateful for the opportunity to learn.

“For me, part of it is about the grades, but a bigger part of it is learning new knowledge and getting to know the world and ourselves as we continue growing.”

So what is next for Savannah in her future? Maybe an education in the medical field she says. However, one thing is for sure, whatever path Zhou may lead will be successful and unforgettable.