Student of the Week: Palisade High School senior Brendon Anderson

Palisade High School senior Brendon Anderson. Photo by Mitch Mattingley

GPA: 4.4

Favorite book and its author: "In Retrospect" by Robert S. McNamara

Favorite TV show: "The Office"

Favorite band or musician: Logic

After-school activities: Hunting/fishing, playing basketball, spending time with friends, family and my dogs, as well as making coffee at work.

Parents: Alan and Janel Anderson

Favorite teacher and why: Nick Philliou. Mr. Philliou challenged me not only as a student, but as a young man. Over the last year, Mr. Philliou has fostered a learning mindset and inspired me to pursue honesty and integrity every day. He's been more than a teacher to me, he's taught me about life, hard work, and he's modeled how to give of yourself to others.

Personal hero and why: Leonard Perry. Mr. Perry was my middle school band teacher, who passed away two years ago. Mr. Perry inspired me to apply for the International Baccalaureate program at Palisade High School, and I've been forever thankful that he did. Mr. Perry showed me the power of working hard. I strive every day to carry on his legacy by being the hardest worker in everything I do. I credit many of my greatest successes with the lessons he taught me.

Preferred college: San Diego State University, majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Dream job: Orthodontist

Highlight of your high school experience: Getting a big win over Eagle Valley at home during last year's basketball season. The energy in the gym that night is something I'll never forget. And being able to share that experience with my teammates and coaches made it that much more special. I look forward to more games this year.

Q&A:

Q: What accomplishment are you the most proud of?

A: The thrill of seeing my hard work pay off. When I first began high school, three years ago, I wasn't sure how I would handle the workload of the IB program. Yet, after putting in hours of studying, I've seen the benefits of hard work, and it has fostered continuous motivation. I always love to imagine what Mr. Perry would say whenever I've conquered a hard test, project or class.

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

A: I'd build personal relationships with each student. I believe that the relationships I've built with faculty at Palisade have nurtured a trusting bond that has inspired me to believe in myself. When you have a positive relationship with a teacher, you're more comfortable taking risks, communicating when you have a problem, and asking questions when you need help.

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

A: It would have to be John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I've had a love for history since I picked up my first history book. I recently went to Boston and toured the JFK Presidential Library. Learning about JFK was fascinating, and I'd do anything to sit down and talk about his plans for his presidency, his life goals, and any advice he could give to an inquiring 18-year-old.

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

A: I would travel to New Zealand and spend my year fly fishing. New Zealand has some of the most beautiful stretches of water on this earth, and the opportunity to spend a year, learning a new area and catching fish, is something I would take in a heartbeat.

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

A: Be confident in yourself. Hesitation is often the catalyst of a lost opportunity. Confidence is something that not only benefits you in the classroom, but in every aspect of your life.

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