CCA student places eighth in nation at fitness competition
CCA student Maddy Schmidt, 15, competed in the Marine Corps' National High School Physical Fitness Championships in San Diego.
Maddy Schmidt of Lehigh County has the best of both worlds. She gets the flexibility and personalization of being a Commonwealth Charter Academy student, while also getting the chance to be part of a team.
“I love the fact that I still get to have a social life and hang out with friends in my area,” Maddy said.
The girls on the Emmaus High School fitness team placed second in the Marine Corps' National High School Physical Fitness Championships in San Diego in May. Maddy ended up on the silver team, designated for seventh through 12th places, when she came in eighth in individuals.
For the competition, high school students must do 100 crunches in 2 minutes, 50 pushups in 2 minutes and 30 pullups. They also must compete in a long jump and a 300-yard sprint.
Maddy can reach the crunches and pushups requirements within 2 minutes. She said pullups are probably her “upset” in the competition because she can only do 24, although even that is an impressive feat for a 15-year-old.
Maddy has been extremely active all of her life, starting in highly competitive gymnastics and national testings at the age of 8, then dabbling in all-star cheerleading and diving, and landing on the fitness team this year.
Athletics aren’t the only area in which Maddy excels.
Her mother, Tasia, said that during Maddy's first week of kindergarten, the teacher pulled her aside and said, “We need to test her for the gifted program. Is that OK?”
Maddy started at CCA during her eighth-grade year, although her experience with cyber school began when she was in third grade.
From third through fifth grades, Maddy attended cyber school so that she could keep up with her rigorous gymnastics schedule.
When switching back to cyber school after two years in a traditional school, Tasia found CCA to be the best fit for Maddy and her interests.
“CCA differs from traditional high schools because of its flexibility," Tasia said. "Kids have the freedom to explore other interests and join extra clubs and everything, but still be able to do extracurriculars at the regular high school.”
“I cannot teach her math because she is so far beyond what I ever learned in school,” Tasia said.
CCA allows Maddy to excel in academics and gives her fluidity in her daily routine.
“I love the fact that at CCA you can get your schoolwork done in a shorter amount of time, and you can get ahead or catch up even if you were behind because there’s no strict schedule,” Maddy said.
Maddy is looking at Cornell University as a possible college choice. She wants to create things and see her thoughts come to life, and she loves engineering and math subjects, which fostered her interest in architectural engineering.
“For me, I just want her to do something where her brain is always challenged because she is so smart and she has so much to offer the world,” Tasia said.
Along with taking algebra 2 this summer, Maddy plans to practice every day to stay in shape for when the Emmaus fitness team starts again in November. She plans to compete with the team again next year.