District News

 

Student Council President Aidan Matzko: "This District Does a Good Job of Setting Kids Up for Success."

Posted on: November 5, 2015

Bright. Modest. Hard-working. Kind. Loyal. You hear it again and again about Finneytown students. They’re a special breed. They follow their own interests, are motivated by their own standards and – in a close-knit district that has a place for everybody – they take on leadership roles in significant ways at early ages.

Take a moment to meet Secondary School Student Council President Aidan Matzko -- who's just learned he's a National Merit Commended Student.

If you were allowed just five words to describe your school, they would be. . . .

AM: Diverse, friendly – we’re not very clique-y – inclusive, successful. And teenage – we’re typical.

So what’s your favorite thing about going to Finneytown?

I have friends at other schools, and I like the fact that we’re diverse, racially and socioeconomically. That can be really cool in class, when you’re discussing things. I guess my favorite thing at the high school is that I can do a lot of stuff.

In the fall, I do marching band – drum line – and soccer. I’m in Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, the Gay Straight Alliance. In theater, I’m the stage manager and I basically organize everything – I get there early and I stay late.

Tell us about organizing everything.

I get to go on the catwalk and do the lighting. I go in the sound booth and work on the sound. I get to work with the actors – showing them where to go, helping them with their lines. And I work with the crew itself, like building a carriage on stage for Cinderella, which we’re performing this year.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve been trusted with a lot of responsibility both from my peers and from adults. It’s nice that I can be the drum-line leader and also the theater guy. A lot of it is luck, but a lot of it is what I’ve been set up to do, what I’m able to do here.

Talk about academic opportunities at Finneytown and about how prepared you feel for your next steps.

You’d think that coming to a small school you’d lack a lot of class selections, but we offer a lot. There weren’t many classes I wanted that I couldn’t take. I’ve taken AP chemistry, calculus, literature, biology and psych. Last year I went to Xavier University and took 12 hours there. It worked out wonderfully.

Being at Xavier was an eye-opening experience. It let me see what college classes were like and how prepared I was – and I was as well prepared as any of the kids.

Do you see specific ways that Finneytown has prepared you?

My biology teacher, Mr. Breines, is a fantastic teacher. He teaches you how to study, how to learn, not just the biology component. It changed how I work in high school. I think this district does a good job of setting kids up for success. In English classes, they don’t teach just vocabulary and grammar. They say you have to listen and to respond. They’re teaching life skills.

You’re a senior. So what’s next for you?

I plan to go to college and pursue a degree in biology or biochemistry with the goal of getting into something related to medicine. I’m applying to Duke, Washington University, Ohio State and Harvard.

Finneytown is kind of a place of special moments. Tell us about the most “Finneytown” of your Finneytown moments.

There are a lot of them! I think it was probably a day that started out with having the SAT and a soccer game in the morning and then having the Homecoming dance in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were allowed just five words to describe your school, they would be. . . .

AM: Diverse, friendly – we’re not very clique-y – inclusive, successful. And teenage – we’re typical.

So what’s your favorite thing about going to Finneytown?

I have friends at other schools, and I like the fact that we’re diverse, racially and socioeconomically. That can be really cool in class, when you’re discussing things. I guess my favorite thing at the high school is that I can do a lot of stuff.

In the fall, I do marching band – drum line – and soccer. I’m in Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, the Gay Straight Alliance. In theater, I’m the stage manager and I basically organize everything – I get there early and I stay late.

Tell us about organizing everything.

I get to go on the catwalk and do the lighting. I go in the sound booth and work on the sound. I get to work with the actors – showing them where to go, helping them with their lines. And I work with the crew itself, like building a carriage on stage for Cinderella, which we’re performing this year.

I’ve been lucky that I’ve been trusted with a lot of responsibility both from my peers and from adults. It’s nice that I can be the drum-line leader and also the theater guy. A lot of it is luck, but a lot of it is what I’ve been set up to do, what I’m able to do here.

Talk a little about academic opportunities at Finneytown and about how prepared you feel for your next steps.

You’d think that coming to a small school you’d lack a lot of class selections, but we offer a lot. There weren’t many classes I wanted that I couldn’t take. I’ve taken AP chemistry, calculus, literature, biology and psych. Last year I went to Xavier University and took 12 hours there. It worked out wonderfully.

Being at Xavier was an eye-opening experience. It let me see what college classes were like and how prepared I was – and I was as well prepared as any of the kids.

Do you see specific ways that Finneytown has prepared you?

My biology teacher, Mr. Breines, is a fantastic teacher. He teaches you how to study, how to learn, not just the biology component. It changed how I work in high school. I think this district does a good job of setting kids up for success. In English classes, they don’t teach just vocabulary and grammar. They say you have to listen and to respond. They’re teaching life skills.

You’re a senior. So what’s next for you?

I plan to go to college and pursue a degree in biology or biochemistry with the goal of getting into something related to medicine. I’m applying to Duke, Washington University, Ohio State and Harvard.

Final question: Finneytown is kind of a place of special moments. Tell us about the most “Finneytown” of your Finneytown moments.

There are a lot of them! I think it was probably a day that started out with having a soccer game in the morning and then a band competition in the afternoon and then having the Homecoming dance in the evening.