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Clare Howard

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Clare Howard

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2021
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Written by Jim Schiltz, The Daily Gazette Sports Writer

Can you imagine playing five sports, playing three musical instruments, and hitting the books hard enough to earn a bunch of academic awards and rank third in your graduating class?

Clare Howard, Taconic Hills’ senior class president, doesn’t have to imagine it.

“I really want to be the best version of myself as I can,” the 18-year-old academic and athletic star said. “It’s rewarding to see it all pay off.”

Howard has been adding sports to her resume since she began competing for Taconic Hills as a seventh grader and capped off her record and award-filled scholastic career this school year by participating in soccer and cross country in the fall, swimming and skiing in the winter and track in the spring. She would have done the five as a junior, too, had the spring season not been taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Clare is a remarkable young lady that manages her time well in order to be successfully involved in as much as she is,” Taconic Hills Athletic Director and math teacher Angela Webster said of the Capital District Sports Women of the Year high school honoree. “She is one of the most all-around talented individuals I have met in my career. I admire her for her positive, calm demeanor in the classroom while being an aggressive, sportsmanlike competitor on the field.”

Howard will focus on the 400 hurdles at William and Mary, and while she has yet to declare a major, she has great interest in the math and science fields where the National Honor Society member has received several prestigious awards.

“I definitely hope I appear as a role model,” said Howard. “Our school is K through 12, so I really hope to show the younger girls what you can do and where you can go. It takes a lot of hard work, but it can happen and it’s so rewarding.”

For her efforts, Howard has been rewarded with several state ski meet and state track championship appearances.

“In eighth grade, I made the state team in the 400 hurdles, and that was a turning point,” said Howard, who set PRs in the high and intermediate hurdle events at the recent East Coast Championships. “That’s when I thought, ‘I can do something with this.’”

The multi-talented teen can also play the piano, flute and cello, and was invited to perform with the Empire State String Youth Orchestra.

“I was always active growing up, and that carried over to my teenage years,” Howard said. “I am just really thankful that with everything I’ve done, I’ve had my family and friends and everyone in school backing me up and supporting me.”

Howard served as her class treasurer for three years, acted as a board representative for the Scholarship Committee for Dollars for Scholars, and was on the school’s COVID-19 reopening committee. Away from school, she has worked with the Humane Society and has helped with a youth track program.

“I have known Clare Howard for the last four years both as a coach and a teacher,” said Taconic Hills Dean of Students and varsity girls’ soccer coach Patrick McDonald. “Judging from these experiences, I can say with confidence that Clare is a dedicated student-athlete who leads others by setting a strong example with her effort and intensity both in the classroom and on the playing field. Clare is a very friendly, outgoing person. She has a great sense of humor and interacts wonderfully with her peers and adults.”

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