TORRINGTON — Mason Hale admits he’s a little bit of an overachiever, which is why he was named the Student of the Year at Eastern Wyoming College.
His nomination will be passed along to the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees and he’ll find out if he was named their student of the year during a February banquet in Cheyenne.
Hale, of Atkinson, was raised in a family that valued hard work and education. His mother is a kindergarten teacher and his dad teaches chemistry and coaches basketball and golf. He said he’s learned a lot from his parents.
“The golden rule is probably the first and biggest thing,” he said. “Also, just doing what you can. My parents are both pretty busy in the community. If you have time for something, you can do it — there’s no reason why you have to turn them down.”
Hale believes in taking on all the opportunities he can, in an effort to forge his path in the right direction. In addition to carrying a 4.0 GPA, he’s the captain of EWC’s golf team and vice president of the school’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter.
“I’m a tutor and a work study for two teachers,” Hale said. “I have a hard time saying ‘no.’”
As part of his work study, Hale grades papers and helps with whatever else needs done — which sometimes means teaching a chemistry class.
“My dad is a chemistry teacher, so I’ve been around it,” he said. “It’s just an interesting field. It helps you understand all the reactions that take place in life. It’s just fun.”
Hale is a business major who hopes to eventually become a PGA professional.
“It depends on which way you go — you can be more on the instruction side, where you teach people how to play golf. Or you can go into the business side, where you make decisions, set up events, get donations, run tournaments, that kind of thing.”
Hale said he would be perfectly content with either, but he hopes to do a little of both.
“I want to be versatile,” Hale said.
Hale, who is attending EWC on a golf scholarship, has been playing the game since before he can remember and loves the challenge.
“You can think you’ve got it figured out, then the next da,y you definitely don’t have it figured out,” Hale said, laughing.
His golf coach, Zach Smith, said Hale has been a huge asset to the team which is one of the reasons he was nominated to be the student of the year. Smith said he’s been in the top five of the golf team for a year and a half, but its his leadership skills that set him apart from other students.
“His leadership and strong character on the golf team helps our team as a whole,” Smith said. “I really rely on him.”
Hale plans on continuing to pursue a business degree and furthering his golf career at South Eastern Oklahoma State University.
Smith said, “He’s a great golfer, but he’s just an awesome dude. We’re going to miss him next year.”