The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Student News Site of Pella High School


The Young Sheldons of 2024


Most often, students are highlighted for their athletic and extracurricular successes while their accomplishments in the classroom are overlooked. The effort students put into keeping their grades up and getting assignments turned in may not be noticed by peers, but their teachers are able to appreciate the effort of these Young Sheldons of Pella High.

While there are many successful seniors in Geoff Buchanan’s class, two stand out. Harleigh Walkup and Jack Conrad always “bring positive attitudes even when they may not be having a great day.” Positivity is  just one of a few qualities Buchanan sees in these students.

“They’re active listeners; you can tell when they’re paying attention,” Buchanan said. “They ask questions during class and ask follow up questions after class or when they see you in the hall.” 

According to Walkup, one of the best ways she is able to be successful is using her planner. “I found that when I write my assignments out I tend to remember to do it. I also mark what is most important to get done.” She also prioritizes getting enough sleep. “I know that when I have a test the next day, I try to study my best, but also get a good amount of sleep. During my free time, I also get some of my homework done.”

In the science hall, Susan Lyons says the time management and responsibility of Nathan VanderWaal makes him stand out. 

“Being busy with both [school and extracurriculars] has helped me be more productive with my time, because I don’t have any time to waste,” VanderWaal commented. He “takes advantage of study halls” to be able to perform well and put all his focus into his extracurriculars. VanderWaal’s piece of advice for underclassmen would be to “find joy in something every day. It’s not the grades or the accolades that you’re going to remember, it’s the relationships you build throughout high school.”

English teacher Laura Fank and math instructor Doug Cutler also recognized the academic success of Cade McGinley, Jake Huston, Grace VanderBeek, and Brady Steenhoek. These students, along with others, show their teachers that they are intentional about developing their academic ability and performance. 

“The main way I excel in extracurriculars and academics is by giving each of them my best effort,” says Huston. “Both of these require dedication and time, which can be hard to manage at times. It’s important to plan out each week to see when you have sports, church activities, or other events to know when you need to do your schoolwork.”

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