My name is... Jackson Heetland

Standley Lake High senior, saxist, Presidential Scholars nominee

Posted 3/6/19
A future in engineering Right now, I’m focusing on school and college applications. I’m really interested in science and math. I’m thinking about going into some engineering field, which is why …

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My name is... Jackson Heetland

Standley Lake High senior, saxist, Presidential Scholars nominee

Posted

A future in engineering

Right now, I’m focusing on school and college applications. I’m really interested in science and math. I’m thinking about going into some engineering field, which is why I’m looking at Colorado School of Mines and CU Boulder for college. I’ve always been really interested in science. It started with space. I really like space. That was my big thing. Every kid says that they want to be an astronaut. I guess I never really grew out of that. I don’t want to be an astronaut, but I love space and the natural world. And now that I know a lot more about stuff like climate change, I want to help out in that area too. Specifically, I’m interested in environmental engineering. I could help with solar energy and stuff like that. I’m also really interested in anatomy, so I’m looking at biomedical engineering. I could manufacture prostheses — that seems really interesting to me. Or like I said, space. Aerospace would be really interesting because I like mechanical engineering. It would be cool to build the kind of machines that get up to space, or at least up in the atmosphere.

Playing saxophone

I like to play the saxophone. I’m in a jazz band. That’s something I’m really passionate about. That’s really been my favorite experience in high school. I entered our advance band here at Standley Lake freshman year, which I didn’t expect to be able to do because I was just a little freshman on my sax. I didn’t know what I was doing. But I got into the signature jazz band and I was very excited about that. I was first alto every year since then. We play at school events a lot. We play at community events. On March 16 we’re gonna do a swing dance in the cafeteria.

Being a Presidential Scholars nominee

At first when I got the Presidential Scholars nominee, I didn’t think it was as big of a deal as I do now. It was a pretty big honor to be nominated. The part that’s the coolest for me is being recognized for my academics. I’m used to being known around school as a good student. But it’s really cool to be honored at the national level and to see that my hard work has brought me to the attention of people who are higher up. It’s also cool to know that my SAT score was so high. I remember when I checked it in the library, my friend saw it and said, “Whoa, you got a 1580 — that’s crazy!” He started telling everyone. For the rest of the day, everyone was freaking out. It’s cool for other people to recognize that’s a good score. Also, from a practical standpoint, it’s really good to put on applications.

It’s just a score

Even though the presidential scholars thing is pretty important and the SAT score is important, when I look at my academic career, that doesn’t really matter that much to me because it’s just a score. I think much more important to me is the relationships I have with my teachers and how I am interested in what they teach. That can’t really be communicated with an SAT score. I’m proud of myself for the score, but I think more important is that I enjoy my learning.

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