Lauren Allmaras has only ever received one B in her entire life.
It came during her sophomore year in high school. The New Plymouth senior is still bothered at the very thought of it. But outside of one little B two years ago, Allmaras’ marks have been impeccable.
She was the salutatorian of her class with a 3.986 grade point average, graduated from the College of Western Idaho with an Associate's degree and amassed more than 250 hours of community service. She also was a two-time captain for the cross country team, played two years on the girls varsity basketball team and was a member of softball varsity team for the last four years.
For these achievements, Allmaras is the 2017-18 Idaho Press’ Sports Stars Girls Student Athlete of the Year.
“Taking that first B was a learning curve. I never really studied before then because everything always came so easy for me. But I realized then that I couldn’t do that anymore,” Allmaras said. “I knew what I was capable of and I decided I was never going to short change myself like that ever again. It really turned me into the person I would become. Even though I overwhelmed myself by being a perfectionist, I loved it.”
It happened in speech class. It’s a class students are not supposed to take until their junior year. Allmaras, though, had a A in the class all year anyway. That was until the final. For the final, the teacher had her debate a fellow student. The winner got a 100 percent, while the loser received 75 percent.
She debated the teacher’s son and lost the debate.
It dropped her down to a B.
After admittedly shedding a few years at the loss of her perfect grades, Almaras composed herself and never received anything lower than a 95 percent for the rest of high school. This included in her online College of Western Idaho classes she was taking alongside her regular high school curriculum.
Allmaras took three online classes this year to finish with 62 college credits and her Associate's degree. She actually received her college degree before her diploma.
“To be able to do something like that required a lot of obedience and self regulation,” New Plymouth High School counselor Jordan Chesler said. “She was just so driven and always went above and beyond.
“Lauren is very gifted, nice and respectful to everyone she comes across. I think when you put that all together it set her up for a lot of success. I’m not sure there isn’t anything she can’t do.”
But her exceptional work ethic wasn’t just limited to the classroom.
She racked up more than 250 hours of community service by doing such things as tying fleece blankets for cancer treatment patients, helping with the Jayden DeLuca Foundation by wrapping and delivering Christmas gifts for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, working at the Idaho Foodbank and the Ronald McDonald house, But her personal favorite was assisting a family in New Plymouth from Myanmar (Burma) through the International Rescue Committee.
Allmaras also served as the co-president of the National Honors Society, the FFA Western Idaho District Vice President and helped raise $30,000 for New Plymouth to build a brand new greenhouse equipped with the capability to have an aquaculture program.
This doesn’t even cover her athletics career. She ran cross country for three years, two of which as team captain, played two with girls basketball varsity program team and was a part of three state championships with the softball team. Allmaras had two hits and three RBIs in a 14-0 five-inning win against Melba in this year’s state title game.
However, Allmaras will be trading in her bat and glove for books this fall. She will attend Honors College at Oregon State University where she will study environmental engineering. Allmaras hopes to someday work internationally on conservation and preservation efforts of wildlife, water and other environmental resources.
Oh, and along the way, the 18-year-old doesn’t want to receive another B.
“If it comes down to it, I’ll get tutored myself,” Allmaras said. “I want that perfect GPA. I want to graduate with honors. I want to graduate at the top of my class so I’m ready to put my competitive mentality and grit into school. I don’t like settling for anything less than perfection.”