Student Spotlight: Ike O’Neill
Writer / Matt Keating
Ike O’Neill, a Westfield High School senior, is proud that he and his brother, Thadeus, both earned their Eagle Scout badges recently.
O’Neill says earning the badge taught him how to plan projects in advance that involve a lot of hard work, and work with others to achieve a common goal.
O’Neill is the son of two Westfield Washington Schools educators (Sandy O’Neill, a life-skills teacher at Westfield Middle School, and Terry O’Neill, an algebra teacher at Westfield High School), and he says learning from their leadership skills has helped him become a better leader himself.
The brothers earned their Eagle Scout badges last summer.
“In order to earn the badge, I had to complete several different ranks,” O’Neill says.
Each rank has its own set of requirements. O’Neill took on the challenge of the ranks, and learned how to develop and adopt plans that would best suit him in the long run.
“Included in these requirements were campouts I had to go on,” he says. “There were also 21 merit badges that I had to complete, along with other things such as service projects and learning the basics to many different fields.”
Some of the tasks involved a lot of planning and hard work, but he was up to the challenge.
“The hardest part was a service project that I had to plan, lead and carry out,” O’Neill says. “For this, I chose to help refurbish a section of the Saint Joseph Retreat Center in Tipton by re-mulching, edging, planting, and fixing the landscape around a grotto.”
The work was hard, but he enjoyed working outdoors in nature.
O’Neill notes that he has enjoyed all of the different projects he has been involved in since he first joined the Boy Scouts. The projects have taught him how to be a better person, and he says he has profited greatly from the challenges he has taken on.
“I was in the Scouts from the fall of my sixth-grade year until this past summer – about six years,” he says.
The friendships O’Neill has made through the years have been invaluable to him.
“One of the things I liked the best was all of the people I went through it with,” he says. “I had a group of about 10 buddies and we all did the activities together, which made them a lot more fun.”
O’Neill also found time to get involved in various other activities at Westfield High School.
“I am a runner on the high school cross-country team, and I am a wrestler for the school,” he says.
Student Spotlight Sponsored by Wittler Orthodontics.