Samantha Dodd - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Samantha Dodd

County: Ohio

High School: Wheeling Park High School
GPA: 4.78

Plans for after graduation: Dodd says she definitely wants to major in engineering, but she also would like to get a second major in business. She would like to attend Purdue University, but she hasn't quite ruled out Vanderbilt University either.

A Full Plate

Wheeling Park Senior Balances Full, Well-Rounded Schedule

She wakes up at 5:45 each morning, takes part in about six extra-curricular activities per season and is eager to get a job this summer after graduating from Wheeling Park High School.

Samantha Dodd is not your typical high school senior. She's dedicated.

"She's just dedicated to herself, to her school, to her community and to her classes," said Jacob Galik, Dodd's Advanced Placement human geography teacher and WPHS Key Club adviser. "I don't know how she does it."

Dodd politely smiles when questioned about the hectic pace she keeps. She deflects the shock by saying she doesn't believe in procrastination, that she's always liked to stay busy, and she can't even single out her least favorite class or activity.

"There isn't anything I don't like, really," she said. Her math classes have been her favorite, she said, because she likes solving problems.

"You have to make everything a priority, and do what you want to do, but make sure you do what you have to do before that," Dodd said.

Her hard work and dedication have not only helped Dodd be successful in high school, it also helped her land one of three full-ride scholarships as part of the 2012 EQT Students of Excellence program.

Dodd's mother, Christy, who is a teacher at Wheeling Park, said she's not surprised by the schedule her daughter keeps, even though she described Samantha's older sister and younger brother as more laid back.

"She doesn't sleep very much," Christy Dodd laughed. "She makes her to-do lists, and we always used to tease her that she could be a party planner, but she's been like this since pre-school, so I'm not too surprised.

"I'm always worrying about her over-extending herself, but she's done everything."

Samantha Dodd said she keeps note cards with her schedule and reminders for herself in her pocket most days. She said she keeps up with Facebook and Twitter but doesn't watch a lot of television, except for short bursts of CSI before taking afternoon naps.

Dodd was one of two students selected from West Virginia to attend the American Legion Auxiliary's Girls Nation program for a visit to the White House. Dodd said her favorite part was meeting with wounded veterans at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., because it was an honor to be around people who had sacrificed so much.

"We say the Pledge of Allegiance in school every morning, but I'm the only one who actually says it," she said. "I realize how important it is to other people, so I always make it a point."

And Dodd's passion for community service is not limited to any specific cause. She is president of WPHS's Key Club, and she has led fundraisers for UNICEF, the Sisters of St. Joseph, Salvation Army and Easter Seals. She says she wants to start her own charity some day.

Galik said he has been the adviser for Key Club for the past three years, and it's only had about 20 members, but since Dodd came on board, membership skyrocketed to more than 50, with one spur-of-the moment fundraiser bringing in more than $300 for childhood cancer research in about an hour.

"Kids have an amazing way of knowing when something is worth their time, and Sam has made Key Club worth their time," he said.

Dodd said a freshman recently told her Key Club is fun, and Dodd said that let her know that she'll leave a legacy when she graduates.

Dodd says she's eager to get to college to experience a bit of a change, to utilize everything she's learned in life so far, and to focus on the subjects and activities she loves.

And those activities aren't just limited to school. Dodd said she enjoys running on the cross country team, but she runs on her own year-round. She has fun taking pictures and is almost always engrossed in a book for fun.

Dodd says she definitely wants to major in engineering, but she also would like to get a second major in business. She would like to attend Purdue University, but she hasn't quite ruled out Vanderbilt University either.

It sounds like Dodd's hectic pace won't be slowing down any time soon, but if anyone can juggle it all, it's her, with maybe a little help from a calendar and an afternoon nap. 

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