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Student Highlight: Iria Diaz

Iria Diaz is a senior at Summit High School. Not only is she a strong athlete, but Principal Stacy Grimaldi describes her as a hard-working student who always has a smile on her face!

Playing soccer since the age of three, Iria has honed her skills and has continued to increase her love of the sport. Her current position is left outside back. She shared that there are numerous positive aspects of being involved with sports. Sports help individuals stay in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. They are a terrific stress reducer, distracting people for a period of time from their work, worries, or to-do lists. Sports also create an atmosphere where individuals can interact outside the classroom and allow for new friendships to develop and evolve. Iria also participates in winter and spring track, running the 400 meter dash and 200 meter dash. Her best times are 64.1 and 28.5, respectively. Outside of the Summit community she plays soccer year round as part of the Central Jersey Stars.

Student Highlight playing soccer.

Although she does well in all her AP classes, Iria finds History most interesting. She is bilingual in Spanish and took Portugese last year via the Virtual High School. Being a social person, she always enjoys class discussions, and finds socratic seminars exciting since students are encouraged to talk about a variety of topics such as their reactions to novels they are reading, and their opinions on controversial topics. "Always stay on top of your workload and don't procrastinate," she advises. "Take any and all opportunities to challenge yourself."

Iria was recommended to be part of Peer Leadership as a junior, and is continuing this year. Peer Leadership is a program run by Amy Herber, Laura Gibson and Lauren Wells. The group helps the Summit community and holds fundraisers. They also visit elementary schools to interact with children. Iria is glad be a role model for younger Summit students and takes her role seriously.

Iria is proud of where she comes from. "My parents and siblings are very supportive. From a young age they encouraged me to speak openly and communicate. That has helped me avoid taking things personally." She is also proud of her athleticism and determination. Setting goals for herself is paramount. For the 2017-2018 school year Iria plans to work hard and finish her SHS academic career strong. Beyond that, she wants to set those same goals in college where she may major in Sports Management.

"I always keep in mind the following words of my mother: a healthy body is a healthy mind," Iria said. And the best advice she has for others is, "Pursue what you want, and be who you are!"

Student Highlight photo at her high school.