LEICESTER, Mass. — Whether it's on the softball field or in the classroom, Leicester High School senior Lauren Tuiskula is no stranger to hard work and dedication.
Now, the young scholar will be honored as a recipient of the MASS Superintendent's Certificate of Academic Excellence.
Every year, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent's award goes to a student who has shown distinction in the pursuit of excellence during their high school career.
A pillar of excellence in her class, Tuiskula has not only balanced a rigorous academic load packed with AP classes and a college course at Holy Cross, but also is a member of Spanish Club and History Club, serves as Treasurer of the National Honors Society and writes for the school newspaper.
Tuiskula also helps out with LCAC-TV, where she had the opportunity to interview athletes like Togo Palazzi.
As a pitcher for the girl's softball team, Tuiskula has been part of the Leicester Wolverines' strong play-off showings the past two years.
According to Superintendent Paul Soojian, Tuiskula's competitive attitude spills over between athletics and academics.
"She pushes herself; she wanted to take all our AP classes, and she performs well on both levels," he said.
In fact, Tuiskula's high level of performance also earned her early acceptance to Amherst College, where she was recruited to play softball.
"That's a pretty selective process," Soojian said. "To get in like that certainly speaks well of what we offer here, but more importantly it speaks very well of Lauren."
"She makes us look good," added Principal Tom Lauder. "She's a great role model, humble and all the rest of it, and I'm hoping this radiates to other students who see her success. I think other kids will aspire to that level because of her, so we're very proud of her."
Tuiskula says the teachers at Leicester High School have offered strong support throughout her four years.
"Even if I don't have them as a teacher," she said. "They've always been available to help with your schoolwork."
Tuiskula was excited to learn she had been nominated for the prestigious award. She will be accompanied by Lauder and Soojian at the annual luncheon next week, where she will be honored along with the other recipients from around Massachusetts.
At Amherst, she plans on studying English, and possibly double-majoring in broadcast journalism.