Getting to Know

Teen successfully juggles academics, music and more

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z 2013-03-21T18:47:09Z Teen successfully juggles academics, music and moreBy Kimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

John Kooyenga’s personable nature and outstanding grades have earned him Student of the Month recognition from the Lansing Rotary Club.

A senior at Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, Kooyenga maintains a 4.18 grade point average and plays trombone for the school's Jazz Band and Pep Band.

“I try to only keep one of them in my hands at a time,” he said of his instrument and his school work.

“I do not practice outside of rehearsals much. Others worked out my schedules so that required practices do not majorly conflict.”

Kooyenga also was one of 16 students chosen as a Chamber Singer, and has worked backstage during six theater productions since his freshman year. “I am dressed in black to move sets during shows and I help make some of those sets in the months beforehand,” he said.

“It allows me to socialize with a huge group of friends a lot during practices and shows. It’s a break from mental work for a while.”

Kooyenga plans to attend Dordt College in Iowa, where he will pursue a career in general labor or the medical field.

The son of Rich and Kathy Kooyenga, of Thornton, John is the youngest of five siblings and enjoys attending physics lectures at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia in his free time.

He is a member of Cottage Grove Christian Reformed Church in South Holland and is employed by Smits Farms in Chicago Heights.

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