Student of the Week, Dec. 28, 2009

Name: Matthew Farrell

School: Palisade High School

GPA: 4.33

After-school activities: speech and debate, Knowledge Bowl (academic team), National Honor Society (volunteering), and band.

Favorite book: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne.

Favorite TV show: “Castle.”

Favorite Web site:

Most played song on your iPod:  “Piano Concerto Number 1 in B Flat minor” by Tchaikovsky.

Parents: Tyrone and Valori Farrell.

Personal hero and why: My older sister, Brielle Farrell, is my personal hero, because she has always provided a role model for me with her dedication and ambition, while always trying to help others out.

Preferred college: Stanford University.

Preferred career: Diplomat in the foreign service.

Greatest achievement so far: Qualifying for All-State Symphonic Band.

What you’d like to be your next greatest achievement: Being accepted to Stanford.


Q: What has been your favorite class in high school and why?

A: My favorite class has been calculus. Several of my closest high school friends took it with me, and our teacher, Mrs. Conaway, made the class extremely fun. At the same time, the concepts in calculus explain why the rest of algebra and geometry works the way it does and, as such, provided me with a deeper perspective on the rest of my math classes.

Q: How do you prepare for a big test?

A: I do not have any particular method of studying that I use for every test, but I do have a couple of methods that I use most often. First, I reread the material that the test is over. If the test is over vocabulary or memorizing dates and events, I use flashcards to help me memorize information. I also try to study material that is slightly more in-depth than the test will probably be. This forces me to organize the basic material in my head. Probably my best studying comes when I am helping other students prepare for the test. Teaching others is an essential part of learning.

Q: If you could have your pick of service projects, who would you help and how?

A: I think the two most important groups of people to help are those that have helped you and those that are truly down on their luck. I would love to help the education system that has done so much for me by volunteering to tutor or mentor other students. I would help the homeless by preparing meals at the homeless shelter or by participating in the various local efforts to get the homeless jobs and back into homes.

Q: What does it say under “interests” on your Facebook page?

A: Music, history, military history, cartography, math, physics, astronomy, creative writing, exploring the world, camping, hiking, mountain biking, playing sports with my family and friends.

Q: What’s the best advice a teacher, coach or parent has ever given you?

A: Both my parents and a couple of teachers have always told me that people are more important than possessions or achievements. In my short life, I have found this to be very true. After all, a trophy or award cannot comfort you on the rough days, and no object is as powerful as a hug or smile. In short, people will have a much greater power of influence, positive or negative, over my life than any worldly good.

Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?

A: I would like to be through college with at least a master’s degree and in the foreign service or some other part of the U.S. State Department. Other than that, I really do not know.


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