By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
As an honors student steeped in the Ursuline High School tradition, Erin Clark takes to heart the ideal of service.
She has organized school blood drives, she’s a leader in Catholic youth services, and she volunteers as a sports trainer for her school’s soccer, volleyball and basketball teams.
“I go to most games to help out, tape people who need it,” she said.
Erin knows CPR and can recommend exercise treatments for injured players.
“If something hurts, I can explain what’s wrong, why it hurts and what you need to fix it,” she said. Erin is an obsessive lacrosse player and former varsity cross-country runner with an All League honorable mention who has had her own share of sports injuries.
“I’m really passionate about helping people,” she said, noting that her friends “know they can trust me. I know what they are feeling like.”
Erin, 17, wants to channel her interest into a career in sports medicine and become a certified athletic trainer for a college or professional team. She’s also interested in teaching secondary school students.
No academic slouch, she had a 4.57 grade point average this fall, taking advanced placement courses in Latin, chemistry, calculus and physics. She has applied to Cal Poly, UC Davis and UC San Diego.
When Erin is not playing lacrosse for the club team affiliated with UC Berkeley or on Ursuline’s team, she’s involved with her church, leading confirmation classes or acting as a facilitator at weeklong retreats organized by the Santa Rosa Diocese.
She is active in 4-H and is an Associated Student Body spirit leader, helping to stage rallies.
Athletic director and social studies teacher Rich Herrmann praises her as one of the best students he has known in 30 years of teaching. He describes her as organized and articulate, with a warmth and vitality that sets her apart.
“She’s an all-around great kid,” he said. “She’s unbelievable. She’s a mover and a shaker. She’s a doer. She’s going to go places.”
He said Erin is involved in every aspect of what goes on at the all-girl Ursuline High. “She puts her full heart and soul in.”
Erin likes being a role model.
“We’re the best people we can be at (church) camp because we’re trying to be good examples,” she said. “It’s a big part of my life.”
Erin will be in Ursuline’s last graduating class.It’s closing after 130 years because of declining enrollment.
The day Ursuline’s closing was announced, Erin was already scheduled to say a prayer over the school’s public address system.
“It was really moving,” she said. “I think everyone was together. We were really determined to make the last year the best year we’ve had and make an impact with the things Ursuline stands for.”
That means living up to the school’s motto: “Seek knowledge, clarify values and act on convictions.”
Says Erin, “It’s something a lot of us take to heart. We know this is what the school stands for, and we will make our actions reflect that this year.”
She’s passionate about organizing school blood drives for Ursuline and Cardinal Newman students. “We’ve gotten 80 or 90 to sign up for each drive,” she said, and she is trying to organize one at Sonoma Academy, too.
When she’s not involved in extra-curricular activities or studying, Erin works at Screaming Mimi’s ice cream shop in Sebastopol. She’s there 10 to 15 hours a week making desserts, prepping and cleaning the shop.
Even during winter, when the demand for ice cream eases, she can be found there some weeknights, she said, “after I get all my homework done.”
You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Family: Parents, Greg and Liz; three younger siblings, Michael, Noël and Kathryn
School: Ursuline High School
Activities: Lacrosse player; high school coordinator for blood drives; athletic trainer for Ursuline’s soccer, volleyball and basketball teams; Catholic confirmation trainer, youth group and retreat leader and religious camp counselor; ASB spirit leader; 4-H chapter vice president.
Goal: Attend Cal Poly, UC San Diego or Davis, potentially majoring in kinesiology to become a certified athletic trainer or teacher.
Quote: “We were really determined to make the last year the best year we’ve had and make an impact with the things Ursuline stands for. Those things are not going to be gone, even if it closes.”