By Mike Grenier
SALEM — Sarah Guerin can now laugh about her reaction to winning The Salem News Student-Athlete Award 15 years ago.
It was a purely emotional reaction from a teenager.
"I thought it was all about the trophy back then," said Guerin, who was the guest speaker at the 46th Salem News Student-Athlete Award ceremony at The Hawthorne Hotel last night. "I just wanted to bring the trophy back to Swampscott High. I had butted heads with my principal, but I got his phone number and called him that night.
"It was exciting, but that was my immature way of looking at it."
Guerin, who is now married and living in Wakefield, has had many life experiences since then. She went to the Rhode Island School of Design, finishing in 1999. She lived in Rome for two years and in Paris for another. She's now a freelance designer and the mother of two, ages 5 and 2, with another child due next month.
She also has a greater appreciation for the benefits she derived from capturing The Salem News Student-Athlete Award.
"Combining the disciplines of athletics and academics, interacting with adults in the interview session (with the panel of judges that decided the award winner) and advocating for yourself — all those things served me well as time went on," said Guerin.
"Winning it was a great thing — and even being nominated was a great thing, because I was able to apply all those lessons."