Ian Ballard’s Successful High School Experience


Addyson Drake, Student Writer- The Mustang Messenger

Ian Ballard, Senior Valedictorian, is also involved in student government, National, Honors Society, Beta Club, and Young Democrats. However, Ian hasn’t always made his academic success his main focus. As a freshman, he prioritized hanging out with friends and sports such as baseball and swimming over the school. His two biggest lessons from his freshman year were that high school eventually does get better and easier for you, and if you surround yourself with positive and happy people, your perspective on everything will change. If you surround yourself with negative and unhappy people then later on you will find yourself with a negative outlook on life.


Ian says his biggest struggle with becoming involved in school, other than sports, was just facing the negative things, but he also knew that the positives would still outway the bad. He knew that would mean not having as many friends or getting to go out as much. However, he realized that he can meet new friends through these extracurriculars, sports, and academic programs. He declared everything he has done through high school has set him up for a future of success. Ian said he got into GSP, the governor’s scholars program. In this program he got his college paid for and got preparation for college to high school transition. 


Ian holds himself to a high standard in high school. He wants to make sure everything he does in school is perfect. Ian said, “I would say the best way to describe getting yourself in high school activities and programs is to push yourself out of this box and open up that you keep yourself in. Opening up to new things in high school is very difficult, but you just have to keep pushing yourself. Sometimes it is hard to get that little push to be your best, but Mrs. Hines pushed him a lot in school.” Being perfect was Ian’s biggest goal and so far he has done that with good grades and being in clubs, and academic programs. He said that when he was a freshman he did not really take school seriously. Now looking back on it he wished he did. Ian knows it would make little difference to what he has done now, he thinks it would still make him look better on transcripts and other records. 


In high school, his biggest lesson was that the more he pushes himself to do his best the greater he is, and always fits his standards. Ian says, “I have to do my own thing to be my best and I have learned the best way to learn about myself is to be independent and to be myself. I can’t be afraid to express it.” Ian realized that he does not have to fit society’s standards to feel good about himself. He talked about how when he was a freshman and careless but felt differently on the inside. He said, “Sometimes it is hard to admit how you really feel and to just put on a fake face all the time.”