ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Like a climber who scales a mountain “because it’s there,” Nick Whitney likes to tackle a challenge head on.
Now in his junior year at Peabody-Burns High School, Whitney has been a member of the Scholars Bowl team since he was a seventh-grader.
“I think Scholars Bowl is really fun and it’s a good challenge for anyone who’s involved in it,” Whitney said. “Scholars Bowl is a good extra-curricular activity.”
Whitney said although the team didn’t fare well this past season, he was still glad to participate.
“I had fun going to the Scholars Bowl meets even though we didn’t go to that many,” he said. “But we really didn’t practice that much either.”
Whitney said one of the biggest challenges as a team member is being able to come up with the right answers without much time to think about them.
According to sponsor Ann Leppke, Whitney had plenty to offer the Scholars Bowl team.
“Nick is one of my brighter juniors that participates,” she said. “Nick is a well-rounded student who knows lots of stuff about lots of different things-which is an important characteristic in Scholars Bowl.
“He has a broad background of knowledge.”
Whitney’s knowledge may be diversified, but he said specific interests have enabled him to focus on individual subjects.
“I like math and science,” Whitney said. “My math classes help me a lot when it comes to answering questions at Scholars Bowl meets.”
Whitney said math and computer-oriented classes are his favorites at PBHS.
Even though Whitney doesn’t shy away from some of the more difficult classes at PBHS, he is still recognized as an honor student and a member of the National Honor Society.
In athletics, Whitney competed for the PBHS cross country team last fall.
Away from school, Whitney likes to help the youth of the Peabody community.
“I’m in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and I’m also a member of the youth group at the Peabody Bible Church,” Whitney said. “I help with King’s Kids, a youth group that’s mainly younger kids. I help them memorize Bible verses.”
As part of a work study program during the school year, Whitney also lends a hand at his parents’ business, Peabody Hardware and Lumber.
“I spend a lot of my summer time working there, too, and I also mow a lot of lawns around town,” Whitney said. “I also try to keep in shape during the summer by running for cross country.”
Whitney said although he has a smart and serious side, he likes to have fun as much as anyone else.
“I’d say I have a funny side to me also,” he said. “I don’t always sit around and study and read books.”
Although Whitney has another year of high school remaining, his thoughts have wandered into the not-so-distant future.
“I hope to become either an engineer of some sort or do something in the field of computers,” he said. “But I haven’t looked at colleges much yet.
“I just know if I do head into the field of engineering, I want to make sure it’s a job where I can use my skills in math.”
Leppke said Whitney fits the mold as the ideal student to participate in Scholars Bowl and looks forward to his final year.
“Nick has very good academics, and he’s fun to have along,” she added. “Nick is just a good kid.”