A strong work ethic, commitment, determination and compassion have been the keys to Payson High School senior Caitlin Fruth's success, both on and off campus.
For her accomplishments, the 18-year-old has been chosen the Payson Roundup's Young Woman of the Year.
Following Fruth's graduation from PHS this spring, she'll realize a longtime goal of enrolling at Arizona State University in Tempe where she will major in business administration with a focus on finance.
Earlier this year, Fruth received an ASU Provost's Scholarship for academic excellence.
She's also a candidate to receive even more scholarships as they are awarded to graduating seniors during the next few months.
Fruth heads to the land of the Sun Devils as one of the most accomplished and well-rounded students in the class of 2007.
Since seventh grade at Rim Country Middle School, she's maintained an A-plus average while taking accelerated classes in most subjects. She also has been a member of the PHS Principal's Honor Roll the past four years.
In 2005, she received an award for excellence in United States history and a year later was named an Arizona Academic Scholar. As a sophomore, she was inducted into the National Honor Society.
In the classroom, teachers describe her as a gifted student who meets all the challengers presented her.
"It's obvious she has set her goals high and is willing to work hard to reach them," PHS teacher Kenny Hayes said. "She was my TA (Teaching Assistant) and was a very dependable young lady who liked to help others out."
Excelling academically is obviously important to Fruth, but she's also taken time out to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.
She played on freshman and junior varsity basketball and volleyball teams before turning her attention two years ago to soccer.
For the past two seasons, she has been a starting member of the Lady Longhorn team that last season earned a berth in the Class 3A state tournament.
It was Fruth who scored the Lady Horns lone goal in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Blue Ridge that eliminated PHS from the postseason.
In addition to participating in prep sports, Fruth has volunteer-coached in town-sponsored youth girls basketball and coed soccer leagues.
She also is a peer mentor at Payson High School and a member of the Church of Nazarene Youth Group.
The teen has also expressed some political interest by volunteering to serve on the Town of Payson Mayor's Youth Council and on the Task Force for Economic Development.
"You couldn't find a better choice than her (for Young Woman of the Year)," Mayor Bob Edwards said. "She is on our task forces and the members rave about her input. They are really impressed with her."
When not in the classroom, on the playing field or volunteering her efforts, Fruth holds down part-time jobs in an effort to save money for her university expenses.
Since 2006, she has worked at the Rim Golf Club in golf services. She also worked for a year as a lifeguard at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center and was also a guard at Taylor Pool for the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department.
She is certified in both CPR and first aid.
Fruth's father, Tim -- the town Vice Mayor and a Payson High School assistant principal -- says watching his daughter blossom into a successful young woman has been a joy.
"What's satisfying is when other people come up to me and say what a fine young lady she is," he said. "It means a lot when other people recognize her (achievements)."
Looking back at her high school career, Caitlin Fruth realizes it has been a great ride, but she's now ready for the challenges of university life.
"It's something I've been working for what seems a long time," she said. "And now that I am close (to graduation), I'm ready for it.
"But, I'll move on, thankful I have such great memories."