Class Co-President, Vice-President of the National Honor Society, Two-year Captain of both the track and soccer teams; with a resume like that its no surprise to find that Warren Area High School senior Bradley Simmons has an affinity for management roles.
Simmons, who is one of two Times Observer students of the year in 2012, said he might like to go into politics or business management in the future, but he isn't taking the traditional path to get there.
Rather than studying political science, business or law; Simmons said he is going to Penn State University to study chemical engineering.
"I don't want to be an engineer," Simmons said. "I just understand the important role that it plays in society. I just want that knowledge so I have it to go into management. If you work for someone, you want to look up to a boss who knows what they're talking about."
According to Simmons, he was inspired by two books he recently read and decided to take up engineering. Those books were 'Atlas Shrugged' and a biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
"Almost as a side note," Simmons recalled, "they mentioned how society depends on engineering. I decided at some point I need to study engineering during my life."
During Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, Simmons said, he was chosen to be CEO for his group. After that the decision to pursue management was made. Simmons said he chose chemical engineering because he's always enjoyed math and chemistry.
He attributes an interest in politics to his participation in mock trial and his duties as Co-President of his class at Warren Area High School.
According to Simmons, he has been a part of mock trial for two of the three years it's been available. He was asked to join by psychology teacher Michael Elmer since one of his friends was already involved.
"Over a year, while we worked on a case, it created a strong bond with my friends," Simmons said. "It's helped me to speak more eloquently and helped me learn to think on my feet."
You can see the excitement when Simmons talks about his favorite part of mock trial.
"The best part of mock trial is when we spent all this time on a case," Simmons recalled. "When we won a case, it was one of the biggest adrenaline rushes in school or sports of anything I've ever been involved in."
According to Simmons, he decided to give up madrigal singing after two years to pursue class office in his senior year.
"I decided in my senior year, I wanted to go into class office," Simmons said. "Because someday I'd like to go into politics. I also felt I was able to carry the responsibility that comes with the position."
According to Simmons, he and his friends swept all class offices except that held by his Co-President.
Simmons was also chosen for a leadership role in National Honor Society.
"It's definitely an honor. It's an exclusive thing that you work towards throughout your high school career," Simmons noted. "It was definitely an honor when my friends nominated me for the vice-presidency."
Simmons was further honored academically when he found out he was co-salutatorian for his class.
"It was a pleasant surprise for me. I definitely made a point this year to enjoy my year with my friends," Simmons said. "I set myself up by taking a lot of advanced placement courses, but didn't really think about it because I was enjoying my last year. Its a nice culmination of my four year career of high school."
According to Simmons his parents' divorce when he was in the fifth grade was a major influence on who he is today.
"It had a huge impact in my life," Simmons said. "It taught me not to take for granted what you have. It drove me to be my best. It opened me up to experience everything I could. I tried not to let my parents divorce hold me back. It also helped me grow closer to both of my parents."
Simmons said that closeness with his parents was part of his decision to attend Penn State. He said his mother is moving closer to the State College area and he has friends already there. It's also his father's alma mater.
"It's not too far away from where I live now," Simmons noted. "So I'm not going to be too far away from my dad. My dad went there, so my going there will make him proud."
Simmons said athletics has influenced his life, both in a team setting and through his solo activities.
"I think athletics has had a very important and serious impact on my life," Simmons said. "It taught me to have a work ethic and not take what you have physically or mentally for granted. It taught me mentally to think well under pressure. Helped me develop team work skills through playing with my friends. It also helped me learn to overcome adversity."
Simmons is also an avid runner having taken part in numerous events such as the Kinzua Tango, which he completed solo one year, and the Jogging for Jordan 5K.
"I run year round indoor and outside," Simmons said. "That's the main way I keep in shape."
Simmons is also a member of the Kinzua Soccer Club.
'That's the main way I spend my springtime and winters," Simmons said. "We travel a lot and get the chance to play really good teams. I think the reason I like soccer so much and excelled in it was because I had a coach who was willing to give his time to help players who wanted to make it a big part of their lives."
That coach was Tom Harrington.
Church has also had an impact on Simmons life. He said he has been in church youth group since seventh grade and serves as a youth usher at First United Methodist Church in Warren.
"I didn't have a heavy part in it (youth group) until high school because we got a new youth pastor (Matt Donaldson)," Simmons recalled. "Because of him I was encouraged to get more involved. I preferred youth group to actual church services because we discussed the things the pastor was preaching."
Simmons also participated in The Pittsburgh Project through the church. According to Simmons, the program consists of week-long mission trips to Pittsburgh to make repairs to home for the less fortunate.
"I really enjoyed my experience with The Pittsburgh Project," Simmons noted. "It humbles me going to the Pittsburgh Project and experiencing everything that's a part of it and it definitely strengthened my relationship with God."
Even with all that, Simmons finds time to participate in acapella, read, play ping pong, write songs, be a part of his high school academic bowl team, hang out with his friends and work. He was employed as a life guard at the Warren Municipal Pool last summer and at Tim Horton's until recently. He plans to work for Northwest Saving Bank this summer.
Simmons said the thing he'll miss the most while at college has nothing to do with any of his activities though.
"Growing up I've had a dog that I've been close to," Simmons said. "She's named Chubby. She's been switching between living with my mom and my dad for a few years. She's one thing I'm definitely going to miss going to college."