Originally aired on WPBF-25 News – December 27, 2017
The 2018 winter Olympic Games are just a couple of months away and one South Florida teenager will be watching them very closely, as she balances her passion for figure skating with her academic desire to go to medical school. Stephanie Berzinski caught up with the accomplished athlete and student at the place where she spends most of her time.
“I get here anywhere from 5 to 7 in the morning and I usually don’t leave until about either 3:30 or 6:30 in the evening,” 17-year-old Sara Scheibert, from Lake Worth, said.
Her house may be in Lake Worth, but her home is here on the ice. Scheibert spends six days a week at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, practicing her passion for figure skating.
“It’s just so much fun and I love being able to skate and landing jumps. It’s like the best feeling in the world and being in the air, you’re like flying. It’s so fun,” Scheibert said.
Scheibert has been skating competitively since she was 8 years old and is a national champion gold medalist. Her family moved to Florida from Maryland so she could train with the Panthers’ figure skating coach, but her dedication to the sport made it difficult for her to attend a traditional high school. Instead, she uses a virtual school, an online college prep school called George Washington University Online High School.
“I can take school in the car and I can take school home with me and there’s never a problem,” Scheiber said.
If you think online high school is easy, think again.
“I’m taking AP biology, AP English language and composition, and Journeys 12, which is just a course my school does every year, and I’m taking calculus,” Scheibert said.
Scheibert said virtual school has taught her a very important life lesson as well.
“You have to have a lot of independence and a lot of time management skills because if you skate all day when are you going to do school? And all of a sudden you have a bunch of zeroes in your grade book,” Scheibert said.
But now Scheibert faces her biggest challenge yet. The 12th-grader wants to go to medical school, which means she will have to choose college over a chance at the Olympics, but for Scheibert, becoming a doctor would be worth its weight in gold. Scheibert will attend her high school graduation ceremony in Washington, D.C., next summer at George Washington University.