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February Student of the Month Gira Patel

Senior Gira Patel, 18, of Sterling, is one of Sterling High School’s February Students of the Month. She is the daughter of Mukesh and Minaxi Patel of Sterling; her sister is Rinku Patel, 23, of Rockford, and her brother is Shivam Patel, 13, a seventh-grader at Challand Middle School.

Favorite class: Publications. We put out the monthly student newspaper and the yearbook. We’re such a diverse group, and every year, we get so close. Plus, the class requires a lot of skills outside of those in any other classroom.

Top teacher: Steve Johnson, chemistry. He goes above and beyond just lecturing. He is personable, calm and collected.

Extracurriculars: Tennis and track; founder of the Young Doctors League, secretary of the National Honor Society; Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) and service learning.

After graduation: I don’t know yet. It’s between Marquette University in Milwaukee and Loyola University in Chicago for dentistry.

Paycheck: I’m an intern at Sterling Dental Group. I love it – every part of it. I get to learn a lot of things about dentistry that I don’t think I’d learn otherwise. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m not even in college yet.

Best friend: Dhvani Patel (no relation) of Boston. We met years ago at a youth camp. We just get along so well. Whatever I do, whether it’s good or bad, she always gives me an honest opinion.

Favorite singer: Usher.

Favorite actress: Anne Hathaway.

Favorite movie: Disney’s “Cinderella.”

Favorite TV show: “Once Upon a Time.”

Hobbies: Reading. Traveling; it’s my goal to see the world before I’m 30.

Favorite outdoor activity: Swimming.

Favorite food: Frozen yogurt.

Favorite place to shop: Forever 21.

Favorite website: Pinterest.

Biggest fear: Snakes.

Pet peeve: I hate when people say, “Ignorance is bliss.” It’s not. I don’t like ignorant people.

I’m in the dictionary next to: Passionate. I’m very passionate about everything. I strongly dislike something, or I strongly love something. I put my everything into everything I do.

Personal trivia: I don’t think there’s anything about me people don’t know. I’m pretty much an open book.

Dream job: Elementary school teacher, because I know I’d never do it otherwise.

Trading places: Michelle Obama. I think she’s the perfect first lady for America right now, in terms of where we are as a society. She just brings so much positive to the country.

Trading spaces: Brazil. It’s so beautiful, full of so much history, and there’s so many fun things to do there.

Read this: “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare. I really enjoy Shakespeare, and the fact that it’s a comedy makes me love it so much more.

What would you do if you had $100,000? Logically, I’d put it toward my education. Irrationally, I would splurge on a two-week getaway to a super warm destination.

What do you wish your high school offered? An ancient language.

What’s a tip you would give freshmen for making high school life easier? Don’t be afraid to get involved. Do things you wouldn’t normally do.

Shout out to: The girls track team, the publications class and the Sterling Dental Group.

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