Throughout his high school career, Creston Community High School senior John Reasoner has developed into a leader in and out of the classroom.
For his leadership abilities, Reasoner will be named the 2017 Youth of the Year during the Creston Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday at Supertel Inn and Conference Center.
Reasoner, the son of Mike and Margaret Reasoner, becomes the second child in his family to receive the award, after his older brother Will won the award in 2010.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Reasoner. “I know my brother won it about seven years ago. It was a nice honor.”
Reasoner received nominations from Shannon Smith and Danielle Dickinson, both teachers at CCHS who have worked with Reasoner in extracurricular activities.
“As a teacher, you feel very lucky when you get a student who is so creative that it shines through in many different circumstances,” Shannon Smith wrote in her nomination letter. “John Reasoner is a student who has taken the enormous stores of creativity at his disposal to help his high school community.”
Reasoner has participated in choir and band all four years of high school, including the winter drumline ensemble all four years. He has also participated in the CCHS musicals, three years of speech, three years of FBLA and three years of student body government.
He put his creativity on display this year, when the show he pitched – “The Wedding Singer” – was selected as the CCHS musical. Reasoner worked closely with director Jane Warner on organizing the show and working through script changes, in addition to landing the lead role.
“Honestly, it was kind of a dream come true,” said Reasoner. “I knew it was a movie, but I first found out it was a show my freshman year. I didn’t think it would actually happen (having the show selected). To have it actually happen and see each number get learned and share the experience with the community was overwhelming and emotional. It was really awesome.”
Reasoner admits he was shy when he first started high school, and that he mostly stuck to the activities his older siblings Will and Annette participated in.
But, he eventually branched out and tried new things, one of which was student government. He now serves as student body president.
“As I got older and got to know more people, I was able to branch out and take more leadership roles and try things they (siblings) hadn’t done,” he said. “This year has been my biggest challenge because I’m also the student body president. There’s a lot of responsibility and trying to work on school climate and activities, making sure students feel involved.”
Reasoner credits his parents, Mike and Margaret, along with teachers Smith, Dickinson, Peg Eblen, Warner and Mike Peters for impacting him in a positive way and nurturing his growth.
“My parents and my entire family, they’ve been very supportive and understanding and have helped me know my limits and when to move past my limits, as well,” Reasoner said. “Their support has been really awesome.”
Reasoner plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall and pursue a career that involves writing.
He hasn’t written off the idea of participating in more musicals or plays in college, but said if he does, it will likely be more of a behind-the-scenes role.
Reasoner offered the following piece of advice to younger students.
“Just try different things. Student government was something my siblings had never done. I took a chance with that one and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences,” he said. “Try different activities you’re interested in and try to reach out to others in your school to see if you can try to make a difference. In whatever you do, just give it your all.”