By Caleb Elliott
Brandon Isler, unlike many high school students, goes from class to class not saying very much, if at all anything. The only place you might find him talkative as ever is when he’s in his element: the classroom.
Gathering knowledge entices Isler, which has led to his prominent role on the school’s academic team.
“I’ve been doing academic team stuff since I was in middle school,” Isler said. “Then Mrs. Hopkins asked me if I wanted to join this year, so I took that opportunity.”
In an academic team there are three parts. First there is the spell bowl which is what Isler thrives in. The second part is a quiz bowl which the students cannot study for, but can only use their knowledge to answer the questions. The final part is the super bowl which is broken down into a single subject, this year’s theme being “Exploration.”
Spell Bowl coach Holly Hopkins has seen Isler’s determination, and the work he has put in come to fruition during competitions.
“[Brandon] studies and absorbs information and has a strong desire to learn outside the walls of the school,” Hopkins said. “He is the one studying words on the bus ride down so he definitely helped our team win the conference competition.”
Isler’s determination is not the only thing that has set him up for success in his high school career. He believes that Spanish teacher Mrs. Mary May has had a great influence on him in the classroom.
“She has made learning Spanish interesting and I always look forward to her class each day,” Isler said.
Isler has also seen a lot of personal growth throughout his high school career. “I think I’ve grown obviously more academically,” Isler said. “I’ve taken a lot of good classes and learned a lot of things, and I think I’ve gained a lot more social skills especially setting up for college.”
With the addition of having to balance school work and practicing for competitions, Isler has to find ways to unplug and reset his mind.
One of the ways he does that is by collecting coins, which he started at the end of his 10th grade year in May 2021. It is one of his favorite hobbies he shares with his brother Isaac.
“Being a history buff, I like that it is a little piece of history,” Isler said. “Some of the coins I have do have monetary value, but some of them don’t. I really just think it’s cool to have something from the Civil War or World War II.”
Along with this Isler and his family keep chickens and bees at home to help preserve a self-sufficient lifestyle by producing some of their own food.
With his final semester on the horizon, Isler hopes to make it a memorable one before getting into the next chapter of his life.