Lauren Tarr, 17, of Amboy, is Amboy High School’s September Student of the Month. Her parents are Andrew and Rachel, her sister is Kaitlin and her brother is Nicholas Tarr.
Favorite class: Advanced Placement Government, because it was just me and Ms. Benesh debating Ethan and arguing Supreme Court rulings.
Least-favorite class: Anything taught online because it’s not my preferred learning style.
Favorite teacher: I love Danielle Benesh and Cynthia Carlson equally, so I can’t pick one. Ms. Benesh supports me becoming a police officer and when Mrs. Carlson retires, we’re becoming detectives together. I can always count on both to be in a good mood and always willing to help.
School activities in which you participate: I participated in volleyball and softball my freshman year, cross country my sophomore year, and softball my junior year. I recently joined Student Council and have been a member of the Spanish Honor Society for three years, and the National Honor Society for two. I am the secretary of the Leo’s Club and National Honor Society.
Civic, church, or other volunteer activities in which you participate: For the past 10 years, my family and I have been bell-ringers for the Salvation Army. Prior to the COVID shutdown, I was an altar server at St. Patrick’s Church in Amboy for nine years. Through sports, I was a part of the Depot Days Dash Crew in 2018 and 2019. In 2019, I also helped the Sublette Toy Show with tear-down and clean up and the Mendota American Cancer Society Relay for Life with set-up. The past two years I have volunteered at the Byron Forest Preserve, helping landscape. I also worked the entire length of both blood drives put on by our school last year. This summer, I helped the P.E. teachers move gym equipment to the new building and participated in the American Brain Tumor Association virtual walk, in memory of my uncle.
What will you do after high school? I currently am a full-time student at Sauk Community College and plan to complete my associate degree. I will transfer to Illinois State University and obtain a bachelor’s degree in finance. After college, I would like to attend the Police Academy and move to Tennessee. I hope to one day be a K9 officer or detective.
What is something you learned in high school that you think you’ll never use? I don’t think I will every use poetry because it is just not my thing.
If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be? I wish all of the classrooms had air conditioning and sufficient heat. Dinger and Ms. Benesh had to save me by giving me a blanket all last winter. Heated desk seats should be a thing!
If you could create any new class at your school, what would it be? I would make forensics an option every semester because it would be a fun and interesting class. Unfortunately, it never fit into my schedule.
What does it take to be a successful high school student? It takes self-discipline - you must be able to prioritize what is important and learn to manage stress.
Do you have a job? I work at the Main Gate at Woodhaven Lakes. I enjoy the slow season because I get paid to wave at people, do my homework, and watch Hulu. I also enjoy the people I work with because we always joke around and have fun, which makes the long shifts bearable.
How would you describe your group of friends? Honest, dependable, and funny, and we always have a good time. They are also unpredictable - you can’t take them anywhere.
Who is your best friend? My best friends are Baylie and Kenzie Nickel. We have been friends since seventh grade and can always count on each other to be there when we need each other most. They are always down to run to Target, go to concerts, or just hang out.
What do you do in your free time? I enjoy traveling, interior decorating, and spending time outdoors, kayaking, rafting, hiking, and doing yard work. I also enjoy going to concerts, but COVID has put a hold on most of those. I love going shopping and spending time with my friends and family.
What kind of music are you listening to? Country music is my favorite, especially Hardy. I will be taking Nov. 19 off to listen to Taylor Swift’s re-recorded Red album, although I am not sure I’m ready for the 10-minute version of “All Too Well.”
If you could go anywhere in the world for free, where would it be? I would repay my mom for planning all of our family vacations by taking her to Switzerland. She has always wanted to go there, and it looks beautiful.
What is your favorite childhood memory? Having home-run derbies in my cousin’s back yard. My cousin, Ashton, Uncle Matt, and I were all super-competitive and never failed to have a great time.
What is the best way to cheer you up? Take me shopping. There’s nothing like some retail therapy.
What is your life’s philosophy? “If it won’t matter in a month, or a year, or five years, why let it bother you now?”
Do you have any pets? Well, I had a dog for 24 hours. Don’t ask.
What would you do if you received $1 billion dollars all of a sudden? The first thing I would do is buy a white Jeep Rubicon and the Chevy Carhartt truck. I would also build my dream house. In honor of my uncle, I would donate most of the money to the American Brain Tumor Society to find a cure. I would also donate to The Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation, which helps families who, as a result of a law enforcement officer’s death, are enduring personal hardship. I would also take care of my family and close friends.
Musical artist: Hardy
Movie: “The Notebook”
TV show: “Blue Bloods”