Thanks to these partners for their continued involvement in our community and education.
One student, many hats
History, choir on long list of teen's interestsBy Philip Stake
By all outward signs, Dustin Janssen has no trouble learning. He will graduate from River Road High School this month seventh in a class of 86, with an overall grade-point average of almost 97 percent.
He will attend Abilene Christian University in the fall, his parents' alma mater. Like his father, who teaches history at River Road, Janssen finds the subject fascinating.
"I plan on staying in school until I receive my doctorate in ancient history, and maybe archaeology, too," he said.
The 2008 recipient of the AB Barret and Sybil B. Harrington scholarships said he'd like to teach at the university level one day.
He is a member of National Honor Society, a service-based organization to which he gives his time and energy to support charities like the March of Dimes.
Janssen is also a member of the River Road Science Bowl team, which competes in rounds of trivia against other bright minds in the Panhandle to win money for his school.
For the past two years, Janssen has broadened his skill set as a student athletic trainer. But to continue at the university level, he said he would have to change his major.
Since sixth grade, Janssen has been a key member of the school choir. He said he can sing soprano, alto and tenor, but most often, he sings bass. He plans to continue in the choir throughout college.
When he isn't working on a solo, volunteering, brushing up on his science knowledge or buried in books, Janssen plays Go, a 4,000-year-old Chinese board game (known as Wei Ch'I in China and Baduk in Korea). The game rivals backgammon as the oldest board game still played in its original form, according to the American Go Association Web site, www.usgo.org.
Like chess, the game challenges the intellect and teaches concentration, balance and discipline, according to the Web site. This summer Janssen said he will be attending a U.S. Go conference in Portland, Ore., where he hopes to improve his mastery of the game.
During the summer, Janssen usually helps his father and grandfather at their automobile repair shop.
River Road Principal Andy Nies called Janssen "a very active student leader." Nies, who used to be principal at Rolling Hills Elementary School, has known him for years and watched him grow through the years.
Celebrate Education is a yearlong community project to encourage lifelong learning and help raise the education level in the Texas Panhandle.
Editor's note: The Amarillo Globe-News is profiling a student a day from May 9-29 as part of its 2008 graduation coverage. Students were nominated by Globe-News readers.
Copyright 2008 Amarillo Globe-News :: Amarillo.com