This week’s SCVTV Outstanding Student of the Week is Taylor Totten from Trinity Classical Academy. Taylor has a 4.85 GPA and scored 2,240 on the SAT.
History has become the passion for this National Honor Society member. She is already well-read in history, but there was one book in particular that truly made her appreciate the subject more deeply.
“One of my favorite authors is Edward Mansfield,” Taylor said. “He writes this book called ‘More Than Dates and Dead People.’ It’s an awesome book. It’s so true how much history effects us and how much we really need to understand it if we’re going to be productive and contributing citizens. And it’s just fascinating to me. I can never get bored reading history accounts if the author knows really well what they are talking about. Hearing history professors who have studied certain time periods speak about it and hearing their passion for it amazes me. I want to be able to have that passion for something.”
She has been accepted to seven different colleges, many of which are offering academic scholarships. But a recent trip to Berkeley made her decision clear to become a Cal Bear.
“They have the No. 1 history program in the country, tied with Princeton,” she said. “The professors there are great. All of the classes are taught by professors, no no graduate students, no TA’s until you get to the discussion groups. And they just produce really educated students.”
Taylor points to a history teacher at Trinity – Chris Lee – who has inspired her to not only love the subject, but to succeed, as well.
“I didn’t realize that that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what I loved until about high school age,” Taylor said. “But hearing him talk about it and hearing him teach has really inspired me. And he gives me books all the time from his house that he thinks I’ll be interested in. He’ll bring me books on Byzantine history or books on World War II.”
And her advice to students entering high school?
“You have to care about your studies,” she said. “I think it’s really motivating when you understand the rewards you are going to reap in the end. And when you understand the benefit not only of what you are doing for your future, but just the benefit of learning right now – and if you really understand that and you care about it – it’s going to make your whole experience a lot easier and a lot more fruitful, a lot more exciting.”
Congratulations to Taylor Totten of Trinity Classical Academy, SCVTV’s Outstanding Student of the Week.