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February Student of the Month: Shay Hafner

April 24, 2019 GMT

Shay Hafner, 18, of Sterling, is Newman Central Catholic High School’s February Student of the Month. He is the son of Craig and Beth Hafner, and he has a sister, Sara, and a brother, Ethan.

Favorite class: Calculus. It wasn’t an easy class, but I thought the concepts were fascinating. Plus one of my favorite teachers, Kathy Say, taught it; it was a small class with only five students, which made it a much better learning environment.

Favorite teachers: Ryan Sotelo and Kathy Say. Both have taught me a lot over the years, and they do so much extra to help students outside of class time.

School activities you participate in: Cross country, track, Model United Nations, math team, Science Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Newman Recycling Club

Civic, church, volunteer or activities in which you participate: I’m an altar server for Sacred Heart Church, and I volunteer at PADS Homeless Shelter and the Let’s Feed Our Children summer lunch program.

How would you describe your group of friends? Very opinionated and way too smart for our own good.

What will you do after high school? I’m going to Monmouth College, where I will be running cross country and track. I haven’t narrowed down my major yet, though.

What is something you learned in high school that you think you’ll never use? I’ll use mostly everything I’ve learned at some point; even if I don’t end up using it, it made me think in a different way, which is important.

What kind of music are you listening to? I’ve been listening to mostly alternative music lately, but I’ll listen to anything except country. I know it’s an unpopular opinion around here, but I just don’t like it.

What’s one thing in your life you can’t do without? My phone. So much of my communication and work is done through my phone, and I spend a lot of time on YouTube or Netflix, so it would be hard to give it up.

What is your advice for surviving high school? Find a few really good friends, don’t slack off your freshman year, and try not to take everything too seriously. High school isn’t the end of the world, so don’t worry about the little things too much.

If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be? While things like more AP classes would be nice, if Newman could change the rule about how long boys’ hair can be, I would be happy. 

What scares you? Heights and the future.

If you could try any job for the day, what would it be? I would love to be an astronaut and go to space; not many people get to do that, and it would be an amazing experience.

If you could go anywhere in the world for free, where would it be? Greece. There’s a lot of history there, and it’s always been a place I have wanted to visit.

What is a good book you have read recently? “Olympic Gold: A Runner’s Life and Times,” an autobiography by Frank Shorter, who was an Olympic gold medalist in 1972. During my cross country and track seasons, I try to read a book or watch a movie about a runner. I’ve read this book and a book about Craig Virgin, and I have seen movies about Steve Prefontaine.

Who is your heroes and role models? My parents. They always support my siblings and me, and try hard to make sure we have the best life possible.

What is your life’s philosophy? “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

Shout out to: My family, friends, and anyone else who has supported me over the years.