Kerns looks forward to future adventures


Kerns is currently authoring a poetry novel, putting together her various poems over the years. (Photo courtesy Gretchen McCafferty)

   Lilliana Kerns is an excellent example of a creative, ambitious senior here at Sheridan High school. This year, Kerns is participating in a variety of classes: AP classes, art classes, and all of the required classes for seniors at SHS. One of her goals for the end of high school and for the future is to not have to pay out of pocket for college. To achieve that goal, she has filled out multiple scholarships and sent out 24 applications to different schools, but she said that was a stressful thing to do and probably not the greatest idea. She desires to go to college to become a biologist and eventually specialize in genetics. 

   Kerns has been involved with many extracurriculars at the school. She is a part of the speech and debate team, she likes to perform in the annual school play and watch school performances and she has taken part in the We The People competition in Washington, DC in order to represent her AP classes. She enjoys the art classes at the school as well. This year she is taking studio art for the first time where finds delight because she can express herself in a unique way. She is content about how her AP classes are going. 

   Kerns is a vital pillar for the speech and debate team this year and is proud with how their year has progressed so far. She participates in an event called Program Oral Interpretation. She won first place at the last meet in that event. “The win for Lil was a culmination of hard work and perseverance over the course of 4 years–without giving up, with learning from other talented competitors, and with having conviction in herself,” said Kim Ferguson, the head speech and debate coach. There are districts, state, and nationals for the speech and debate team. To go to nationals, the person would have to win districts, and then state is the state competing against each other. “Outside of competition, Lil is a fun and entertaining team member who keeps things interesting while hanging out at the meets. She has made us a mascot who travels with us in our totes, and she invites other teams to hang with us,” said Ferguson. 

   Out of the extracurriculars she is involved in, she does not exactly have one favorite. “It really depends on the day,” said Kerns. “I itch whatever needs to be itched.” She has a variety of different activities to do throughout the day. When she goes home for the day, she enjoys pursuing some of her hobbies such as crocheting and creative writing.  

   Over the past couple of years, Kerns has used her creative writing skills to write her first poetry book. She started writing large quantities of poems, and she realized she could put them all together to write a book. As she writes her poems, she picks and chooses which poems she would rather have in the book. Her poetry is a blend of things relevant to her own life but also about things that she has not experienced. There are four sections to her book: Downward, Forward, Upward, and Onward. Each section contains poetry about each of those situations. She has written enough for there to be around 70 pages of poetry.  She is trying to get it self-published through Amazon, but there are difficult steps to go through. 

   One of Kern’s favorite memories was during her freshman year of high school when she was traveling for an Model United Nations conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. That was the first time she had gone on a trip like that, and she was excited because she felt intelligent. They bought a bunch of ice cream, Cool Whip, sparkling drinks, and then headed to the hotel. After that, they sat in the hot tub at their hotel while eating ice cream and goofing around having fun. “It’s the little silly things, like the contrast between really smart people being smart and really smart people being silly,” Kerns said.

   Some advice of hers to other students is “High school is much easier if you don’t care about every little thing that comes in your path,” Kerns said. “As long as you stay true to yourself it will be much easier to get through.”

   Kerns’s main influence is her mother. Her mom works at many different places in the state, but recently started Expressions Art Gallery, where she has been able to make everyone around her feel comfortable. Her mom has made a family-friendly environment through something as common as art. “She is the most kind and compassionate person I’ve ever met,” Kerns said. During the last few months of Kern’s high school career, she will enjoy every last moment and look forward to the start of a new adventure.  

  Lilliana is the daughter of Ryan and Wanda Kerns.