Senior Spotlight: Lilly Johnson

  • Student Life
Emily Dolan
Lilly Johnson

After moving to Reno from the Seattle area, Lilly Johnson started at Sage Ridge in 8th grade.  She remembers being “super nervous” about starting at a new school, but she found that she acclimated without issue and meshed with her classmates right away. The 8th grade Outdoor Education trip to Yosemite helped to make Lilly feel like a part of the class. Thinking back on that trip, she recalls memorable hikes and playing hide and seek in the park. 

Lilly quickly became involved in Sage Ridge student life. She started playing on the soccer team and continued competing for the rest of her years as a Scorpion. In fact, Lilly earned the Outstanding Athlete Award for soccer in grades 9, 10, and 11. She gave both Speech and Debate and basketball a try, but she found an interest in student government and served as representative for two years and Secretary this year. Leading through student government during the pandemic was especially challenging, as COVID made it more difficult to connect with students the way they wanted. Nevertheless, the group worked hard to boost student morale throughout the year and made a significant impact on the student body.

When Lilly was in 10th grade, she joined forces with Samantha Kenyherz (‘22), Elena Albregts (‘20), and Izzy Dhindsa (‘19) to form the Last Straw Club. The group had been talking for awhile about their passion for the environment and the ocean in particular. They came up with the name and set a goal to reduce single-use plastic at Sage Ridge and beyond. They worked to raise money through fundraisers in an effort to support the Coral Reef Alliance. This year, the club has partnered with alum John Dewald (‘13) and his nonprofit, Full Belly Brasil, to plant trees on campus. Along with the efforts of the club’s junior leaders Samantha Kenyherz and Lilli DeJonghe, Lilly will help provide one pound of food for families in need in Brasil for every tree planted. 

For her senior thesis, Lilly researched the effects that the fashion industry has on climate change. While Lilly has found success as a writer, she is leaning towards the sciences for her future studies. “All of my teachers made an impact,” she says. According to Dr. Roth, however, it’s Lilly that has influenced Sage Ridge: “Lilly is an excellent student, athlete, and active citizen at our school. She is always willing to assist peers when they have questions or need help with assignments, labs, and field studies in Biology and with on-campus clubs and events.”

Lilly’s course of study at Sage Ridge has been challenging, and she has been recognized for her academic excellence in several disciplines. Her advice to younger Scorpions is to persevere through the stressful moments by using the resources available, such as the dedicated teachers. She wants students to know that “you have a support system at Sage Ridge.” Looking back on this year, she takes pride in the way the senior class worked together to lead the school through this arduous COVID year, and we look forward to celebrating all that Lilly and her classmates have accomplished in spite of the extra unexpected challenges.

  • Class of 2021
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