ST. MARGARET’S STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Payton Koehn
Payton Koehn is one of those kids who seems to accomplish anything and everything to which she sets her mind, but what really makes her special is her spirit of humility and grace.
“God wants us to be proud of ourselves,” Payton said, but she adds that God also wants us to remember Him because “He helped us with it. Winners should not be bragging to make others feel bad. You should say good job for everyone . . . Leaders are people who try and try and try and show that they can do it . . . [they] have kindness and love.”
Payton has been successful in both gymnastics and art, but she notes that she feels most accomplished when she helps others meet their goals. “Lots of stuff comes to mind for gymnastics! I remember trying to help my friend because she thought she was doing the move correctly, so I tried to help her get into the right position for stretches. She felt good and I felt good because I helped her get her middle splits.”
She’s learned a lot from her art teacher, Mrs. Gray-Sinner. “She’s super calm about things, teaching us all of the cool things that an artist can do. She says that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and if it looks bad, we can try again because we learn from our mistakes.” A good lesson for any artist, athlete, or person.
Her 3rd Grade Teacher, Mrs. Heeg, emphasizes Payton’s talents and positive attitude as well, calling her a “rare model” for others. “She is very humble, never boastful, even though she excels in everything she does. She will go out of her way to help other students. She is always prepared and is an example of her faith. I am so proud of her not only for her excellence in academics [and gymnastics], but mostly for the responsible, caring, and honest person that she is.”
Payton loves her school and her teachers. “It’s the best school ever because everyone is so nice. They always try to help you. There’s so many things, I can’t think of just one!” One of her favorite memories is receiving First Communion and Reconciliation last year. “It felt great because it just felt like I knew God would forgive me . . . and [the priest] just wants me to be the best I can for myself. I felt excited.”
Payton says she has “no clue” what her future might bring, but she wants to be an artist, an Olympic gymnast, and a gymnastics coach. “I think God wants me to follow my dreams from when I was a kid . . . I can show God’s love with my art by drawing Him and all the things that He has done for us and the ways we should repay Him back. I would show love if I was a gym coach because I could help other kids follow their dreams to become a gymnast too.”
St. Margaret’s School is dedicated to inspiring faith, achieving academic excellence, and nurturing all students to form strong moral character. Register your child today or donate at www.stmargs.us.