Elizabeth Schilling


Rachael Maughan, Associate Editor

Elizabeth “Peach” Schilling has long valued service. When she turned 16 she’d already planned for months on applying to be a volunteer at Primary Children’s Hospital working with young patients. Ever since then, even with an increasingly busier schedule, she’s always made time in her week for it. Even COVID didn’t stop her for more than a few months as she helped get candy for Halloween and presents for Christmas, even though she no longer gets to work directly with patients.  

“[It’s] so important to me that I am able to do something at the hospital because I know it makes kids so happy and I never regret going and I never don’t want to go now,” Schilling said. “I just don’t feel as if I’m volunteering, I feel as if I’m doing something beyond that and I and I know all of the good that comes out of it.”

Along with volunteering, Schilling is also a cheer captain, National Honors Society communications and membership coordinator, editor-in-chief of The Rambler, and this year’s English Sterling Scholar. 

“[She’s] definitely caring,.. she always puts others before herself in almost every situation, which is a really respectful, respectable characteristic, and I think sort of amazing,” Kat Schilling, her sister, said. “She’s super kind and helpful.”

Schilling also has incredible determination, which she has been proving for the last year. She began to get pain in her ankle, which eventually turned into a serious injury that has required a lot of physical therapy and a surgery. Even with this in her way of tumbling, she has still worked tirelessly to overcome it. 

“She works so hard at everything she does and she has all these accomplishments and they just, you know, they’re individual things to be proud of. But ultimately, it all comes down to how hard you work for it,” Kat said. “So I think that the amount of work that goes into every accomplishment that she has, which is so commendable for her hard work, is definitely something to be proud of.”

Some of these amazing accomplishments come from journalism – something both sisters were surprised they loved. 

“We’re both pretty similar in the sense that we’re more mathematically minded,” Kat said. “I don’t know exactly what it is that sort of made journalism work for both of us, but I’m really glad it did.”

Schilling initially joined the class after being invited by Coach Winn and at the insistence of her sister, who was editor-in-chief the year she joined. While Kat was worried it could negatively impact their relationship because of the competitive nature they share, they both found themselves growing even closer to the other.

“Even when we were little, we would fight all the time. But as we grew up… she grew into herself and was no longer my annoying little sister. We became really, really close,” Kat said.

As both sisters were more prone to writing than reading, Schilling said the biggest outside impact on her love of writing was her surroundings.

“My surroundings, the people I knew with stories that I hear, those were the biggest things that definitely made me want to write more,” Schilling said.

Schilling’s first article she wrote for journalism also opened her eyes to how great writing could be. It was a feature piece on Coach Benson, and the positive feedback she got from him and his current and former players helped her see her own impact.

“I didn’t really know how powerful writing could be until that was published,” she said.

After that first piece, she continued to put a lot of research and time in her interviews, and discovered her love of writing feature pieces in particular. 

“It’s all about the people that will make the feature come out more,”Schilling said. “So personally, feature writing is my favorite because I like talking to people and hearing their emotions and feelings about whatever’s being written about.”

Though, even with a newfound skill and love of writing, she still struggles with one key part of the process: finding a place to start it.

“It’s just hard for me, like I can tell a story, but I never really know how to get started,” Schilling said. “I think that that’s the most difficult part for me, finding an interesting way of beginning a piece and getting people to read it. It’s kind of like an art.”

Schilling thinks that she was lucky going into journalism with her sister, and that writing at such a high level can be very difficult, especially for younger writers. But with such a breakthrough in her first piece, she found the determination to get through that rough beginning.

“For someone like me, who really honestly never liked language arts, writing, English never was my favorite subject ever. I think it was the immediate pride after publishing my first time and the second time and a third time in the fourth time. Every time I published something, the pride and the happiness, I guess, you could say, that it made me want to be doing it,” Schilling said. “I got so much positive feedback from that first piece that I was like, Whoa, my name is right under the headline. But I think I was honestly just proud and I knew that people were reading my name and so I wanted to keep doing it.” 

Soon after these initial victories, Schilling was following in her sisters footsteps, becoming editor-in-chief and winning the English Sterling Scholar. Schilling reflected that she felt a bit of pressure to make editor-in-chief as she saw others in her same age class capable of making it, though with it being such a unique year and being accomplished and busy in other areas, less in getting Sterling Scholar.

Her mom, Michelle, however, was not surprised Schilling took on the leadership role. 

“She’s a natural leader. She likes to lead. She likes to be in charge,” Michelle said. “Sometimes we have to learn a little bit because she can be a little bit bossy. She’s super organized, she’s innately intelligent and a natural leader.”

Schilling wanted to be editor-in-chief because she looked up to her sister, but also because she’s fallen in love with the program. She’s loved working with the people over the years and wanted to be even more involved for her last year. 

As she’s taken on the large leadership role she’s learned how to communicate effectively and well, be even more organized, and to create a product the whole staff can be proud of. It certainly helps that she’s been learning since her sophomore year from her sister.

“It was so amazing and stressful just because it was amazing in the sense that I looked up to her, she helped me with almost everything I wrote, everything I published, and I had her at home when I was in school,” Schilling said. “After that, everything when I needed to, especially because we were always together, whether it was a school or at home.”

But even with this training, Peach has found difficulty in getting to know everyone on staff, especially with school and all communication being online.

“I would have gotten to know everyone before, I think it’s hard because when we’re in class, we find our little bubble, when we find our little squads in the class and sit with the same people every day and we’re kind of writing as individuals,” Schilling reflected.

Though it has been hard and a lot of effort, it has paid off. She has learned many new things, especially in how to be a good leader, which will help in her ambitious pursuits in the future.

Though Schilling doesn’t know where she’s going to college yet, she does plan on going into medicine. Her volunteer work at Primary Children’s Hospital simply confirmed this. 

“I’ve never not wanted to go into medicine. I don’t know why,” Schilling recalls. “From the time I was three years old, I was telling my mom I wanted to be a doctor and so I want to go into medicine.”

However, she plans on taking her writing skills with her.

“I just don’t know if I can not write after my senior year. And so I don’t know if I’ll write for my school newspaper in college. And I just don’t see myself in journalism forever, but I often don’t see myself giving it up,” Schilling said. “I also think that in a medical sense, there’s so much that we don’t know and so much that needs to be shared.”

But wherever she does end up, we know it will be with the same high expectations she’s held herself to with accomplishments in high school and her writing, and the same hard work and determination. 

“She just expects a lot of herself because she knows that she’s able to do it, which is amazing. I think that everyone has the potential to do amazing things and some people just kind of let it let it stay as potential, but Peach takes that potential and really takes advantage of it and tries to make the most out of everything she can do,” Kat said. “I think that just like with the hard work, I think she just recognizes that, you know, she has this ability, just like everyone else, to do amazing things. And then she works really hard to take advantage of that ability and that potential. And so instead of just leaving it and allowing yourself to possibly become something great, she works really hard to ensure that she can become someone great.”