Natchez High student’s biggest challenge is how to slow down

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Kirsten Hickingbottom dabbles in many activities in the palette of life, at Natchez High School and the community.

Hickingbottom might be what many would call an over-achiever.

This Natchez High junior is described as &uot;creative,&uot; &uot;compassionate&uot; and &uot;very bright.&uot;

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Band, Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, church youth choir and Sunday school, which she teaches, all pull Hickingbottom in different directions.

Her biggest challenge is getting rest.

&uot;Going to school all day, going to (band) rehearsal, trying to get all my homework done and get a good night’s rest,&uot; Hickingbottom said that is what makes her meet herself coming and going &045; just doing.

But she would not give up her busy schedule.

&uot;I like to do it,&uot; she said. &uot;It builds your character.

&uot;I like to excel, be the best that I can be, make myself a better person and be well-rounded.&uot;

And by being so involved, she does not miss out on anything.

&uot;I’m not missing out. I feel like I am getting a lot out of high school,&uot; she said.

Hickingbottom is self-motivated, she said, doing many things outside of the classroom like community work, volunteering to teach young children at church, singing in the church choir and going to nursing homes.

It is a &uot;really good feeling. The elderly look forward to you. It just heightens their day to have a visitor.&uot;

This flutist, singer and honor student is considering studying education or psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

People do not doubt she can do that or anything else she puts her mind to.

One of her &uot;favorite&uot; teachers, Iris Myles, now the guidance counselor at Natchez High, has high expectations for Hickingbottom as well, saying she has a &uot;bright future.&uot;

&uot;She’s very creative not to mention that she’s smart,&uot; Myles said.

&uot;She has a beautiful personality, very friendly, a very warm person and that makes her very attractive.&uot;

Myles describes Hickingbottom as &uot;bubbly,&uot; &uot;happy&uot; and &uot;concerned about every detail.&uot;

But Hickingbottom also has a more artistic side. She writes poems, the only thing the modest poet would come close to admitting she is good at.

&uot;When I think of Kirsten, I think of an art form,&uot; Myles said. &uot;She’s unique, and she has an aura about herself that demonstrates excellence.

&uot;Kirsten, I think, is in a class by herself.&uot;

Myles said Hickingbottom and students would tell her that she was the bright spot in their day. &uot;And she was one in mine,&uot; Myles said.