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Kyle Palka balances school, sports, work

Junior+Kyle+Palka+enjoys+relaxing+outdoors.
Junior Kyle Palka enjoys relaxing outdoors.

Junior Kyle Palka enjoys relaxing outdoors.

IMAGE / Courtesy of Amanda Jones

IMAGE / Courtesy of Amanda Jones

Junior Kyle Palka enjoys relaxing outdoors.

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Junior Kyle Palka has attended Kearsley since kindergarten. Palka has blond hair, blue eyes, and stands 6 feet, 4 inches, making him one of the tallest students at KHS.

“My height has definitely drawn attention, and I get stared at by a lot of people,” Palka said. “It bothered me at first, but now I’m just used to it.”

Palka’s height has been a positive for him when it comes to sports. He runs cross country and plays baseball.

“I’ve done cross country since my sophomore year, and I’ve played baseball since I was a kid. I like being able to work with others that have the same goal in mind: winning,” Palka said.

IMAGE / Courtesy of Amanda Jones
Kyle Palka, junior, squats to field a grounder during a baseball game.

Palka works as an umpire on the weekends.

“I enjoy being an umpire because sports are a big part of my life, and I get paid to basically have fun,” Palka said.

He recently bought his first car: a 2003 red Chevy Malibu. This is a result of all his hard work.

“I’ve been saving up for a while, and I’m so happy to have my own car,” Palka said. “Buying your own car shows the biggest life lesson of them all: If you want something you have to work for it.”

He will be taking the last segment of driver’s training this summer and will have his license by the fall.

“I’m ready to be on my own and have more independence,” Palka said. “I’m ready to not have to depend on anyone anymore.”

Junior Rebekah Caudle looks up to Palka and wishes she could work as hard as he does.

“Kyle is very smart and driven. He is able to keep going even when things get stressful, and he never will quit,” Caudle said. “I wish I could be more like him and be more optimistic.”

On top of his already busy schedule, he manages high grades and takes advanced classes. He takes: AP Government, honors chemistry, and AP Language and Composition.

IMAGE / Courtesy of Amanda Jones
Junior Kyle Palka smiles in the Chevy Malibu he bought after saving his money.

He is also involved with National Honor Society, a group that meets once a month and brainstorms ideas on how to make the community a better place.

He also plays the tuba in Kearsley’s band since his sophomore year.

Palka’s childhood friend, junior Brendan White, sees how hard Palka works on a daily basis.

“Kyle’s currently first in our class, and he is very deserving of it because he puts in his time and effort and actually works for his grades,” White said. “It’s hard to find teens who will strive to be the best that they can be anymore.”

With senior year rapidly approaching, he has a few goals set for himself that he knows he can reach.

“I’m currently undecided with what I’m going to do with the rest of my life,” Palka said. “But I know I’m good with time management, and I’ll go far in life.”

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The student news site of Kearsley High School in Flint, Michigan
Kyle Palka balances school, sports, work