SHERIDAN — “At the end of the day it is not about what you accomplished, it is about who you have lifted up, who you have made better. It is about what you have given back,” Denzel Washington once said. This is Libby Gardner’s mantra, what she lives by. Gardner, a senior at Sheridan High School, is this week’s Summit Award winner.
She is the daughter of Misty and Josh Gardner, and she has three sisters: older sister Ellie and younger sisters, Shelbi and Kendall. Libby Gardner describes her family as having a “close bond” and she looks up to her mother most. She describes her mother as strong and kind.
“My mom is always taking time to spend one-on-one time with each of us,” Gardner said. “She is the most genuine person I know.”
Gardner is an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA and a resume boasting many advanced courses, including two Advanced Placement, four dual enrollment and three concurrent enrollment classes.
“Libby is an outstanding young woman who brings a positive outlook, desire to learn and a sense of humor that is contagious to those around her,” said SHS math instructor Elizabeth Swager, one of Gardner’s favorite teachers. “Her natural intelligence and strong work ethic are key to her success in school as well as athletics.
“While confident in her abilities, Libby is humble, gracious, compassionate and always willing to help others,” Swager continued. “She is intrinsically motivated to work to her fullest potential in academics, striving for excellence. Libby encourages and celebrates her teammates successes as if they were her own, which makes her a role model and leader among her peers. It was truly a pleasure to have her in class for two years as well as to watch her compete.”
These words are a perfect representation of Gardner and her impact on the Sheridan High School community. Her all-time favorite subject is math; she likes the black and white sensibility of it and has named Swager as an outstanding educator.
“Mrs. Swager is always available and gets to know her students personally,” Gardner said.
Beyond math, Gardner is intrigued by psychology. She thoroughly enjoyed learning about how the brain works and how it relates to each of us.
Gardner has been a three-sport athlete — participating in golf, basketball and soccer — for four years. Her favorite sport is golf.
“Golf can be played for fun or competitively,” Gardner explained. “When playing, it lets your mind be free to just think about golf and the people you are with.”
Gardner is a strong leader on each of her teams. On the soccer team she learned how to be there for her teammates through the importance of the goalie position. In fact, her golf teammates call her their “team mom.”
Gardner is a member of National Honor Society, has participated in Student Council each year and currently serves as the senior class secretary. In addition, she has been employed by the YMCA as a camp counselor.
Last fall, Gardner was fortunate to have an internship at Kennon, focusing on strategical finance management. She experienced both finance and managing outside contracts, especially with the government. This experience solidified her desire to study business, specifically finance in college.
Gardner has committed to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She said she is excited to experience another state that is not too far from home.
On a lighter note, her favorite movie is “Cars,” but she loves all Disney films, mostly because she watches them with her younger sister, who is in fifth grade.
Gardner is a great representation of the Summit Award, a well-deserved honor. Good luck to Gardner in her future endeavors.