Student of the Week: Palisade High School senior Annika KitzmanGPA: 4.1

Favorite book and its author: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Favorite TV show: “Parks and Recreation”

Favorite band or musician: The Beatles

After-school activities: Cross country, lacrosse, club track, NHS, and Key Club

Parents: Karla and Steve Kitzman

Favorite teacher and why: Ms. Moore, as she was both my third-grade and eighth-grade teacher. She was able to see me grow as an individual and a student, so she understood how I had progressed as a learner and challenged me because of that. She supported and encouraged me to push myself beyond what was expected of me and helped me to appreciate and be proud of my work.

Personal hero and why: I admire my parents because they have always been there and cared for me and have been more than willing to support me in any interests or hobbies I have had in life. I have never felt pressured by them to get a certain grade or take part in a certain group, nor have I ever fully realized all that they have helped me with. I felt that I have never given them full credit for all that they do, as I often forget how blessed I am with all that they provide for me without question.

Preferred college: Colorado State University

Dream job: Neuropsychologist

A highlight of your high school experience: I believe that I am most fond of my current group of friends that I have made at Palisade. They have been the first friendships of mine that I look forward to spending time with, and they are a group of people that I feel have appreciated and respected me for my genuine personality.

Q: What accomplishment are you the proudest of?
A: I’m most proud of how I have changed in just a few years. I was unaware of how drastic a transition I underwent during my high school years until I went and visited my middle school. A majority of my teachers and prior classmates were surprised with how much more confident and assertive I have become since then, and this led me to reflect on how I have grown to be a more self-reliant individual.

Q: If you were the principal of your high school for a week, what would you do or change?
A: I would try to be more compensating with students and their lives outside of school. Mental health in high school should be a high concern, and I would alter the school’s schedule to allow for students to have more time to rest and prepare in the morning with later starts to the school day. Additionally, I would like for the homework policy to be more compensating, as a high stressor that I have seen with many students, IB in particular, involves their stress levels regarding the quantity of homework they have on a daily basis.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
A: I feel like I would enjoy Aristotle’s company for dinner, as I admire the dissociative perspective he had on humanity and their actions. I find interest in understanding why people think and act the way they do. I feel that Aristotle would help provide me with another perspective on the subject and would help challenge my ways of thinking to help me create a more balanced outlook.

Q: If you could live anywhere or do anything for one year, what would you do and why?
A: I would really enjoy living in France for a year. When I traveled there for two weeks with my French class my junior year, I found myself appreciating their European culture, as their society highly values maintaining strong relationships with one another. The challenge of speaking in another language would help me to grow my fluency in French.

Q: What advice would you give to yourself as a freshman?
A: I could not stress enough to my freshman self the importance of taking time out of every day to devote to myself to relax, as I remember my first year of high school was extremely taxing on my mental health with the majority of stress I experienced being self-inflicted.

The Daily Sentinel Student of the Week is brought to you by Western Slope Ford.

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