Kaneland senior sets sights on the future

By on April 11, 2014
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Standout scholar will attend MIT in the fall
KANELAND—Ethan Witt’s reputation for scholastic excellence precedes him.

A Kaneland High School senior, Witt has scored perfectly on the ACT two times, as well as on other state tests. He’s also one of 39 Kaneland High School Illinois State Scholars.

When asked why he strives for the best, Witt has a simple answer.

“I really am a perfectionist,” he said. “I do not like to get second place. I take a lot of pride in my academic accomplishments. And I really do try my hardest to be the best.”

Witt has aced another accomplishment this school year, as he is a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidate—one out of 3,000 senior students in America to have this distinction.

“To be one of that very small group makes it feel pretty special,” Witt said. “It’s a really cool feeling.”

Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler expressed high praise for Witt’s U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidate accomplishment.

“I think at any time that our Kaneland students get recognized on a national level, it’s a proud representation of Kaneland and our community,” Schuler said. “So I’m ecstatic for him.”

Ethan’s mother, Teresa, who is the vice president of the Kaneland School Board, laughed at the idea of pushing her son to be the best.

“We never really had to push Ethan, because Ethan always pushed himself,” Teresa said. “We’re actually pretty laid back when it comes to this kind of stuff. He has always been just personally driven.”

Teresa recalled the signs of engagement her son had as a child, noting that he had been “somewhat of a daredevil.” She remembered Ethan’s kitchen experiments, including putting Mentos into Coke to see what happen. He even tried to build his own rocket and read up on how to launch it.

Ethan’s father, Scott, pointed out that Ethan looks for the best in humanity and how people can overcome obstacles.

“He’s not really just haphazardly positive,” Scott said. “It’s really, I think, from his heart that he really wants to help make the world a better place and looks for other people that are trying to do the same things.”

Big things are on the horizon for Ethan, as this fall he will attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Not surprisingly, he has high hopes for his future.

“What probably motivates me the most is believing that I can change the world,” Ethan said. “And believing to do that, I need to know more. I need to be able to understand more. I need to just work hard in order to get into a good college. And from there I’ll be able to know what I need to know in order to change the world.”

Ethan plans to become an aerospace engineer and help inspire people see “how science operates.”

“I want to design spacecrafts,” he said. “That’s really my dream.”

About Stefanie Frazier

Stefanie Frazier is a freelance reporter for the Elburn Herald. You can reach her at SFrazier@elburnherald.com.

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