Grad finds voice, embraces instrument
Dillon Boldt has had many great teachers but says he learned the most from Lynn Just.
The Hillsboro High School choir teacher helped him discover that he, too, had a future as a music teacher.
“She helped me develop my voice and taught me how to love music,” he said.
Just was touched by Boldt’s praise and endorsed his choice of vocation.
“He’s a very positive, respectful, friendly, honest person,” she said. “He’ll be a great role model for students, and it’s very obvious music is a passion.”
The valedictorian has been a standout for Hillsboro basketball, football, and track for four years.
He also sang and acted in Hillsboro’s fall musicals, landing lead roles in “Hello Dolly” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
He will be a walk-on for the track and field team at Friends University where he will pursue a major in music education.
“They really take their fine arts seriously,” he said of Friends, which he will attend with the aid of honors and vocal music scholarships.
He couldn’t choose between theater or sports — he loves both of them, but admits balancing it all and keeping his grades up has been hard some days.
“I went to school until 3:30 p.m. and practice until 6 p.m. and then had musical practice from 7 to 9 p.m.,” he said. “I just try to stay focused on my main goal, which is to succeed in everything I do.”
In the top 10% of his class, Bolt made Central Kansas All-League football honors has qualified for state in distance runs for track.
He also was one of three key seniors, along with Tristan Reed, and Carson Linnens, who wrapped their careers by winning a state title.
“It was amazing,” he said. “We began the season with a bunch of kids in quarantine, practicing in our driveway on Google meet. It was very weird.”
He came down with COVID-19 a few weeks ago, but has since recovered.
“It was very rough for about three days,” he said. “I had a fever of 104 for about three or four days straight, but it passed.”
He is grateful for the efforts of his teachers who clearly struggled to adapt to new technology and reach students.
Adapting to change is hard work, he said, but he has learned to stick with it.
“There are times when we feel like none of our work matters and none of our goals will be achieved,” he said. “But as long as you perservere, everything will be all right.”