Plum City student does it all, and without complaintAs an FFA member, DARE mentor, 4-H participant, drama student, contributor on the yearbook committee and graduating senior preparing for his future, Quinn Weiss is a hard-working young man and incredible leader. At least that’s what his teachers say.
By: Reagan Carstensen - Red Wing Republican-Eagle, Pierce County Herald
PLUM CITY — As an FFA member, DARE mentor, 4-H participant, drama student, contributor on the yearbook committee and graduating senior preparing for his future, Quinn Weiss is a hard-working young man and incredible leader. At least that’s what his teachers say.
Ask Weiss directly, however, and he’ll modestly say he just likes to stay busy.
Add a part-time job at a local restaurant and a summer babysitting gig to his list of “hobbies” and Weiss is swimming in activities that keep his schedule full.
One of the more significant and fast-approaching events Weiss will cram into that packed calendar is his graduation from Plum City High School.
The 18-year-old said he’s anxious for the day to arrive and, while some of that anxiousness is excitement, the rest of it is nerves.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” he admitted. “It’s finally here but my life is never going to be the same.”
Up to this point, Weiss has gotten accustomed to small-town life in Plum City. Growing up on a hobby farm a couple of miles into the country is partly what prompted him to get so involved in local groups and activities.
“I like to be outside and involved,” Weiss said. “I don’t like to just sit at home and look out the windows.”
His extensive participation in all kinds of organizations gives Weiss the leadership skills educators like to see.
“He’s one of our role models around here,” Plum City High School Principal Paul Churchill said.
Special education teacher Janice Randen agrees. Randen has worked with Weiss since the ninth grade. He has a learning disability, but it shows no signs of hindering his progress at school. His positive attitude combined with his work ethic give Weiss the tools he needs to succeed, Randen said.
“He’s a guy to go to if you want something done,” she said. “He’s not one of those kids who’s going to say ‘this is hard’ and give up.”
Back in 10th grade, Weiss encountered exactly the kind of situation that makes life harder than it needs to be, and he certainly didn’t let it control him. In April 2010, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of salivary gland cancer that no other student in his class, his school and likely the entire region of northwest Wisconsin had to deal with.
“When you hear of people getting cancer you think, ‘It’s never going to happen to me,’” Weiss said.
The positive side is he’s been cancer-free ever since surgery was performed shortly after the diagnosis.
Now Weiss can keep his mind occupied with his last couple days of high school and enjoy the classes he has left – some of his favorite being those he takes with technology and engineering education teacher Ben Sorensen.
Learning from Sorensen, Weiss designed a customized video game controller, played around with robotics and created a website all within the past two semesters.
“He’ll take whatever’s coming at him,” Sorensen said of Weiss.
Those few high school classes give Weiss a jumpstart to his future as he plans to enroll at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical in Red Wing this fall. He said he’ll be going for a two-year program in web design.
“I love technology and so I just kind of went with that path.”
What: 28 students graduating from Plum City High School
When: 1 p.m. Saturday May 26
Where: Plum City High School gymnasium, 907 Main St.
More info: 715-647-2591