See more of the story

Abby Rosebur thinks she knows the secret to her success.

"Having a busy schedule has always helped me," she said.

So, Abby, your 3.8 grade-point average at South St. Paul is explained by six years of high school track and field, four years of varsity soccer, four years of varsity basketball, time on the student council, work with Students Against Destructive Decisions, Special Olympics and Sharing and Caring Hands, helping with youth track, soccer and basketball camps, attending Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and spending several months of your senior year as a medical intern?

Don't answer that. Just accept this: That fat schedule, and the hefty GPA, made you the 2022 winner of the Star Tribune's Student First award.

Oh, and can you find time for a banquet on Wednesday?

Rosebur, inspired by her mother, Crystal, and with ever-present encouragement from her grandfather, Steve Sears, will become the first member of her extended family to go to college. She'll attend Augsburg, where she will play soccer, major in biopsychology and work toward becoming a physician's assistant.

“I think my academic success ties in with all of my sports awards. I'm glad I had a parent who pushed me in academics because there's a lot in academics that helps in sports.”
Abby Rosebur, South St. Paul

The medical angle spins from a special teacher, Rosebur said. She met that teacher, Tania Lauby, in eighth grade, and they reunited when Lauby took a job at the high school. Two ties bring them together: Lauby is a former soccer coach, and she was also one of two teachers in the TriDistrict Healthcare Careers and Medicine program for students at South St. Paul, Simley and Two Rivers. Rosebur got involved. Lauby kept up the encouragement.

"She constantly reminded me how smart I was and what I was capable of," Rosebur said.

That led to Rosebur serving an internship in the emergency room at M Health Fairview Woodwinds Hospital for much of the last half of her senior year. More about Rosebur was revealed there.

"On top of her academic achievements, she has this unbelievable empathy," Lauby said. "Such a vibrancy, sweet, kind, caring, all those things come through."

Determination and leadership come through in her athletic record, especially where academics and sports coincide. She won South St. Paul's Miss Hustle award in basketball three times; same with the Defensive Player of the Year award. She was made captain, repeatedly, of the soccer, basketball and track and field teams.

Yeah, she's nice, but don't cross her. South St. Paul girls' basketball coach Austin Junker called Rosebur "incredibly generous and caring and also one of the most competitive athletes I've coached."

See, Rosebur's no nerd. Her sports matter. One reason she's proud of her schoolwork is because it helps her score goals as a soccer forward, pile up points and assists as a basketball point guard and get out of the blocks sooner in track sprints.

"I think my academic success ties in with all of my sports awards," she said. "I'm glad I had a parent who pushed me in academics because there's a lot in academics that helps in sports."

She has a grandparent, too, nudging her. Sears will push her toward the stage Wednesday to accept her Student First trophy.

"He comes to everything," she said. "He can't miss a game. He sure can't miss a banquet."