What were your accomplishments and activities throughout your high school career?
Freshman year, simply because high school was a new thing for me, I was especially concerned with my studies and did not participate in really anything related to school. Outside of school, though, I continued to work with computers and continued to refine my web design skills. At that time, I also learned Perl, a programming language for web sites. During the summer between freshman and sophomore years, I created three programs in this language and made them available at no charge so others could take advantage of them. Sophomore year, Mr. Crickard introduced me to FBLA and recommended that I participate in the Accounting competition. The Computer Concepts competition caught my eye, though, and I went on to win second in state for it, which qualified me for the national competition in Orlando. Last year, I competed in the Technology Concepts event, which was very similar to the Computer Concepts competition. I won first in state for the event and continued on to compete in the national competition, held in Nashville.
Also last year, in a family heritage project for American History, I mentioned my web design business. My teacher, Mrs. Laimins, upon reading this fact, expressed her desire for an extracurricular web site. After planning the site, Brian Steere and I worked diligently on it. We included photos, schedules, rosters, and information pertaining to our school’s clubs, activities, musical organizations, and sports teams. Because of the complexity of the web site, I thought up a program that would simplify the process of updating the content. This program would also enable teachers with a limited knowledge of computers to update portions of the web site. Over this past summer I completed the program.
This year, in addition to the continual work on the extracurricular web site, I joined cross-country. Though I am nowhere near the top runners, I have improved my race time. One year ago, I struggled with running a mile. Now, I run one mile each day as a warm-up.
Throughout high school, I have also been involved in various church activities. I have participated in the yearly See You at the Pole, an event at which students gather around the school’s flagpole to pray for the students, teachers, and country. I have been involved in daily prayer on the steps by the auditorium since Freshman year.
Who is your favorite teacher in high school?
Over the course of my four years here at West Chicago, I have had a multitude of exceptionally great teachers. As a result, it is difficult to select a single one as my favorite. I can only go so far as to say that Mr. Crickard, Mr. Burzynski, Mr. Gimre, and Mrs. Moran were the best teachers I’ve had – I cannot narrow the list any further.
What is your favorite activity in high school?
As far as the classroom goes, I would have to say my favorite activity was programming in Mr. Burzynski’s Computer Science class. In terms of extracurricular activities, though, my favorite is the work on the school’s extracurricular web site. I created a program that manages the site and enables teachers to update specific pages with information such as calendar events or team results. Since my interests lie in programming and computers, this is easily my favorite activity. At the same time, though, I enjoy cross-country and FBLA.
Where do you plan to go to college and what do you want to major in?
In the fall of 2003, I plan on attending MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering) to major in Software Engineering, which is similar to computer science.
What do you want to do for a living?
I would like to write software, preferably for a small company.
What is your favorite pastime?
In addition to working with computers, I enjoy deep discussions with friends, biking, running, playing baseball or Frisbee, reading, and sleeping.
Why do you think you were chosen student of the month?
Because I have not been involved in many typical extracurricular activities, I did not expect to receive such recognition. What I failed to recognize was the fact that extracurricular activities are not the only major selection factor. A student of the month must also be a good student. I think I was selected because, as one teacher writes about me, “He shows that you can be bright, get good grades, be involved, and be a regular guy.” He also explains, “He has a lot of ability but still works hard in his classes.” Ultimately, anything I’ve done right, any “goodness” I have inside of me or portray in my life comes not from within, but from God, from His work in my life.