Madilyn Barnhart, 17, of Dixon, is one of Sterling High School's September Students of the Month. She is the daughter of Chris and Janet Barnhart, and she has two sisters, Mackenzie and Megan.
Favorite class: Psychology. I love incorporating the scientific aspects into what we see as everyday, regular behaviors.
Least-favorite class: Chemistry. I am terrible at it. The concepts just go above my head.
Favorite teacher: Laura Carbaugh. I have been excited for her class since freshman year. I always heard that it was a challenging class, but she was an excellent teacher who could improve students' writing tremendously.
School activities in which you participate: I am in cross country, track and field, Math Team, Mentor Program and National Honor Society.
Any other volunteer activities in which you participate? National Honor Society requires a lot of community service in which we get to be creative with our time. From volunteering at the animal shelter to creating my own project for the community, it’s time well spent.
Do you have a job? I used to work at the Dixon Park District in the summers.
How would you describe your group of friends? Very hard-working, yet completely silly and down-to-earth.
Any college plans? After high school, I hope to attend the College of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign and major in agriculture accounting.
What is something you learned in high school that you'll never use later in life? Equations for cellular respiration or photosynthesis. Not that they weren’t fun, but they didn’t exactly relate to my future interests.
What music are you listening to? The music I enjoy includes Frank Sinatra, and a lot of country music. Lately, I have been diving into older country music and am loving it. I have become a huge fan of The Highwaymen, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Brooks and Dunn.
What is something in life that you cannot do without? My music. It helps me with everything. In a good mood? Music. Stressed out? Music. Running? Music.
What's some good advice for high school survival? Have fun and don’t get too worried about all of the work you have. It is extremely important that you put your all into it, but you also have to focus on your mental health. especially during junior year.
If you can change one thing about your school, what would it be? I would probably allow more outside classroom time when the weather is nice, so that students are not constantly in the same setting.
What scares you? My greatest fear is not achieving all of the things that I want to on my bucket list.
If you could try any one job for a day, what would it be? I would try being a skydiving instructor, because it has been on my bucket list for a while now and it sounds like such an intriguing and thrilling job.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ireland. The land is beautiful and it has been on my travel list for a long time now.
What's a good book you've read lately? "The Book Thief," by Markus Zusak, is one of my favorite books.
What is your proudest moment? When we qualified for the track and field state meet my freshman year in the 3,200-meter relay. It was such a wonderful feeling to see all of our hard work pay off.
Who is your role model? My mom. Being around her all day has showed me how committed she is to her job as Sterling High School's assistant principal, and how much work she puts into everything. Being committed is something I hope I can be to everything in my life.
What is your life's philosophy? My life’s philosophy is just to focus on me. You can’t control your environment or the situations that are thrown at you, and there’s no point in stressing about them or getting upset. but you just have to learn to make the most of it and have fun.