SHS Salutatorian Sammy Lunsky graduates with big goals |

SHS Salutatorian Sammy Lunsky graduates with big goals

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

SUMMIT COUNTY – When Summit High School senior Sammy Lunksy graduates today, she’ll walk away with top honors and big goals. The salutatorian plans to attend the University of Denver as a pre-med student, and then it’s on to medical school with a focus in orthopedics. She has a 4.0 GPA.

“It a huge honor and I worked really hard all year to just be in the top 10,” Lunksy said. “It feels like all the work I’ve put into my classes and getting my grades up paid off.”

Going to college and becoming a doctor will be the next big goal for the long-time Summit County girl. When Lunsky was a little girl, a broken arm created an early interest in medicine. Then a knee surgery a few years ago inspired the athletic student to explore sports medicine as well.

“It’s a little scary because it’s something new and different from my routine, but I think it’s a part of life and everyone has to go through it,” she said.

Besides largely focusing on her studies, Lunsky is an active participant in Summit County’s running world, particularly through school teams and the summer trail-running races. She also said she enjoys swimming, snow-shoeing and biking. As a high-school student, Lunsky was on the SHS cross-country, track and swim teams.

“It helps me blow off steam and focus during the school year,” she said.

According to Lunsky, she even has a few favorite events. She ran the two-mile and mile races for track, she swam the 500, and the 5K was her cross-country specialty. Distance athletics is her focus, and it’s in her genes. Both her parents are endurance athletes.

“It allows you to forget about all your problems, and when you’re done you feel like you’ve accomplished something,” Lunsky said, noting that she plans to join the club cross-country team at DU.

“I want to be on a team, but not an ultra-competitive one,” Lunsky added. “School is important, so that’s my main concentration.”

She hopes to get back into running this summer, however she’s in the process of nursing a stress fracture in her hip.

“Only time will tell,” Lunsky said.

Looking back on her high-school career, Lunsky said she’s glad she was able to complete the SHS IB program as it makes her feel more prepared for college. In particular, it taught her how to deal with time management and stress relief – both skills will be helpful next year.

“IB let me do a lot of labs that were really cool,” she said. “I felt like I was doing college level work. … Definitely finishing the IB program was an accomplishment. It was a lot of work and I wasn’t totally confident that I’d get through it.”

Lunsky also said she enjoyed taking biology at SHS.

“I had really good teachers,” she added.

Attending events like the state meet with her cross-country team, homecoming and prom was lots of fun for the salutatorian as well, and something she’ll never forget.

“Just being with my friends and knowing it was the last time we’d be able to go to those events made it memorable,” Lunsky said.

And while college is on her mind, Lunsky must first plan out her last summer as a kid in Summit County.

“We’ll probably go back to visit family on the East Coast over the summer, and I want to get a job so I can make some money for college too,” she said. “Something in town. I love the summers here.”

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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