By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published May 15, 2014
Holy Spirit Preparatory School nominated Sarah Martin as an outstanding senior for The Georgia Bulletin. According to the school, Sarah was “the meekest, quietest girl in her class through most of high school.” She has “blossomed into a student leader these last two years.”
ATLANTA—Leading a theater program for youngsters. Mentoring underclassmen. Throwing parties for an after-school program.
All that and you wouldn’t believe that Sarah Martin sees herself as an introvert.
There’s a grassy lawn between the upper school and the lower school at Holy Spirit Preparatory School.
Some students treat the quad as a dividing line, youngsters on one side, high-schoolers on the other. Sarah wanted to build bridges to the younger students.
“It is beautiful to be with them, pretend with them, imagine with them. I’ve had fun just goofing with them,” she said about the time spent with the grade school students.
The youngest child of a nurse and a bus driver, Kathy and Peter Martin, the 18-year-old is finishing her sixth year at the independent Catholic school on the north side of Atlanta. The Martin family attends St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell.
Sarah isn’t the only family member on the small campus. A sister, Kelly, is a preschool teacher. Her aunt, Rosemary Thomasberger, is a music teacher, but she’s missed most of the year due to illness.
Martin said part of her inspiration this year to get out of her shell has been her aunt. It’s been “heartbreaking” that Thomasberger missed her senior year, Martin said, so she’s thrown herself into the theater mentoring program because of her aunt’s love of it.
Sarah doesn’t live to see her name in bright lights. She has had one role, as an Oompa Loompa in a performance of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” She brings enthusiasm to recruit others to help, from giving nervous youngsters tips on how to project their voice to helping a would-be genie with magic tricks. She’s also a mentor to other high school students, meeting frequently to talk, watch movies, and for faith sharing. And she also organizes parties for an after-school program, carting in boxes of her own games and supplies to brighten the day.
She was a drifter amongst the class of 2014 until a teacher called her out.
“I didn’t classify myself as a leader. I was more of a follower,” she laughed.
But David Rosenzweig, now the assistant principal of student leadership, saw untapped potential. “Mr. Rose” taught Sarah history for three years.
Sarah is the type of young woman any parent would want their daughter to model, he said.
“Her character is impeccable,” he said.
Rosenzweig said he saw she was lost in the school, but in his classroom he saw leadership.
He encouraged her to “find your voice,” which she did.
“When she talks, people go silent,” he said. “What an amazing kid.”
He thinks she’ll “dedicate her life to taking care of others.”
In the fall, she’ll be studying at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. In fact, she starts her college course the Monday after Holy Spirit Prep graduation.
After college, her dream is to help other students appreciate art.
“I’d love to be an art teacher here. I daydream about that. Art teachers, in general, you get to know your students more. When you are an art teacher, you get to listen to them more,” said Sarah, a National Art Honor Society member whose favorite medium is colored pencils.