Congratulations to Matt Fryer, who was named Student of the Week at Wednesday's all-school meeting. Matt is an 11th grade Alpine athlete who comes to KMS from Killington, VT. Matt was nominated for this award by his K-term instructors Social Studies Department Chair Courtney O'Keefe and English instructor Shayna Miller.
Courtney shared, "Matt was one of many Juniors in K-term this year. Much like his peers, Matt faced the same challenges and successes throughout the term with regards to his thesis paper. The first challenge Matt faced was his topic selection, as he really struggled to find a topic which would interest him enough to drive his research and research process development. Ultimately, Matt decided to focus on his interest in the United States Marine Corps. Matt has always been interested in this branch of the military, enough to consider it as a possible career after his time at KMS. As part of the overall paper writing process, Matt and his peers were required to find local contacts to interview who were connected to their thesis topics. Matt was one of the first to find a contact to interview on his own with little needed help or direction from either myself or Shayna. He contacted a local recruiter, often times via the dreaded phone call that students tend to find intimidating and anxiety inducing, and he immediately got a response. Unfortunately, Matt's contact fell through despite Matt actively contacting on a continual basis- often times contacting the individual spur of the moment without preparation. Matt grew concerned about the possibility of not having an interview for his paper as well as the possibility that he would have to change his topic, as it was very important to him to explore this topic.
Matt's worrying, though, was for naught, as I was able to enlist the help of my father, Sgt. Maj. Patrick O'Keefe, to come in and be interviewed about his 30 years career in the Corps. Matt and I worked actively to coordinate an appropriate time and place for the interview given his travel and my dad's work schedule. He double-checked with his coaches and fellow teammates to make sure that our interview appointment could be met and, when we had to change the day to a Saturday as opposed to a Sunday, he made sure to give my dad enough time to see if it worked. On the day of the interview, Matt was dressed professionally, he had come early to set up his recording equipment, and had taken time to review his interview questions. His interview was great- he was attentive, actively listened, asked great questions, and it was apparent that every minute he spent talking with my father that he was interested and grateful for the opportunity. As someone who is very proud of my father's military career, I was beyond grateful at how he conducted himself and how professional he was. It was a great experience for not only him, but my father as well as he was able to share his experiences with an individual who respected his years in service and his wealth of knowledge. My father was so impressed with Matt, that I heard throughout the rest of the weekend and subsequent weeks afterwards how much he was impressed with Matt and how much he was impressed at the quality of student KMS has in its hallways."
Courtney continued, "Overall, Matt did an excellent job at not only his interview but also his final thesis product. When asking Matt about how he felt with regards to his final paper, Matt said that he has never been one to be confident in his writing. He acknowledged that writing can sometimes be a struggle for him and that, sometimes, he wishes his final products could be better. However, he believed that this time he had turned in one of the best pieces of writing that he has ever turned in any course in school. He should be proud of what he produced because he was right. Excellent paper, Matt. Semper Fi (from dad)."
Shayna Miller agreed with the nomination, "I would like to second Courtney’s nomination of Matt for SOTW. Though Matt had a challenging start to K-Term, with difficulty finding a subject to interview, Matt didn’t give up when things got frustrating. When he finally secured a source and was set to interview Courtney’s father—a retired Sgt. Maj. in the Marines—Matt showed up with a positivity, enthusiasm and curiosity that made for a very good interview. In addition to learning a lot from his subject, Matt did a wonderful job of representing the KMS qualities of RILER, showing Mr. O’Keefe the respect, integrity and excellence that our students strive to exemplify."
Science Department Chair Terri Isidro offered her observations of Matt as well, "Matt has been working hard in the new trimester. He comes to class on time, completes the assignments with a positive attitude, asks good questions, and demonstrates good understanding. We did a lab yesterday and even with a cast on, he displayed excellent lab techniques. He was attentive to safety and followed instructions carefully. I have to commend his very strong start to the term."
World Languages Department co-chair Claudia Revenko-Bowen supported Matt's nomination as well, "It is great to see how Matt has shown growth in all areas of language learning. He has continued to make steady progress throughout the year, staying on task, and working independently in class and while away. ¡Muy bien!"
Congratulations, Matt, on a job tremendously well done!