Tim Stammeyer wants to be the President of the United States of America someday. Before you write off the Newton High School senior’s goal, read his resume:
He is the president of the NHS student body, president of the student council, vice-president of thespians club, president of NHS DECA, and the outgoing president of Iowa DECA. He also participates in National Honor Society, speech team, band, band choir, theatre, serves as a special education mentor, was on the homecoming court and was the lead in the school play.
“Jesus just gives him more hours in the day than the rest of us,” Tina Stammeyer, Tim’s mother, said jokingly. “He’s got a personal connection (with Jesus.) He sleeps very little.”
When he is not busy with the aforementioned activities, he volunteers with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Special Olympics, takes classes at DMACC and is both a Coca-Cola Scholar Foundation and Burger King McLamore Foundation scholarship recipient.
“I am very busy,” Tim said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve gotten use to it after awhile. And I have my own personal secretary that keeps me on track, named my mother.”
“I’m getting used to it for when he’s got the job at the big white house and I’m going to be his personal assistant,” Tina added. “If I didn’t work at the high school, I would never see him.”
If you still think Tim’s goal — not dream — is far-fetched, consider this: Tim just returned from Washington D.C. where he represented every student in Iowa in a collaborative effort with the Iowa Department of Education.
“I was representing DECA and FFA and all those weird acronyms, I was representing them,” Tim said jokingly. “What they do is they take the president of certain organizations in certain years, and the Iowa Department of Ed(ucation) and the career tech department there, they really emphasize bringing students to Washington to advocate. It was kind of by chance that I got in, they go on a rotating schedule and it just happens to be DECA’s year. Since I was the president of the state, I got to go. I was lucky in a way, but I guess it was meant to be.”
The purpose of the trip was to attend the Association for Career & Technical Education National Policy Seminar and to share ideas with politicians.
“I was advocating for students and education, but specifically career and tech ed,” Tim said. “We were really emphasizing Perkins funding for things like business ed and to keep agricultural education and foods and sewing and that kind of stuff in the high school. With the sequester, they are cutting 5.1 percent of our funding out. We were advocating to say, ‘Hey, we still need this funding because it’s important.’”
“We went and we had meetings with each congressman from Iowa,” Tim continued. “All four representatives, so (David) Loebsack, (Steve) King, (Tom) Latham and (Bruce) Braley. And Braley is running for Senate too, so that was kind of cool because he is going to run for Senate in 2014, I think. Then we met with (Tom) Harkin and (Chuck) Grassley and we actually got to meet them face to face.”
Senator Grassley was so impressed by Tim he offered him an internship once he starts college.
“So that was really cool, and we got to sit-down in their offices in D.C., Tim said. “Each minute was 15 to 20 minutes and we got to talk and we shared our own personal stories and then they asked questions. When you actually meet them they are really down to earth guys. They all really supported Perkins funding and career and tech ed. It was just really neat that it was a bi-partisan issue and there aren’t many of those anymore.”
Even with the enormous number of extra-curricular activities he participates in and the travel schedule he has—he is going to Atlanta for a Coca-Cola scholarship opportunity for a chance to turn his $10,000 scholarship into a $20,000 scholarship, he will also be representing Iowa DECA at the national convention in California, and the day he flies back in he will be getting ready for prom—Tim maintains a 3.98 grade point average.
“I’ve gotten one B, freshman English,” Tim said. “I’ve had a 4.0 the last three years.”
Tina added: “(He got the B) when he had mono and missed almost three weeks of school.”
“Mrs. Hogeland prides herself on being the only teacher to have ever given me a B,” Tim quipped. “She reminds me of it frequently.”
Tim knows he has a long way to go before the White House and that a good education will be key.
“Right now I’m looking at international studies, which is kind of a unique perspective on economics, political science and sociology,” Tim said. “So it teaches a lot of policy stuff, so for when I hopefully go into legislature, I can already be in the know. Also possibly (I would take up) political science and possibly peace and justice studies. I’m going to double major, just not sure exactly in what yet.”
Tim and his family are looking at several schools, most notably Grinnell College and the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.
For now at least, Tim is just reflecting on everything he accomplished in his four years at NHS.
“(My classmates) they think I’m crazy,” Tim said of what others think of his schedule. “I guess, they don’t think to much of it. I have always been the kid that does everything. I’m just a regular kid, I’m not different or anything well I guess I am a little crazy. I was not a normal high schooler in any way, I did all of this stuff at the same time. I didn’t do a lot of other normal high school stuff. I don’t have a lot of time to go hang out or whatever it is high schoolers do. I guess I missed out a little bit, but I did so much other cool stuff it was worth it.”
Staff Writer Ty Rushing (641)-792-3121 Ext. 426 or firstname.lastname@example.org