by Alaina Fox
Both figuratively and literally, freshman Zackary Plesha runs towards his dreams with burning ambition and unparalleled finesse, proving himself a strong leader in all that he does. From the arts to academics to athletics, Plesha epitomizes dedication and charisma.
Plesha excels in the arts, finding joy in music and drawing. With almost five years of experience playing the trumpet, he joined the LGHS Marching Band this year, immediately finding a home in the community. More noteworthy to Plesha than the music itself is the connections he formed through his involvement. He reflected, “The thing about band that draws me to it is it’s such a loving community and everyone’s there to accept you. There’s really no prejudice or any rumors… Everyone’s just looking to be friends.”
Drawing, too, is a source of happiness for Plesha. Despite having little formal education on drawing, his talent is clear. His challenging course load and time-consuming extracurriculars spare him little time for indulging this interest, but he tries to squeeze time into his schedule to sketch some scenery whenever possible.
Though his sharp wit and clever quips frequently inspire smiles and laughter wherever he goes, Plesha also hones his ability to convey his thoughts persuasively. Classmates familiar with Plesha’s humor and lightheartedness may think solemnity would challenge Plesha, but his prowess in Speech and Debate and Mock Trial proves otherwise. As the only freshman to make it onto the competitive mock trial team, Plesha played an expert witness, an impressive role for a first-year mock trial student. Following considerable success, he received an award recognizing him as the most valuable witness participant on the defense team.
Eloquent and poised, Plesha values the written word just as much as the spoken word. Identifying his English Honors class as one of his favorites, Plesha reflected that he “enjoy[s] being able to put down on paper how [he] feel[s],” taking advantage of literary techniques he learns to better express himself.
That being said, Plesha in no way confines himself to the humanities. Math ranks among the subjects he finds most captivating. Manipulating numbers and variables, Plesha finds the challenging work more fascinating than daunting.
Beyond the rigorous mental pursuits, Plesha also dedicates himself to athleticism. After running on the cross-country team in middle school, Plesha now runs independently, as the high school team’s schedule conflicts with his marching band schedule. He explained, “I do it for myself,” noting that in times of stress and concern, running is a powerful way “to clear [his] head” and “help [him] out.”
Plesha also invests his time and effort in improving the world around him. On Feb. 26, he attended Camp Everytown, where “everyone was there to learn how to be less prejudiced and learn how to understand people.” The overnight program instructs youth on how to take a leadership position in countering hostility and discrimination both on school campuses and in their own personal lives. Plesha highlighted the emphasis the camp placed on learning how to understand one another, an act that can help anyone “become a better person.” In striving to better himself, Plesha consistently betters the community, bringing happiness to those around him.
In all areas of life, Plesha defines diligence, and talking or working with him is always an absolute plesha.