River Ridge senior manages balancing act
by Megan Thornton
September 01, 2012 11:59 PM | 2008 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
River Ridge senior Gabby Roth is serving as the new student adviser for the Cherokee Board of Education. Gabby is president of the Senior Class Council and the Student Advisory Board and is involved in many leadership positions at the school and in the community.<br>Cherokee Tribune/Todd Hull
River Ridge senior Gabby Roth is serving as the new student adviser for the Cherokee Board of Education. Gabby is president of the Senior Class Council and the Student Advisory Board and is involved in many leadership positions at the school and in the community.
Cherokee Tribune/Todd Hull
WOODSTOCK — “Don’t ask God to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet.”

That English proverb is what River Ridge High School senior Gabby Roth said inspires everything she does.

Gabby, who is this year’s student adviser for the Cherokee County Board of Education, said she got involved in student government and various leadership roles at her school — and just kept moving her feet.

Also student government president, Gabby said she’s already got a lot of ideas she wants to present to the board.

“I don’t want to just sit there and go through the motions,” Gabby said. “I want to be active.”

Gabby’s guidance counselor, Jeff Bennett, said he’s certain Gabby will put her leadership skills into action.

“She is all about giving back to the community,” Bennett said. “She has worked extremely hard at River Ridge with a lot of service projects, outreach projects, elementary schools … that’s just Gabby. That is her heart.”

Another project Gabby said she hopes to execute through her new role is a districtwide service project that she and the student delegates from the six other high schools will coordinate.

“I was just thinking anyone and everyone that goes to Cherokee County high schools would really like to be involved in a big hands-on event — something where everyone can get that self-motivation and self-fulfillment,” Gabby said.

Bennett said Gabby and the other delegates are shining examples of students throughout the district who are leading the way to the future.

“In her role, I hope that she works — and I know she will — with the other student leaders and they can come together to help take Cherokee County School District to that next level,” Bennett said.

On top of her plans for the service project, Gabby is also in the midst of applying for college and a member of several other school clubs including Habitat for Humanity, River Ridge Roundtable Council, Excalibur Leadership Team, Crusading Knights Service Leadership Team, Beta Club and helping younger students through bullying prevention outreach programs and CRCT pep rallies.

She’s the first to admit it can get stressful.

“Time management is definitely one of the skills I have had to work on — I have a problem saying no,” Gabby said. “I really like to do everything I possibly can. I have to prioritize things, like every high-schooler does, but it works out in the end because I get to do things I’m really passionate about.”

One of those passions is Gabby’s dream to become a Walt Disney Imagineer, especially to be part of the creation of a new Disney theme park attraction. For her senior project, she said she’s making a three-dimensional prototype and possibly a computer simulation of her own original attraction for Epcot theme park in Orlando, Fla.

“I really like culture, different languages and traveling,” Gabby said of her choice of Epcot.

Part of that multi-cultural interest comes from her mother, who taught her to be civic-minded, Gabby said.

“(She told me to) have an open mind about everything and take everyone’s opinion into mind, especially when forming my own opinion,” Gabby said. “All four of my parents support me in every single thing that I do and it’s just really encouraging.”

Gabby lives in Woodstock with her mother, Rhonda Roth-John; stepfather, Mathew John; sister Dominique Roth, a freshman at River Ridge; and 5-month-old sister, Kinley. Her father and stepmother, Joshua and Jenise Roth, live in Forsyth County with her other sister, Skylar, 15.

Gabby said she has enjoyed the Board of Education experience so far, having attended the July 25 meeting and sat on the board at the Aug. 16 meeting.

She said she wasn’t intimidated, but thought it was “cool” to get to see how all of the board members work together on so many different issues. However, she did get embarrassed when Superintendent of School Dr. Frank Petruzielo asked her to formally adjourn the meeting.

“I had no idea what I was doing,” Gabby said with a laugh. “That was really embarrassing!”

Still, she said she looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come throughout the year.

“I hope that I can leave my mark somehow by all the things that I really care about,” Gabby said.
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