As a new student to James Madison Preparatory School (JMPS) this year, Kelsey has made quite an impression from her very first day on campus. She excels academically and is on the Roll of Scholars (the school’s very highest honor roll). In addition to her exemplary scholastic record, Kelsey is a talented volleyball player who brought her experience on club teams to the JMPS girls volleyball team, helping lead them to a nearly undefeated season. Kelsey is also a talented violinist who plays in the school orchestra. With her impeccable participation in classes, her involvement in extracurricular activities, and her strong character, Kelsey Carlton is a treasured member of James Madison!
Q. Can you tell us about adjusting to a new high school? Where did you move from?
A. I went to Tempe Academy of International Studies for 6th-8th grade. I will admit that I was
quite nervous moving to James Madison for a few reasons. I didn’t know anyone attending,
James Madison had a lot more rules, including a strict dress code, and I knew the curriculum
was going to be different and much more challenging. From the very first day, I immediately felt
so much better knowing that I was going to love high school. I met new people right away and I
felt myself relax because the community welcomed me with open arms. I learned to love the
small community and appreciate it because I now know that I prefer a small school rather than
a big high school.
Q. How has James Madison impacted you in the short time you’ve been there?
A. James Madison has impacted me immensely in the short period I have attended in many ways. I find myself being much more challenged in academics than I have in my entire school career. I see myself more dedicated to my studies and wanting to actually learn than just wanting to pass a class. I actually want to go to school and not just for the social part but to succeed academically. I have found myself starting to look at universities already even though I still have three more years to think about it, but I feel motivated and excited to attend college.
Q. Do you have a favorite book or author?
A. My favorite book at the moment would be Looking for Alaska by John Green or Elenor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. John Green is probably my favorite author. I prefer to read young adult realistic fiction novels and this is also the genre I like to write about as well. I love reading and writing, and I actually started writing before I could even read. I would draw picture books and then I eventually started to dictate my stories to my mom.
Q. You’ve proven to be quite a skilled leader. What makes you successful in your team leadership?
A. I would say my passion for what I do helps me be successful. I love playing volleyball and I just want others around me to play and be happy. I like to show leadership by leading by example, staying discipline in what I do, and let my actions do the talking for me.
Q. Do you find it difficult to remain disciplined in your studies, music, and volleyball?
A. At times I do find it hard to balance all three, volleyball, studies, and music. Twice a week I
come straight home from school around four o’clock and I don’t get home until 8 o’clock at night since I have three hours of volleyball. By the time I get home it can be challenging to balance my homework, practicing my instrument, showering, eating, and also being aware of getting a good night’s sleep. Over time, I have gotten used to my schedule and it has become my lifestyle. Now it is second nature and I do most of my homework at school during study hall and take advantage of any free time in my classes. I find it enjoyable because I have a passion for what I am doing.
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A. In ten years I see myself having graduated from an out of state university with a bachelor’s
degree, and then starting my masters program. I’m still not quite sure what I want to do, but I
love helping others, so I am considering getting my degree in something relating to therapy or
psychology. I also see myself writing for fun and maybe even working on a novel, in hopes of a
publication. After I graduate college with my masters, I see myself starting a job and saving up
to purchase a house. I also would love to travel the nation in a car with my dog, taking a break
from all of my studies.
Kelsey Carlton is a ninth grader at James Madison Prep.