Veronica Spettmann is your all-around American teenager. She loves hanging out with her friends, seeing plays and watching American Idol. But when you consider all the 14-year-old from Westbury has accomplished so far, it's clear to see that Veronica is more than just a few steps ahead.
Veronica Spettmann recently received a citation for Scholastic Excellence from New York State Assemblyman David Sidikman.
The eldest child of William and Patricia Spettmann, Veronica is currently an eighth grade honors student at St. Ignatius Loyola School in Hicksville. As a seventh grader, Veronica took the SATs for the first time and scored 1000 - better than the average high school junior. "I'm probably going to take them every year in high school, just for the practice," Veronica said.
During the school week, Veronica keeps busy. After completing her homework, she works on future assignments. "I like to do a lot of things ahead of time so I have more free time on the weekends," said Veronica. "My weekends are very important to me. I like to spend time with my family and friends."
Mr. Spettmann said, "We never have to look over our shoulder to see if she is doing her homework. When she's done, she goes on the computer to do further research."
In addition to academics, Veronica is active in many extracurricular activities. She currently sings in the St. Ignatius School Choir - her range is alto, takes dance lessons and attends theater classes and play rehearsals. A member of the Cultural Arts Playhouse (CAPS) in Old Bethpage, Veronica attends musical theater classes at CAPS every Friday evening and last year, was part of the organization's ensemble for Grease. Veronica is currently rehearsing for the role of Rosie for spring production of Bye, Bye Birdie.
In March, New York State Assemblyman David Sidikman honored Veronica with a citation for Scholastic Excellence. In addition, she was nominated by the United States Achievement Academy for both the National Science Honor Award and the National Service and Leadership Award. And in the summer of 2002, Veronica took part in NASA's space academy summer camp and the debriefing she wrote was chosen and posted on the NASA website.
Most recently, Veronica placed first in the St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Daughters of America's Education Contest for her essay on the theme "Let Freedom Ring." She also received the Editor's Choice Award at Poetry.com, a website in which people can submit poems and be recognized by other poets, for her poem, "On the Baseball Field."
In the fall, Veronica will enroll at Holy Trinity High School where she has already been accepted into both the school's honors program and theater program, for which she had to audition. In addition, several colleges have already shown an interest in Veronica, including John's Hopkins and C.W. Post, where she was accepted into the Talent Youth Program.
"We've never had to push her. She always pushes herself," said Mrs. Spettmann. "Her work habits are exceptional and she enjoys what she does. Her thirst for learning is incredible."
As for her future, Veronica said she is interested in performing and flying and plans to devote her summer taking lessons with Nassau Flyers at Republic Airport. Although she is still three years away from getting her driver's license, Veronica has already flown a plane and is constantly reading instruction manuals and textbooks in order to prepare herself for Ground School. "I love flying so much," she said, adding that she can get her wings the day she turns 16.
"We are so proud of her. When we get phone calls and they're always good, I want to shout, 'That's my daughter!'" said Mr. Spettmann.