Scholars in the Spotlight: Self-motivated Lilly Murr, the bilingual Burrowes Scholar

Lilly Murr likes to read.

It stands to reason that she would excel in English classes, and throughout high school, she has, and earned recognition as the English department's Burrowes Scholar.
Lilly Murr is the Burrowes Scholar for both
English and German

However, English is not the only award she will receive at the May banquet; Murr was also named the Burrowes Scholar for another language, German, and thus is one of three juniors to receive the award in two subjects.

"It feels pretty good," Murr says in regards to winning a pair of awards. "I was very surprised, and I didn't think I would win anything."

Murr recalls disappointment in both fifth and eighth grades after falling just short of recognition in those years, which makes this honor all the more affirming. Moreover, she caught up to some of her peers.

"It’s a sigh of relief. I finally proved myself," she explains. "All of my friends have [won the award] and now I have … and I won two!"

For Murr, the journey to these awards began long ago. She recalls a love for the English language that dates back to at least kindergarten. She has always loved to read, and is a self-professed grammar guru. To that end, she says that part of the reason she enjoys German is that she "loves" the grammar rules.
Murr finds German grammar rules "interesting"; here, she studiously looks at her notes
Interestingly, Murr never took German I, instead opting to test out of the course and advance straight to the second level. Presently, she is taking German IV, where she is the only junior in the class.

"She always enters my classroom with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. In addition, she is so talented with finding the right words for opinions, emotions, and moods. In German class, she does not simply translate words from one language into another, but skillfully picks the right adjectives to describe the mood and situation in the target language," says Mr. Alexander Breitkreutz, German teacher at L-S. "The one thing I will always remember about Lillian is her creativity and how she has the talent to get others excited with her as well."

As for her accomplishments in the English department, Mr. Calvin Esh, who is Murr's sponsor for that award, cited involvement both inside and outside the classroom as reasons for her recognition.

In addition to serving as the school news editor
for, Murr was the president of
the L-S Mini-Thon, which raised over $17,000
"Lilly is active in the classroom and beyond," says Esh. "As a junior, she's already taken five English courses ... she's been a Pioneer Superlative, and she's a prolific writer for LS News, writing an amazing 35 separate articles this year."
Murr serves as the school news editor for, and next year will be assuming the role of editor-in-chief, a challenge she seems ready to attack.

"All I do is school work and LSNews stuff," she says, going onto comment that she draws support from her mother, who encourages her to push herself as she thinks is appropriate rather than worrying about what others think. "That mindset has pushed me to be the best I can be because I push myself harder than anyone else [pushes me]."

As for what being a Burrowes Scholar means to her, like a true journalist, Murr had the quote to wrap up the article:

"It definitely makes me feel more confident in my abilities. It’s great to win an award for something you enjoy doing. It means that I’m working hard, and it definitely shows me that I’m at a good place right now."

This is the fifth article in an series featuring each of the high school recipients of the Burrowes Scholar award, which is given to one student in each subject area who demonstrates academic excellence in that subject. For more articles, visit this page. The series is coordinated by senior staff writer Mackenzie Miller, a three-time Burrowes Scholar herself.

--Benjamin Pontz, Editor-In-Chief

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