Salutatorian challenges the meaning of learning at Staples

Every morning, Megan Root ’15 sets aside 40 minutes to enjoy her daily wake-up call: a nutritious meal, a cup of coffee and, most importantly, a Charles Dickens’ novel.

“I have basically been a geek since the day I was born,” Root laughed. She recalls learning how to read when she was 3-years-old and practicing math problems on kitchen napkins with her father.

“I was pretty annoying throughout all of elementary school,” Root said. “I was always that kid who was the know it all, and I insisted on being right on everything.”

Her ambitious and hardworking drive led her to taking five honors classes her freshman year and 10 AP classes throughout sophomore, junior and senior year.

“On the first day of school, I remember Megan had a firm handshake,” biology teacher Serena Tirado said. “She likes to be challenged and appreciates learning in a very mature and realistic way.”

“I never built my schedule around getting the highest grades,” Root said. “I always had a free and always took classes like journalism because I knew they would be interesting.”

One of Root’s closest friends and classmates, Madeline Schemel ’15, has always admired Root’s passion for knowledge. “She’s never worried about the grade,” Schemel said. “She is always focused on learning and understanding the material instead.”

With Root’s efficient and hardworking personality, she was also able to excel as an Inklings page editor, a member of the National Honors Society and a two year captain for varsity soccer.

She will continue playing soccer at Amherst College, a Division III school, and said she will savor every moment she can before it ends. “There’s a level of chemistry and communication in soccer that I really haven’t found anywhere else in life,” Root smiled. “If you feel lonely on the soccer field, then something must be very wrong.”

Her assistant principal, James Farnen, has always been impressed with Root’s soccer skills. “She’s so humble and low key during the day, but then you see her intensity on the field  – she’s a totally different person,” Farnen said.

Root’s leadership on the soccer field was also beneficial in the classroom setting according to her AP Calculus BC teacher, Robin Sacilotto.

“She had a way of explaining concepts to her peers that truly showed how much she understood it,” Sacilotto said. “She was always one of the top scorers on the assessments but also knew how to make the class laugh and have fun.”

One of Root’s favorite memories from high school was in A.P. Language when they discussed racism in “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. “It was days like those that exposed me to different perspectives,” Root said. “Being the geek that I am, I actually consider that ‘fun.’”

Another one of Root’s friends and classmates, Siobhan O’Loughlin ’15, is also able to vouch for Root’s entertaining side. “Despite her busy schedule, she still keeps herself available and always makes me laugh,” O’Loughlin said.Root is unsure what exactly she wants to study in her future, but there’s no doubt her determination will lead her to success. “I know this sounds like a cliché, but I really do mean it,” Tirado said and paused, “She is the type of student who gives me hope for the future.”