McMullin named PBL High School's student of month

PAXTON — Adam McMullin of Loda has been named Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s student of the month for April.

A son of Kelly and Jenny McMullin, the senior was nominated for the award by two of his teachers: AP calculus teacher Sheila Pickens and physics teacher Dave Shellhamer.

In Pickens’ nomination letter, she wrote: “Adam challenges himself by taking the most rigorous classes at PBL that are relevant to his desired field of study in college, including AP English and calculus, physics, Chemistry 2 and Spanish 4. He strives for excellence in his grades and also in his understanding. Adam is a leader in class and outside of class. He asks good questions, and he is willing to help others when they ask him to explain a problem or a concept.

“Adam has shown his strength of character time and time again. He is charismatic and people are drawn to him. ... He is committed to the activities that he joins, so he is prepared for meetings and practices, and gives a full effort while he is there.

“Adam has been a four-year member of the math team, for which I am one of the coaches. This year, he is advancing to state for the fourth time in four years, advancing both in pre-calculus and as the senior leader of the calculator team. His commitment to excellence is seen in his preparation for practices and his enthusiasm at practice. Adam models our PBL vision statement of ‘Excellence through rigor, relevance and relationships.’” 

Shellhamer wrote: “Adam has been an amazing student throughout the year and has especially been very helpful this past month. Adam is my science intern and has helped me manage all of the labs that I have led this month in my classes. ... In addition, there was a specific instance in my classroom where Adam really impressed me. During a physics lesson in electromagnetism, many students in my class were struggling with the mathematical concepts on a worksheet. Adam had finished his worksheet early and I was walking around the classroom answering questions, but there were many students who were still waiting to have their questions answered. Without being asked, Adam started going around the room helping other students with their problems and explaining the concepts. I was very impressed that Adam would see the needs of his peers and help rather than just sit or be distracting. Adam has always impressed me with his academic, extracurricular and interpersonal qualities, and he is the ideal representative of what a PBL student should be. I am proud to have Adam as a student, and I am excited to see where his life ultimately takes him.”

McMullin participates in many extra-curricular activities at PBL High School, including being part of the cross country and track-and-field teams, scholastic bowl team, National Honor Society chapter, student council, math team, bridge team and Blue Crew.

McMullin has also been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the Mississippi Delta trip, which he has participated in during spring break for the last two years. The students who attend the trip assist Habitat for Humanity in building homes for the underprivileged in the Delta. 

In his spare time, McMullin works for the Paxton Park District, refereeing, umpiring or working the concession stand. He was also a junior alderman for the city of Paxton for the last year.

His plans after high school are to attend either Harvard or Yale — as he has been accepted to both — and major in chemistry. He hopes to become a researcher to develop new technology that aids either humanity or the environment.

The student of the month award is administered by the nonprofit PBL Education Foundation. The recognizes PBL High School students who demonstrate the school district’s mission of “excellence through rigor, relevance and relationships.”  Teachers are free to nominate students by any criteria they choose as long as it demonstrates the school’s mission.

Each month’s winner receives $25 in Chamber Bucks gift certificates from the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce. At the end of the year, the PBL Education Foundation will host an event for all of the monthly winners and their families. At that time, one of the students will be awarded a new iPad. 

Categories (2):News, Education
Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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