VALE––For West Lincoln High School’s salutatorian, academic success was so assured, it was open and Shutt.
Isabella Shutt, that is. According to school spokeswoman Amy Cable, Shutt, 17, is in the number-two seat for the class of 2020, and she has much of which to be very proud.
Shutt recently told The Herald more about herself. The daughter of Andrew and Talia Alvarado of Vale, she also has two younger sisters: Genevieve, 15, and Seraphina, 13.
The young salutatorian also talked about her favorite classes and teachers at WLHS.
“I am grateful for all of the teachers that have guided me for the past 13 years by igniting my curiosity, supporting my passions and challenging me,” she said. “In high school, I most enjoyed math courses taught by Ron Patten, AP (advanced-placement) chemistry with Ken Hilderbran, AP biology with Natalie Beam and AP government and politics with Allan Chapman.”
Shutt continued that she was thankful as well for the chance to supplement her learning with Internet-based classes through the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, including multivariable calculus as a junior and AP economics classes as a senior.
Besides being a stellar student, Shutt was also a stand-out athlete.
“I was a tennis team co-captain this year, my fourth year on the team,” she said. “My team voted to give me the ‘Team Before Self’ award this season. I was also a member of the varsity swim team the last four years and swam mostly long-distance events. This season, I was voted ‘Most Outstanding Swimmer.’
“I was captain of the ‘Battle of the Books’ team this year and a member of the team as we won the Lincoln County Championship three years in a row,” she added. “For the last two years, I have been the West Lincoln DECA Chapter president and have performed well at district and state competitions since joining as a sophomore. Most recently, my sister (Genevieve) and I qualified for international competition in the business law and ethics team event.”
And Shutt was the captain of her school’s “Quiz Bowl” team this year. She participated in the well-known trivia competition between area schools for all four years of her high school experience. She was also a member of the student council and West Lincoln’s “Relay for Life” team.
As a sophomore, Shutt founded the West Lincoln Teen Democrats Chapter after being named the N.C. Association of Teen Democrats Piedmont regional director. She then became the regional group’s vice president.
“For the past two years I have been a member of the City of Lincolnton Student Advisory Council,” she said, adding that she “served as the council secretary as a junior. I have been a member of the Educational Opportunities and Community Activities Committees. I was the director of the backpack program for Childers Elementary School, run through Hull’s Grove Baptist Church, from my freshman to junior year, and I co-ordinated the shopping, packing and delivery of weekend meals for over 20 students each week. As I was often busy with these responsibilities, I prioritized family dinners and often enjoyed a break from studying by helping my sisters and grandparents cook and bake.”
Shutt is a member of Bess Chapel United Methodist. There, she is an active member of the youth group, and she handles all bookings for the fellowship hall.
Other honors include being:
- a 2019 National AP Scholar;
- a National Merit Scholar;
- a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar;
- and the West Lincoln staff nominee for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar.
Come August, Shutt will be off to prestigious Princeton University as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholar.
“I plan to major at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs,” she said, “where I will study the intersection of productive policy-making and mathematical reasoning.”
And Shutt offered some words of wisdom for the class of 2020.
“Define your own goals,” she said. “Society will attempt to define your success. But you must decide what it is that brings you joy and what roles you want to pursue."