King Philip Regional High School
Student Spotlight is an opportunity to highlight dynamic students who are making a positive impact on their local KP community and the larger global community. This week I am excited to feature Beck Sawtelle.
King Philip Regional High School
This week’s Student Spotlight is 12th grader Beck Sawtelle whose love of music, stemming from the 4th grade, has shaped how he views the world. Beck is a true leader and uses the collaborative nature of leadership to better the KP music program. By mentoring younger students through music lessons over the summer he is working to leave behind a legacy for future generations. Although well versed in many areas of music, Beck has a special affinity for Jazz as a form of expression. He has played the trombone for many years and appreciates the vocal quality of the instrument. Participating in the Jazz night fosters a special relationship between the audience and the performers and allows him to express feelings and emotions through his music.
Beck is definitely not complacent as he is always challenging himself musically, academically and civically. He is an active participant in Model UN and Debate club, challenging himself to become better informed and more empathetic towards others by understanding and valuing different perspectives than his own. The skills he has developed in both clubs have taught him the importance of respectful discourse and reinforced the need to approach any issue with compassion. He appreciates stepping out of his comfort zone, having just submitted an essay for a national contest, and is always striving to understand how culture and experiences shape identity.
Interview with Beck
Q: Can you describe what you learned from your full year project examining protest music as an intersection of art and social progress?
A: During this project, I learned about how an art form that I have such love and respect for can also be used as a powerful tool. I learned that music has a unique ability to connect with the masses, and spread radical and influential political thought. I also enjoyed exploring the commonalities between seemingly different artists from wildly distant periods in history (Ex: Dmitri Shostakovich and Kendrick Lamar).
Q: How has the music leadership program at KP influenced you as a musician and with your own leadership skills?
A: I think the main thing I've learned from my experience in the music program here is the importance of egolessness. All of us as people have a tendency to let our egos get in the way of making human connections and making decisions that are best for ourselves and the people that we lead. During my time as a person in a position of leadership at KP, I've had to learn to at least try my hardest to shed my ego and pride.
Q: During your time at KP you have participated in both Model UN and the Debate Club. Why do you feel it is important for students to engage in these activities?
A: I see both of these as excellent opportunities for students to challenge their ideas and understand at a deeper level both their political position, and the position of their opposition. I also think that any environment that models compassionate disagreement is really important to get involved in.
Q: How can you use your voice to impact incoming 9th graders? In other words, what advice do you have for students who have not yet found their interests/passions?
A: Something that has been really formative for me as a person as I've matured is getting rid of my preconceptions about people or things. You miss out on a lot if you disregard people or activities because of whatever biased idea you have about them without even trying them first. Everybody has something to offer, and you can learn from most experiences.
About King Philip Regional High School
We establish high academic standards and expectations for personal responsibility. Students are encouraged to become lifelong learners, to be productive contributors to society, to set ambitious goals, and to use all available resources.
Principal: Nicole Bottomley
Assistant Principal: Kip Lewis
Assistant Principal: Karen Archambault
Assistant Principal: Jill Poirier
Athletic Director: Gary Brown
Location: 201 Franklin St, Wrentham MA 02093