Hill-Murray School senior Elizabeth (Ella) Sutherland struggled in school until freshman year. Then she got herself into gear.
Elizabeth (Ella) Sutherland
What has been your high point so far in your academic career?
My entire junior year.
What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I struggled in school up until freshman year. I didn’t put that much effort in. I found a passion for my education at the end of freshman year. My parents started talking about college and they told me how important it was going to be to get myself into gear and focus on the important things. [Since then] I have exceeded all of the expectations I had for myself.
What have you found especially challenging or difficult in your academic career?
Balancing my academics with all of the extracurriculars. Basketball, church leadership group and work at Donatelli’s in White Bear Lake.
What advice would you give someone just beginning high school?
Make sure that you focus. As much as people say that your freshman grades won’t matter, they do. Always keep in mind your end goal. High school can get very tough at times, and it gets hard to see what you’re doing it for.
What is your special power?
Communication. The past few years, I have found my friends coming to me when they need someone to listen to them or someone to give them advice. Another power that I have is a good work ethic. If I want to achieve something, nothing can stop me. I like to challenge myself and do things that I never thought I’d be able to do.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I’ll continue my education. I’ve toured a few schools around the Twin Cities but haven’t decided on a school yet. Right now, I want to become an orthodontist and will most likely major in biology or one of the sciences.
What are your main academic interests, and why?
Algebra and chemistry—my teachers are amazing. They have shown me their passion and that has inspired me to learn more. I used to struggle in both math and science, but when I began focusing on the interest I had in these subjects, I started enjoying the classes more than I ever thought I would.
Who is one person who has influenced you to excel, and why?
My brother Will. He has always been an outstanding student, and he motivated me to achieve the things that he can. Whether it’s a quick pep talk or help getting ready for a test, he always has my back, and I am incredibly thankful that I have someone like him as a brother.