Class of ’21 Senior Spotlight: Sammy Caudill

Name, city of residence:

Samuel “Sammy” Caudill, Watsonville

Grade you started at MMS:

I started at Mount Madonna in fourth grade.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by those who strive to understand the world outside of our daily lives. Not just scientists, but philosophers and mathematicians and even software designers who somehow managed to create this crazy computer I’m writing emails on. My brother is in college studying physics, and I think that that’s super cool. He’s been modeling galaxies and how gravity works with billions of particles involved, and that inspires me because it’s just really cool.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

I like math, history and some science. If I had to choose one it would be math. I can learn history outside of school, but math is crazy and I wouldn’t know where to begin. We’ve got all these variables now, and I hardly remember fourth grade when we just learned how to multiply.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

That’s quite a big question to ask a high schooler who hardly understands their own surroundings. I guess I’d change is no more bigotry, and for people to just respect one another.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

Somewhere in the mountains.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

I’ve got all the time in the world lately, and yet I still feel like I don’t have enough.

What is your dream job and why?

I don’t have a dream job but I know I want a job I can do from home so I can live in a van and travel.

What are your three favorite things? 

I like fresh air, water and the feeling of when you have nothing to do.

Favorite book (title and author) – and describe why it’s your favorite book:

I don’t read a lot of books outside of school but the book I have the fondest memories of is A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, because I like dogs and the dog in the book was very sweet.

What do you want to do after high school?

I want to go to college.

Something that you are proud of – and why:

I’m proud of that one time I made ice cream and it wasn’t bad.

Something that makes you smile:

Funny jokes make me smile.

A favorite MMS memory – and why?

One of my favorite MMS memories was in sixth grade during Ramayana! at the lower gym. Some of my classmates and I ventured out beyond the fence of Mount Madonna Center’s property and just walked around for a bit before running back.

Top three most played songs on your favorite playlist: 

Spotify says my top played songs in 2020 were: “Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; “Brazilby Declan McKenna, and “Kodachrome by Paul Simon.

What have you been doing during quarantine?

I haven’t done much to keep myself busy, I’ve just been enjoying time to take a breath. I’ve been watching lots of TV and playing video games though. Also catching up on sleep and sometimes meditating.


Alumna Caroline Smith (’17) interviewed Sammy for this spotlight feature.

I will be graduating from Smith College this May and while this wasn’t the senior year I imagined, I have made the best of it. Unfortunately, sport was a really big part of my college career, but I have found ways to stay active. I’ve lived in Massachusetts since graduating from MMS, and understandably, this past year has been the hardest to be away from my family. Luckily I’ve been able to pod with my closest friends who have been an invaluable support system during this time and I wouldn’t want to finish my senior year without them.

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