I first met Kenny Quayle ’16 in my English I Honors course. He was the first kid whose name I remembered. That ought to tell you something.
According to Kenny, he’d already read every book I attempted to introduce. Orwell’s Animal Farm. Check. Homer’s The Iliad. Check. Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Check. Dante’s Inferno. Check. He was also a self-proclaimed expert writer and grammarian. And he never stopped talking, so clearly he had mastered the art of verbal expression.
Then it happened. He was inspired by Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory.” I’d hit the jackpot – this was unchartered territory. After reading the poem, he raced to the board and crafted a perfectly structured haiku that beautifully captured and presented the poem’s theme. He turned to the class and me to share, and I’ll never forget his beaming smile.
The rest is history. Kenny continued to shine in all things literature and writing, and when I had the good fortune to again teach him, this time in Advanced Placement Language and Composition, he had hit his stride. His passion for writing and unparalleled intuition in literature set the bar high for his classmates and inspired them to see the beauty of language.
No doubt Kenny’s classmates will remember him as I do – vivacious, hilarious, deep, sensitive and kind.
Kenny is headed to the University of Alabama where he plans to pursue a career as a journalist. His dream is to write for National Geographic magazine.
– Kim Vreeland, Upper Division & A.P. English Instructor
Words by Kenny Quayle ’16
I, Kenny Quayle, have spent an almost ludicrous amount of time in the halls of Academy at the Lakes. At the conclusion of my senior year on May 29, 2016, I completed the entirety of my schooling career here, Pre-Kindergarten to senior year, 15 years total.
What a memorable 15 years these have been. I scared the bejesus out of Mrs. Ivester with a small, harmless snake in Kindergarten, performed fun science experiments with Mrs. Magnuson in 6th Grade, and found my passion for writing with Mrs. Nadow, Mrs. Vreeland, and Mrs. Zalac from 8th Grade to 12th. From Mrs. Harriet’s Pre-Kindergarten classes to Mr. Hagenau’s legendary personal finance class, I have seen most everything this school has to offer; every teacher, every administrator, every student has changed who I am.
Under this roof, I have toiled to get that perfect essay grade, to get stronger for the school sports teams, to play that concert piece perfectly. This environment has challenged me, making me grow and think outside of the box to become a better academic and a better person. From lessons in ethics and morality to the high level of scholarly knowledge, most everything I know has been formed by the teachings and experiences gained here. The opportunity provided to students to have amazing experiences and better themselves in one way or another is nearly limitless.
I, along with many others, have gained cultural understanding from around the globe thanks to the internships and school trips offered. The athletic programs promote strength, courage, character, and camaraderie. The fine arts programs offer artistic advancement and the enjoyment of both art and music. After 15 years, I wouldn’t be who I am today without the help of Academy.
Some of my fondest memories and closest friends would not be in my life had I not been here. School musicals, concerts, football games, extended trips, retreats. Some of the most memorable and fun moments in my life. This school has become more to me than just a school. It is my home. These people are my family. They have helped me become the man I am today, smoothing all the bumps along the way and sending me forward into the world, prepared for all that could every confront me.
So thank you Academy.
Thank you for all you have given to me. All the experiences, all the memories, all the lessons, all the fun times. I would not be the man I am today without all of your help.
As all the seniors depart for our respective colleges and undetermined futures, we will all remember the times we had here. We will use the knowledge gained to take on the world, with our friends by our side and our hopes riding high. To the seniors, those before me and those after me, all those who pass through the halls and depart out into the world, I only ask one thing of you.
To paraphrase one very famous captain, go and bring me that horizon.
At Academy at the Lakes it is our goal to help each student find the best “fit” for college, academically, socially, and financially. Finding the ideal match means finding a place that helps students fulfill their personal goals for higher education and offers the tools, opportunities and support for students to successfully take the next step in their lives and careers. Learn more or schedule a tour.