Portage High School junior Amanda Haupt has made her mark on all aspects of the school. Haupt pulls off the rare combination of excelling in academics, athletics, community service and theater.
Haupt has been a member of the tennis team since picking up a racket for the first time as a freshman. Her advancement through the tennis program parallels her time in high school as a whole.
“Working my way up was hard, but I’ve put a lot of time in and it’s been worth it,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of close friends on the team. This year, I hope to be number one and I hope that we can kick some butt and just get up there in the rankings.”
Haupt credits two individuals for helping her develop her tennis skills. She learned under the tutelage of former head coach Joe White each of the last two seasons. White has stepped down as head coach, but will still serve as an assistant this season.
“He’s always been there encouraging me and making me a better tennis player,” Haupt said.
Class of 2012 graduate Stephanie Nanny took Haupt under her wing and showed her the ropes of varsity tennis.
Haupt was inducted into the school’s most prestigious organization, National Honor Society, this year. Since becoming a member of the organization, she has raked leaves, made blankets for children in the hospital and helped with a Halloween fun party. Haupt is also heavily involved in Student Council and planned the Winter Formal Dance along with Autumn Stevenson this year.
After she decided not to play volleyball this fall, Haupt utilized her newfound free time by participating in a PHS Theater Production for the first time as she was a member of the 2012 Fall Play.
“I made so many friends doing the play that I had never met before,” she said. “It was cool to get out there and experience different people and different personalities. It was cool to be up on stage because I’ve always wanted to be in a play and I just kind of went for it.”
Haupt stumbled upon the opportunity to reconnect with musical talents when junior Brandon Crosby asked her to perform with him at this year’s Variety Show, which took place on Feb. 22. Crosby and Haupt did a duet, singing “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.
“It was honestly amazing,” Haupt said. “Being up on stage is just really cool. I was a little shaky and nervous, but after I got up there, I just kind of belted it out and just did my thing. Me and Brandon had really good harmony and we had corresponding voices that fit together perfectly. I got a lot of positive feedback from it with people saying that we were amazing.”
In addition to her talents on the stage and on the court, Haupt works hard in the classroom as she is currently ranked 12th academically in the junior class. When asked who inspires her to put in so much work, Haupt did not hesitate.
“I honestly would say my mom,” she said. “She’s always been there for me; we have such a close relationship. Everyone tells me when we’re out doing stuff, ‘Oh, you’re just like your mom.’ I just love who she is. That is what I’ve grown up with and she is a big role model for me. She is a kind, generous person. She always puts others before herself. I aspire to be like her when I get older.”
In her spare time, Haupt enjoys having family movie nights with her parents and her brother Conner, who is a senior at PHS.
“It’s been kind of nice to have a brother that’s a year older than me,” she said. “He’s always the one asking if I’m okay, being that big brother. I just think it’s cool that he’s so close in age to me so that we can relate to each other a lot and just be there for each other.”
Willowcreek Middle School eighth grade English teacher Linda Scheuer made a lasting impact on Haupt by turning her least favorite subject into something enjoyable.
“She was honestly the best teacher I’ve ever had,” Haupt said. “She made me love a subject that I completely hated. I connected with her more than anyone. If a teacher can make me love a subject I hate, then that’s saying something.”
Haupt puts in many hours to thrive in so many areas, but she knows that her hard work is paying off.
“It’s honestly worth it in the end,” she said. “I never want to be just sitting down; I always want to be involved in something and making a difference. It’s who I am; I always want to be academically successful and successful in other ways, too. I want to have a variety of thing that I can balance and make it work.”