LFHS Valedictorian Spotlight: Connor Sponsler

LFHS Valedictorian Spotlight: Connor Sponsler
Posted on 05/21/2020
This is the image for the news article titled LFHS Valedictorian Spotlight: Connor SponslerParents: Terri and Henry Sponsler
Previous schools attended: Laureles Elementary, Rancho Verde Elementary, Los Cuates Middle School
College: Harvard University
Physics and Mathematics
Post-bachelor's degree: Doctorate in theoretical physics

Inspiration for academic success:  From as early as I can remember, my parents have always taught me that it is important that I apply myself fully in everything I do – whether it be in my schoolwork, music, or more recently martial arts. They have always believed in me and in my ability to achieve great things when I put in the effort. Doing my best in academics was never a choice I made at any specific time but just an example of how I was encouraged to approach challenges in life.

Study habits: The time I spend doing my schoolwork is the vast majority of my “study time.” During that time though, I make sure that I know the concepts behind the topics the work is practice for. I never really had a set time to do my homework. If I knew it was short enough to complete in the morning before school started and I had already been working on homework at night after extracurriculars, I allowed myself to rest and decided to focus on it the next day. I admit that I have been known to procrastinate, but I have done so only when I was confident I would be able to finish my assignments on time and with good quality. 

Career plans: I hope that when I finish my education, I will be employed at a university for research in theoretical physics and also teaching graduate-level courses. I have always been insatiably curious and interested in physics since elementary school when I found the endless strings of “Why?” questions I asked kept leading back to physics. I have always strived to gain an understanding of anything and everything that was put in front of me, and as a continuation of that I want to learn about the mechanisms that govern our universe and expand the boundaries of human knowledge.

Advice to younger students to succeed academically: There was never a specific year during which I realized that I should focus on academics. I have enjoyed learning since before first grade, so over my academic career I pushed myself to take harder classes just to be exposed to more complex ideas and facinating topics. Academic success was one of my goals, but it was also more of a side effect of actively trying to learn what was being taught than my main purpose at school. My advice to students in any grade is to worry less about what letter grade you can get out of a class and think more about what you can learn from it.
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