February Student of the Month: Carter Kenney

May 13, 2019

Carter Scott Kenney, 19, of Sterling, is one of Sterling High School’s February Students of the Month. He is the son of Scott and Carrie Kenney, and has a brother, Dylan, and sister, Olivia.

Favorite class: Calculus. It’s concrete, yet challenging. I expect it to be difficult and I kind of like that predictability. I really like to do my work on the board because my calculus teacher also teaches freshmen, so I leave it up there after class and it usually makes them all nervous. I like how I feel when I’m done solving a difficult problem: about 10 feet tall and 20 times smarter than I actually am.

Least-favorite class: My least-favorite class is hard to say because I generally enjoy learning. I think if I had to pick a least favorite it would be during my sophomore year when I took AP Human Geography. I enjoyed the material but the teacher expected some to be very independent and I don’t think I was really ready for that.

Favorite teacher: Nicole Schlemmer. She’s extremely kind and polite, and always makes class interesting. She also wrote me a great letter of recommendation for college.

School activities in which you participate: I have been playing in band since fifth grade, and I’ve been the Euphonium section leader all throughout high school. I just finished my last season of Scholastic Bowl, of which I was the captain and made the all-conference team. I also have been involved in cross country and track; it’s my first year doing high school sports and I’m enjoying it so far. On top of everything else, I’m also president of the Science Club. 

Civic, church, or other volunteer activities in which you participate: I’m an Eagle Scout from Troop 72 in Sterling, and an active member of Scouting’s National Honor Society; the Order of the Arrow, of which I am a vigil member; and I serve as the vice chief of communications of Wulapeju Lodge. Right now I’m also playing in two bands outside of school, the Sauk Valley Community College Band and the Sterling Municipal band. 

What will you do after high school? I will either start at a 4-year school right away, or go to Sauk for 2 years before transferring to 4-year school. I think I have narrowed it down to Augustana College and Loyola University in Chicago. I’m thinking of studying forensics.

What is something you learned in high school that you think you’ll never use? I don’t think I’ll ever find myself in a situation where I’ll be grateful for being well versed in crayfish anatomy.

What kind of music are you listening to? I really only listen to light classical or instrumental music; lots of film scores and arrangements for band. It’s really great for studying because you don’t have lyrics to break your focus.

What is your advice for surviving high school? You need to get good at time management fast; it’s one of the skills I’m still working on developing myself. It’s one thing to get a planner, but don’t slack off. You need to write out what you need to every day. It would be helpful just to make a to-do list and prioritize what you need to do. 

If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be? Use of back packs. We’re not allowed to take them into class, and trying to lug around all my stuff has become really tedious and annoying.

What’s a good book you’ve read lately? Last month I finished “The Metamorphosis,” by Franz Kafka. It’s about a guy who wakes up one morning and discovers he has transformed into a dung beetle. It sounds strange, and it is, but once you get past that, you see how Kafka’s really making a statement about humanity in general. It’s short, too, less than 100 pages.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you? Last year, I had the opportunity to put some of my first aid skills to use. I was recognized by the city of Sterling for saving a life. I never really thought that I could make a difference like that for someone like that, and I was proud that I was able to take the initiative and help someone out who needed it.