Student of the Week: Fruita Monument High School senior Charlize Geer

GPA: 4.4

Favorite book and its author: "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

Favorite TV show: "Parks and Recreation"

Favorite band or musician: Khalid, Beethoven, Ed Sheeran … just not country

After-school activities: Piano, soccer, skiing, entomology, gardening, Key Club, art, National Honors Society

Parents: Elizabeth and Ivan Geer

Favorite teacher and why: Every single teacher has had a positive impact on me, and I cannot put one name above the rest so here are just a few: Mr. Gregg, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Timmer, Ms. McCorkle, Señor Pav, Mr. Wayt, Mr. Carlson, Mrs. Diehl, Mr. Pewters. You guys have gone beyond the textbooks to help me pursue my passions and to challenge me in every subject.

Personal hero and why: Grandma, Grammy and Nana. Thank you for the laughs, deep discussions, and for making me the best I can be.

Preferred college: Vanderbilt University or University of Notre Dame

Dream job: Microbiologist or medical profession

Highlight of your high school experience: Spanish trip to Costa Rica

Q: What accomplishment are you the most proud of?

A: By the time I graduate, I will have taken 17 different AP courses. I've walked out of every AP class looking through the world with a new lens, from critically thinking about plastic pollution to understanding the x and y components in a home run hit at JUCO. Throughout high school I've also made the choice to put aside orchestra and art classes to make more room for academics. I'm proud of myself for focusing on what I love most and challenging myself to see from new perspectives.

Q: If you were the principal of your high school for a week, what would you do or change?

A: FMHS is an exceptional school. The variety of classes and clubs allows students to pursue their unique interests and block days give students time to meet with teachers for help. As the principal, there is very little I would change. However, I know that many motivated students care so much about their grade that it is hard to be engaged in the subject, especially when aiming for straight As. They might know the material for tests, but the pressure for a good grade makes school stressful. Although many teachers already provide opportunities for retakes and test corrections, there could be a greater emphasis on giving second chances on tests and even small quizzes. Then students can learn without the fear of one bad test score.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

A: A few years ago, my dad's cousin Officer Derek Geer was shot and killed in the line of duty. As a kid, I never had the chance to have a real conversation with him. I feel as though I've learned so much more about Derek as a family member and friend since his death. If I could have one dinner with anyone, I would spend it with Derek to experience his unforgettable sense of humor and his ability to always see the best in people.

Q: If you could live anywhere or do anything for one year, what would you do and why?

A: I would go somewhere in Latin America such as Ecuador, Peru or Costa Rica. There are many opportunities to volunteer in local communities and to experience new tastes, sounds and sights of local culture all while improving my Spanish. I could also spend my free time trying to glimpse some of the unique wildlife. I've always wanted to see some of the insects living in rainforest ecosystems such as a hooded mantis or malachite butterfly.

Q: What advice would you give to yourself as a freshman?

A: Take on your passions, but don't keep pursuing something unless you love it. You can't do everything in one life, so don't overburden yourself with activities unless you enjoy every single second. Find the opportunities to explore new ideas and learn without fear of future competitions and tests. Always listen to advice, but don't let your friends, family, or advisors set limits for you.

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