Junior high is often a transitional time for students as they become acclimated to heavier workloads and face new challenges, but Renee O’Connor of Dutcher Middle School has been well versed in balancing activities for years.
Receiving a Reflections award for her poetry in the 3 grade confirmed Renee’s aptitude for English reading and writing. Renee said that the award was encouraging and Language Arts has since become her favorite subject where she most enjoys in-class writing assignments in Sharon Segars 8th grade Gifted and Talented Education class at Dutcher.
When she isn’t doing school assignments or reading for pleasure, Renee devotes her time to sports. Renee is a veteran volleyball player who has played the position of defense specialist for Dutcher’s volleyball team as well as on the local travel ball team Crush. Her experience in volleyball has encouraged her to tackle new sports, such as basketball which she is playing for the first time this year.
“I’ve never played basketball and I tried out for fun and because my friends wanted me to. So far, I really like it,” said Renee.
Renee’s talents are not limited to the classroom or the court as she has also honed her artistic side by playing guitar and participating in Dutcher’s production of “Annie” last year. At a school where Renee says many students play sports, being a part of a theater production offered her a unique experience. She hopes to use her diverse interests in the future to help others as a counselor or therapist.
“I like helping people with their problems. I’d like to be a counselor or something like that, or do something with writing,” said Renee, who plans to attend a University of California campus.
For now, she intends to enjoy her final year at Dutcher and continue to try new activities before she tackles her next challenge: high school.