Student in the spotlight – Trey Gardner

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - Marshalltown High School sophomore Trey Gardner works diligently on his literature classwork.

Whether he’s thumping a snare drum or working through a math problem, Marshalltown High School sophomore Trey Gardner impresses in everything he does as a Bobcat.

While Gardner enjoys school generally, he definitely has some favorite activities and classes — band is one of those.

“That’s my biggest passion when it comes to school,” he said. “I play snare drum for marching band, and then when it comes to concert band, we play 62 specific instruments.”

Gardner said he plays timpani, mallets and bass drum in addition to snare.

There’s plenty Gardner said he likes about school outside of band.

“He’s very dedicated,” said 10th grade English teacher Shana Schneider. “He’s really great in groups because he doesn’t give answers, he works with people to find the answers.”

Gardner said Scheider’s Honors 10 English class is among his favorites because many of the skills he learns, like vocabulary terms, are useful. Other advanced classes he is taking this semester are Advanced History 151 and Algebra II, which is usually open to junior students.

“When it comes to academics, that’s definitely my favorite class,” Gardner said of Algebra II. Sporting a t-shirt featuring the Fibonacci Sequence and the numbers representing pi, Gardner said math has long been one of his favorite subjects.

With all the advanced classes, determination and math-based clothing, one might think Gardner has always loved learning. It wasn’t always among his favorite activities, though.

“I didn’t start out liking learning,” Gardner said. “I thought it was boring at first.”

His parents decided to enroll him in advanced classes to see how it worked out, and Gardner said he’s glad they did. Taking classes that are more challenging and interesting have made him a better student, Gardner said.

Besides being dedicated to music and classwork, Gardner also plays basketball. No matter where he is in the school, Schneider said she can tell other students look up to Gardner.

“He’s a leader,” she said. “He just has a personality that just naturally puts him in the forefront.”

Schneider said Gardner also said he rarely gets down on himself, even during challenging times.

“You can tell he finds the humor in life and just the joy in the things around him,” she said.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com