By Katie Britton-Mehlisch

During her four years in high school, senior Emma Costello has managed to juggle Westside Girls, robotics, NHS, Titan Smart,and student senate. But Costello also stays busy outside of school. When she’s not at West she is participating in Heart of America’s Youth Ballet Company, attending Young Life meetings, and working for her dance studio. The one thing Costello brings to every activity is her positive personality.

Dance Team Coach Khryssie Hartman has been able to watch Costello progress as person the last four years. “Emma brings a special personality, spirit, and fun ideas to the plate in Westside Girls” Hartman said.

Hartman is also a sponsor for student senate and has the ability to see Costello in a different light than at practice. Hartman said “she is similar to how she is on dance team since she is so dedicated and such a hard worker, but with senate she gets the chance to use her creative side in a more academic way.”

Emma Costello is involved in ballet and westside girls, robotics, and student senate. She is known for being very dedicated and intends to continue working hard through her high school career. Photo by Katie Britton-Mehlisch

Costello also discovered a new interest in robotics once she came to West. “My brother was on the team when he was in high school, I went to a couple of the tournaments with him and realized it was actually pretty cool.”

Lee’s Summit West’s robotics team, Team Titanium, is a primarily male activity. But Costello doesn’t mind the gender difference. “Being one of the only girls on the team isn’t too bad. All the boy respect the girls and understand that we can do everything they can do,” Costello said.

Aaron Bailey is one of Team Titanium’s sponsor’s, and agrees with Hartman that Costello’s personality is beneficial for the team.

“Emma adds a lot of enthusiasm, she brings a great energy with her, and she’s willing to be active and get involved in whatever part of the project is being worked on,” Bailey said.

But being so involved in various activities does come with it’s challenges. “Sometimes it is very difficult, especially when I have a lot of homework. Often times I don’t sleep very much, but having everything written down on a calendar helps,” Costello said.

Costello never lets being busy get in the way of giving her all in everything she pursues. Hartman explains “Emma is really good at managing her time, and she does not let other things get in the way. She knows what’s important, and where her priorities lie.”

For Costello, the activities she partakes in have allowed her to grow in various ways. “I would say that Westside Girls has given me more confidence because we have to perform in front of huge crowds. Westside Girls has also given me leadership skills and patience,” Costello states.

But the growth does not just include dance team, Costello has improved in robotics as well.

“Emma is a very confident public speaker, and through this program she has learned to speak a very technical language that is key to speaking with a variety of audiences,” said Bailey.

Costello is a prime example of how time management pays off. “Emma is a really good role model for younger students because she puts her all into everything she does, but she remains an individual and she is 100 percent her own person,” Hartman said.

“From being in both Westside Girls and Robotics I have learned that you cannot be afraid to be yourself. You have to do what makes you happy,” said Costello.