SMITHVILLE – High school graduate Carter Pate might be practicing what comedian Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you. After all, he understands music, plays guitar, sings, and had a weighted GPA over 4.0.
Pate was involved in the Smithville High School Choir for three years, most notably as a member of the Lakeside Singers, the top vocal group that performs a variety of musical styles such as jazz and a cappella. He has also sung with the concert choir, which focuses on male voices, and a jazz band.
“I’ve been studying guitar for 12 years now,” he says. “I now have the honor of teaching music at Smithville Music Studio.”
Pate doesn’t live far from Smithville Lake. As a Boy Scout, being aware of water safety means a lot to him.
“A few years ago, I remember hearing about a child who drowned near one of the campgrounds,” he said. “I started to think about what I could do to help families stay safe while enjoying the lake. My Eagle Scout project was to create a rack to put on life jackets so that families could use the life jackets for their children. Over the past few summers we have walked by and noticed people using them. “
At school, Pate was a member of the debate team for his first two years. He then joined Future Business Leaders of America, which aims to help students explore the business world and improve their leadership skills.
He was also a member of the archery club.
“I’m always trying to improve myself,” he said. “I arrived late, but it’s fun and maybe a social event as well. In the end, I was doing pretty well. It’s a sport or activity where there is coaching, but my goal was to improve myself with my shooting on each outing.
Pate was also a member of the FIRST Robotics SWAT team. He was one of the programmers. To be part of the team, students must be academically strong.
“This year, the competition was done by video,” he explained. “The robot has to complete certain tasks in an arena, move through an obstacle course, including picking up a ball the size of a dodge ball, and then shooting at different distances.”
Pate plans to go to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.
“I wanted to go to school in a warm place,” he said. “The school is also known for its undergraduate research. I intend to focus on electrical and computer engineering. “
Pate said he wanted to study technology since he was in college.
“My sister is an electrical engineer,” he said. “I think computer engineering may be the way to go. I don’t know if it is hardware or software. Maybe I want the best of both worlds. “
Like other students, Pate found teachers to guide them. He praised his math teacher Shawn Logan and Alexis Small, who teaches PA history.
“She’s so encouraging and I truly believe she nurtured a love of history that I didn’t have before,” he said.
Since school resumed full-time classes for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Pate said he was happy to see friends and mark that final hurray before they go their separate ways.
“For younger students, I would offer this advice:… Don’t be afraid to take a path that is not offered,” he says. “If there is something you want to do but it may seem unorthodox or different, start your own club; and before you know it people will join. Hang on and be prepared to experiment as you find your interests. “