Burris looks forward to a career within an English major

   Around Sheridan High School, senior Fisher Burris can be seen studying or hanging out with friends. Nonetheless, he has big plans to pursue his passion for an English degree at the University of Wyoming. 

   English is something that has always interested Burris, and he hopes to get a career in journalism. Academically gifted, Burris was selected for the Trustees scholarship to the University of Wyoming. The Trustees Scholarship is the highest scholarship UW offers and pays for eight semesters of college including room and board. Students have to maintain enrollment throughout their college career, and they also must keep a grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Fortunately, this is not a problem for Burris, who continually procures high grades in all of his classes.

   This year, Burris enrolled in multiple college-level english courses to test the waters of an English major. English 1010, Comm 2010, and AP Literature and Composition are all classes the high school has to offer. Comm 2010, taught by English teacher Claire Gerber, focuses on face-to-face, public communication. Students build up the necessary skills in order to become proficient orators by preparing multiple presentations throughout the semester and practicing different techniques. Not only do class members have to give speeches, but they must also listen critically and analyze other student’s presentations. This is something that Burris is particularly gifted at. “He is a very skilled writer and critical thinker, anything that he chooses to do will be done creatively and efficiently,” said Gerber. Comm 2010 is a great preparatory class for any student looking to go into a journalistic degree since it focuses on public speaking and speech writing.

   Additionally, classes such as AP Literature and Composition and English 1010 will help Burris throughout his college career. Specifically, AP Literature and Compositions is tailored toward students who want to go into an English degree. The class is designed to test student’s critical thinking and introduce them to advanced pieces of literature. Teacher Brian Rizer talks about what the course has to offer. “The class provides literature with depth and themes that affect, or relate to, all of mankind,” said Rizer. Though it is a difficult class, students walk away with a greater understanding of English literature as a whole. “The main class I took this year to prepare for college was AP Literature,” said Burris. “It has given me a bigger idea of the greater themes of literature and how I might want to pursue something similar in the future.” 

   Burris not only enjoyed his AP class but also excelled throughout the year. “He just has a knack for getting into the heart of a piece of literature; he has the ability to bring an insight to a book that many others might have overlooked,” said Rizer. Burris accredits much of his academic growth to the teachers he has studied under. The faculty at SHS works hard to connect students with enriching topics and provide them with the resources to grow. Particularly, the English department plans out the year with intense scrutiny in order to make sure that all of the course material builds off each other and pushes students to a better literary understanding. “The teachers are a huge part of my academic growth, and I have specifically connected with some of the English teachers, they have made me want to pursue a similar career,” said Burris. “A lot of my teachers are really good, they really want to help and inspire you.” The impact teachers have cannot be understated and SHS staff deserves a lot of credit. Not only do teachers prepare students for the future but they can also have a major impact on their career decisions. 

   Rizer’s English class, among others, inspired Burris to go into a similar degree. However, students must be willing to put the necessary work in as well. “I think that he enhances the class as much as the class enhances him,” said Rizer. By working hard and focusing on his goals, Burris is now able to pursue a career in something that interests him. In his closing remark, Burris encourages underclassmen to get inspired and work towards a goal. “High school is a lot of effort and a lot of pay off,” said Burris. “Stay on top of work and get it done when it needs to be.”

  Burris is the son of Andy and Brandi Burris.

Burris took multiple English courses his senior year to prepare himself for a bright future in an English field. (Stephanie Stender Photography)