Megan Hager, Casey Tow named SHHS Freshmen of the Year


July 3, 2017

FRESHMEN of the Year Casey Tow and Megan Hager hold their awards at Sweet Home High School.

Casey Tow and Megan Hager are the 2017 Sweet Home High School Freshmen of the Year.

The award is decided by SHHS staff members based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

Both students ended the year with a 4.0 GPA. Both distinguished themselves in competitive sports, which they greatly enjoy, and both love learning. With their selection, both will be inducted next fall into the National Honor Society.

“It just takes a lot of time management and being able to dedicate yourself to everything you do,” said Hager, 15, who is the daughter of Michael and Sunhee Hager.

“My favorite thing is competing in sports,” she said. “I really enjoy the team atmosphere and just the camaraderie.”

She had a big year in sports, winning the state championship in the 100 freestyle in swimming, as the Huskies, both the boys and the girls, won the state team championship. Throwing the discus for the first time this year, she set a 1-foot personal record at districts and then a 10-foot PR at the state meet, where she finished seventh – one of two freshmen to make the medals stand.


Hager plans to continue swimming with the Sweet Home Swim Club, the high school swim team and track and field in the coming years.

In school, “I really like English, but I’m also enjoying math class,” Hager said. She has a hard time picking out a favorite teacher. “I like different teachers for different reason.”

After high school, “I’m interested in the medical field,” she said. She plans to attend a four-year college and then go to medical school.

“I’m interested in neuroscience, but that may change,” Hager said.

This summer, she plans to attend the Northwest Earth and Space sciences Pipeline Aerospace Camp, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

Math teacher Melissa Klumph told her about the program.

Hager said she looks for new experiences.

“It’ll be cool to learn new things.”she said. “I just feel like it’s beneficial, and I can do more with my life.”

She said her mother has been her biggest motivator, and her family always pushes her to do her best.

Tow, 16, is the son of Dan and Michele Tow.

“I just like hanging out with friends,” he said, noting that his favorite activities are a way to do that.

He participated in four sports his freshman year – track, baseball, basketball and football. He will drop baseball next year. In track he finished third in the 800 at the district meet, only the fourth time he’d run the race.

During the school year, he was JV Player of the Year in basketball and a Runner of the Year in track.

In class, “I really like history,” Tow said. “I really just like learning from the past experience.”

He is looking forward to learning Spanish, he said, and he plans to become fluent after making new friends during a mission trip to Mexico with his church, Community Chapel, where he is active helping with children’s programs and volunteer work. He plans to return and wants to know Spanish when he does.

He also likes math, which his father teaches at SHHS, Tow said. “I certainly have help with math homework.”

He enjoys a range of subjects – except English, he said. His motivation is “looking to the future” and “learning new stuff I can incorporate into everyday life.”

“I don’t want to limit myself,” Tow said. “I want to have as many options as possible.”

After high school, he would like to play basketball in college somewhere, he said. He’s not sure what he’ll want to study yet.

Like Hager, he has a hard time identifying a favorite teacher. Tow said he enjoyed classes with Klumph, science teacher Dave McNeil and social studies teacher Jim Costa.

He likes teachers who aren’t stressed about the work and have more of a learning focus, he said. Klumph gives students a lot of practice. Costa provides notes and lectures that dig deep and helps visualize what happened in history. Dustin Nichol provides hands-on learning.

Tow said his brother, 2016 graduate Justin Tow, and sister, Ally Tow, an incoming senior at SHHS, are both role models for him. His father was a high school valedictorian, who taught him how to motivate himself; and his mother stays on top of his grades and assignments.


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