November Student of the Month – Jonathan Gerlach

Each month, we recognize a senior who is nominated by MCCS faculty and staff based on spiritual leadership, character, academic achievement or improvement, perseverance through trials, and other aspects of a student’s life and academic career.

Jonathan Gerlach received the Student of the Month award for November. Read his interview below. Congratulations, Jonathan!

What are your plans after graduation?

“I’m planning to attend college after graduation. I’m looking into computer science with a minor in design. I’m not sure where I want to go yet. I’m praying for guidance – that the Lord will show me what His plan is for my life.”

What classes have helped you toward your potential career goal?

“Some of the classes that have helped me decide what I want to do are definitely my dual-enrollment courses. They’ve helped me strive to do better and achieve more. Calculus as well. The class is challenging and hard and pushed me to learn new things and teach myself how to learn the material even though it’s hard.”

What sports, clubs, or activities have you been involved in? Any awards or special recognitions?

“I was blessed to be on the freshman and senior soccer team when we won the CCAC Championship, so that was really fun. During my senior year, we were the district runner-up for soccer as well. I’m also part of National Honor Society here as well as doing tech team for the school for five years.”

How have the teachers at MCCS made an impact on your life?

“Some of the ways that the teachers here have impacted me is they’ve shown me their diligence and have pushed me to be better. Mrs. Stump, in middle school, was very influential in teaching me how to take good notes and make sure that I stayed attentive and focused in the classroom. Ms. Sederstrom as well, teaching classes that were really hard but taught me to look past the surface and look deeper and to learn and research more so that my papers were much, much better than they were.”

What has God been teaching you?

“Something that God has definitely been teaching me, especially recently, is silence – how to slow down, to be quiet and listen to Him. Especially during senior year, your life gets very challenging and very busy and hectic very quickly, and it will get out of hand a lot faster than you realize.

It’s often easy to replace God with friends or schoolwork or sports, or whatever else and not leave time for Him. It’s been a challenge for me recently to find time to do devotions and find time to be with God because of the really crazy busy life I’m living.

I’ve had to take a step back and reevaluate what I’m doing and take more time to be with God. It’s something I’ve definitely had to work on recently.”

Do you have any advice for younger students?

“Definitely keep your friends close and make strong friendships. I was blessed to be in a class where we hadn’t really been split up since K5. We’ve added a couple people, lost a couple people, but for the most part there’s been about twenty of us who’ve stayed together. That’s allowed us to grow really, really strong friendships with each other and be really great friends with one another.

I just challenge you to have the friend who goes the extra mile for you. There’s a story that I love that I heard recently about the Alaskan dogsled team. They do a race in the Yukon every year, and the one year, the guy who was telling the story had a dog named Alaska. The dog had gotten into a dog fight at one of the checkpoints, and so he had to leave Alaska behind. As he’s pulling the town, he asked to drive by Alaska, and Alaska is in the dog pen, barking and wanting to go out. He wants to go with the team; he knows that’s where he belongs. But the driver has to go on and reach the next checkpoint in the race.

At the next checkpoint, miles and miles away, he finds Alaska at the next town. The only way Alaska could gave gotten there is helicopter. But because of the snow and the storms that had plagued the trail and the race, there was no way a plane could have gotten to the next town. The only way Alaska could have gotten to the town was him walking. Alaska had gone miles on end, injured, to be reunited with his sled driver.

That story really challenged me to find those friends who will go the extra mile with you and take their time with you and really try to spend the rest moments of your life with you and not just leave you when things get hard.”