Scholarly students finds success through music, academics

Andrea Mendes

Most students excel in at least one area of expertise, but there are those select few that go above and beyond, excelling in nearly everything they commit to accomplish. One such student is senior Landon McGee.

McGee is involved with the International Baccalaureate program and after moving from a private school public school was a big change for McGee.

“I started out at St. Michael’s, a small private school in town, and that’s where I really started to figure out who I was,” McGee said. “I felt like I could get a great education from the IB program in Latin. Also, it allowed me to be in the choir here, which I love.”

A program as rigorous and time-consuming as IB requires good time management and focus, qualities that McGee has grown to possesses.

“You learn how to prioritize, as well as choose certain things over others,” McGee said. “Sometimes I have to give up doing things in one area to focus on another, so it’s a bit of a balancing act.”

IB has led McGee to go beyond everyday information, exploring new concepts and broadening his horizons.

“IB has allowed Landon to explore options in course work. It allows you to go more in depth into subjects you are interested in, as well as allowing you to express yourself in multiple ways so it’s not just tests and work,” IB Coordinator Laura Wagner said. “I think having that ability to express yourself in multiple ways goes a lot broader and enables you to show a lot more that you know.”

McGee works hard to keep up with his work and sets an example for other students in the classroom.

“Landon has a work ethic like no other student I have ever seen,” IB History teacher Chad Cryer said. “Not only does he work hard, but he has a natural intellect, and is able to respond to any questions given.”

Though McGee shows vast intellect, he has demonstrated that he always strives to do even better in all areas through hard work and determination.

“I picked up working with him junior year and at that point I would have said he was one of the best students ever, and I wouldn’t have seen any real room for improvement,” Cryer said. “But over the last three semesters, he has improved and it’s due to his own work ethic.”

While many students hope to do well on the PSAT, McGee set out to go above and beyond, hoping to become a National Merritt Scholar.

“One of our family friends was one at Bryan High, and I looked up to her a lot, so I knew going into [the PSAT], that I wanted to set out and be a National Merit Scholar,” McGee said.

Along with his work in the IB program, and hopes of becoming a National Merritt Scholar, McGee is a Vocal Legacy student and enthusiastic choir lover.

“Music is super important to me,” McGee said. “The choir program here has taught me a whole different side of music that I like and has made me a much better musician.”

McGee has also been successful this year in choir by making All-State Choir.

“Its a lot of work and it’s really cumulative because last year I almost made it, and I didn’t quite get it,” McGee said. “I think that experience really helped me make it this year.”

McGee plans on pursuing choir in college as well as studying liberal arts this fall at Baylor University. Outside of school McGee is actively involved with his church, and enjoys spending time with his family.

“My church is my second home. A lot of my friends that I’ve made there are going to be the ones that I’ll be friends with forever,” McGee said. “I also spend a lot of time with my family, they’re really great, and I love being around them.”