Sarah Bartusch ’23 Explored Her Interests and Acquired a Love of Learning at Hutchison
The National Merit Finalist was challenged by Hutchison’s various academic and extracurricular activities. From the tennis court to the courtroom to the classroom, Sarah is a well-rounded, hardworking Hutchison student who lives up to the school’s mission of inspiring girls to go anywhere they can imagine.
The first time Sarah Bartusch ’23 visited Hutchison, she was ready to get started, possibly a little too ready. While touring the school as a toddler with her parents, she jumped right into a classroom and started painting on another student’s pumpkin. The teachers appreciated her enthusiasm and encouraged her by giving her a space to create her own artwork. That was when Sarah knew Hutchison was the place for her.
Years later, the 15-year student has thrived at Hutchison. Sarah said Hutchison has supported her natural curiosity for the world around her, and over time, she has realized that her motivation to succeed in the classroom was sparked by a love of learning fostered over the years. Her hard work is evident: she is a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a recipient of the Yale University Book Award, which recognizes a student “who possesses a sharp and inquiring mind coupled with a capacity and a desire to use it, motivation to stretch one’s capacity, and moral concern and consideration for others.”
“At Hutchison, I have learned that I am incredibly capable, and I am confident in my abilities to get things done. This has helped me take on challenging tasks and succeed,” Sarah said. “Hutchison provides a nurturing environment that pushes us while giving us the tools that we need to be successful. Being in a classroom of all girls who I know care about me and having faculty and staff who I know support me has been special.”
Through activities and organizations such as student government, tennis, Mock Trial, and the Philanthropic Literacy Board, Sarah has been able to discover what she is passionate about. “Hutchison has been such a safe space and environment to try new things and explore my interests,” she said.
Pictured with fellow attorneys Isabelle Mansour ’23 and Mary Abbott Elliott ’23, Sarah Bartusch ’23 participated in Mock Trial’s district competition and learned about her love of preparing arguments and debate.
As class vice president during her junior and senior years, she worked with classmates to accomplish various goals. One of the most memorable experiences for her was organizing and running last year's Beeline Bazaar, which provides a place for artisans and vendors to sell their products in a day-long event. It was the first Beeline Bazaar in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the class of 2023 pulled it off, raising over $15,000. Sarah said preparing for the bazaar taught her how to communicate in a professional setting.
“I sent a lot of emails and made many phone calls to adults. I had to learn how to be confident when speaking to others and how to communicate what I need,” she said. It also led to a full-circle moment this year as she served on the Philanthropic Literacy Board, which distributed two $5,500 grants to local nonprofits using money raised during the bazaar.
Sarah played tennis during middle school and all four years of high school, and she took lessons long before that. “It’s one of my favorite things about Hutchison. We have a great team, an amazing coach, and a strong athletics program. We have so much fun, but we are also very successful.” Last year, the team won its 16th consecutive regional championship, and Sarah is proud to be a co-captain of the varsity team this season.
Sarah is pictured with her middle school tennis teammates, some of whom she plays with today on the varsity tennis team.
As she reflected on her time at Hutchison, she said it has felt surreal as her class has stepped up to lead the school. “I used to look up to these girls, and now I’m taking on leadership roles. It’s cool to think, ‘Wow, younger Sarah would be so proud to see you today.’ Hutchison has strengthened my confidence and leadership skills to a degree I would have never imagined at the beginning of high school,” she said.
One of the extracurricular activities that surprised Sarah was Mock Trial. She ended up joining the team with encouragement from her friends and teachers. As an attorney for the team, she said she learned how to properly prepare an argument and share it.
“Mock Trial was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and argue and debate in a different environment. It also taught me a lot about our justice system and how the profession of law works,” Sarah said.
Beyond Mock Trial, Sarah feels that Hutchison encouraged her to learn about the greater Memphis community and get out of her bubble through middle school service retreats and other upper school opportunities such as the Philanthropic Literacy Board and the Service Learning Council. Because she wanted to learn about the business and technical sides of healthcare, Sarah served as an intern for the chief administrative officer and marketing team at University Clinical Health for several weeks thanks to connections through the Institute for Responsible Citizenship.
“These experiences made me reassess my awareness of issues in our community, and they have shaped my ideas and perspectives about the world around me,” Sarah said. “I learned I can have a strong impact on people’s lives while using what I am good at.”
In the fall, Sarah will start her freshman year of college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is farther away from home than she initially imagined going, but she believes it is the right place for her next chapter to begin. Because she loved all of her classes at Hutchison, she's open to many possibilities in her college career. She hopes to study business as a way to combine her interests.
“I enjoy project management, leadership, and data analysis. I love working with others to get things accomplished. I also love social science and history. I’m hoping that I can find a way to use all of these skills together to have a fulfilling career,” Sarah said. “I’m excited to see what’s next. College is definitely a big step, but Hutchison has prepared me well to take on that challenge.”