Story and photo by Marianne Salza
Pope John XXIII High School (PJHS) senior Sharice Nazaire is a student with an incredible work ethic – someone friends and teachers can count on.
She is at the top of her Advanced Placement (AP) program and studies diligently. Through her full days of homework and game training, Sharice always finds time to laugh and have fun with friends.
“The most outstanding thing about Sharice is that she has a lot of fun at school. She has a good balance of enjoying life, combined with a great work ethic,” said Mathematics Department Chair Steven Skerry, who has had Nazaire in three of his classes. “There haven’t been many kids who have a work ethic like Sharice. She always goes above and beyond because she is driven to succeed and understand things.”
During a recent AP Calculus midterm exam, Skerry said he was astounded by Nazaire’s motivation. She reviewed a thick packet of 100 math problems four times before taking the test.
Nazaire has also been extremely engaged in after-school activities throughout her years at Pope John, having played basketball for two years, and tennis and soccer for four years. In addition, the 17-year-old has been a member of the lighting and sound crew of the Drama Club for three years, and is a back spot on the cheerleading team, practicing two to three hours a day, five days a week, including Sundays.
“In the beginning, everyone was kind of sloppy when learning the dances moves. My confidence builds the more I do it. My moves are sharp now,” said Nazaire about cheer routines. “I love the adrenaline that hits you when you’re running on the [soccer] field.”
Balancing extracurricular activities with homework and family and friend time has not always been so easy for Nazaire. As an underclassman, she was exhausted by late nights of studying after long days of school and practice.
“After the second half of sophomore year, I realized that there was a better way of managing my time,” said Nazaire, who now begins her homework before practice, takes a nap when she gets home, and then finishes her work after reenergizing.
Nazaire has been accepted into UMass Amherst and Boston College. She hopes to study computer science at MIT, her dream school. She has even created a phone application called Life Cycles, which teaches people how to recycle through creative tutorials like making a wallet out of duct tape.