Andrea Hearron is at a loss why she was voted the most outstanding student of the graduating class of Northwest Christian Schools.
“I am not one of the 10 valedictorians,” the modest 17-year-old senior said. “I am not a star athlete either. I haven’t stood out.”
Such humility does not surprise her school. “Andrea is not about seeking accolade. She is about getting the job done and do it right,” said the school’s Associated Student Body adviser Andrew Lewis. School staff appreciate her hard work and dedication. Since her sophomore year, Hearron has been a teacher’s aide, putting in a tremendous amount of time helping teachers who need chores done. “I just respect my teachers because they have a hard job. So I try to be helpful. I do whatever that needs to be done.”
“Andrea is someone who is dedicated to any job she has at hand,” Lewis said. “She will do whatever it takes to get a job done with excellence, whether it means she does it during her break, after school, on weekends. She is no status quo. She makes sure a job is done right, whatever it takes.”
Hearron is a gifted writer and plays piano. The piano part has been largely self-taught since she turned 14, and a move ended her lessons. She composes music and lyrics. She also is a gifted singer and dancer who relishes ballroom dancing.
But above all, Hearron is an extraordinarily resilient young woman, who is able to transcend every adversity in life, large or small.
In the summer of her sophomore year, her father, who had been the rock of her life, died suddenly in her presence. Devastated by the loss, she withdrew into herself. The vivacious young woman stopped caring about many things. But not for long.
“I realized what I was learning was for the better. It is for my future,” she said of her grief. “Besides, I am stubborn. I can’t just give up something in the middle. I have to see it through.”
With the help of her family, school and friends, she stoically worked through her grief. “One day at a time,” she said. She channeled her grief into creative energy and sought solace in writing and music. “The poems she wrote during that time are amazing,” Lewis said.
Hearron is a black belt in tae kwon do and performed in an elite demo team until knee injuries forced her to quit the sport in her sophomore year. The latest knee injury deprived her of performing at the school musical, something she has done since seventh grade. But she took up stage management instead, and did an outstanding job with it, even jumping in as an understudy as needed.
“Andrea has the amazing ability to make good out of a bad situation.” Lewis said. “She is able to turn a stumbling block into a stepping stone.”