Meader stresses personal success for happiness

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South Laurel's Drew Meader broke the school record recently for his time in the 5K.

Teamwork is nothing new to South Laurel High School senior Drew Meader.

Perhaps it began with being close with his twin brother, Seth, with whom he has always been close.

But regardless of the origin of that quality, Meader gives credit to his teammates on the school's cross country and track team for his success rather than to take credit for himself.

Meader recently broke the school record for the cross country meet - completing a 5K run in 16 minutes and 32 seconds. The previous record was 16 minutes and 44 seconds.

"I felt confident when I started and I wasn't really surprised when I broke the record because I have put so much hard work into it," he said. "The week before I was just four seconds away, so when I went out that next weekend, I was confident I could do it."

Meader praised his coaches for the success of the team, as well as the support of his teammates.

"They all yell and encourage you," he said.

He credits hard work to his parents, Bill and Kristi Meader, for instilling a strong wok ethic and achievement.

"My dad is very hard working and he always pushed that on me," he said. "My parents always stressed making good grades."

That influence has paid off well for this busy senior student, who is at the top of his senior class in GPA and who logged a perfect score on his ACT test.

"I took it once and scored 34, then made 35 twice," he said. "Then I took it again and scored 36."

He has also taken several AP classes - by the time he graduates in spring, Meader will have logged in 10 of those. He cites one of his AP teachers, Risha Mullins, as his favorite teacher and AP English III as his favorite class.

"Mrs. Mullins is the best teacher I've ever had," he said. "She gets close to her students and I've always liked writing."

His academic schedule also includes some involvement in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) which focuses on business and marketing. Although he has not yet chosen a college to attend, he is looking at post secondary facilities both in and out of state. His career plans are also not yet concreted, but he is gearing toward obtaining his bachelor degree and pursuing either medical or law for his future employment.

Meader wants to be remembered as an outgoing person who was friendly and kind to his classmates.

"I try to speak to people and I'd like to be remembered as someone who was friendly to everybody," he said. "My parents also stressed that - how to build relationships with people. They never compared my brother and me - he has his strengths and I have mine. But we are very close - we shared a bedroom until we were 15."

Until his senior year ends, however, Meader looks forward to the athletic phase of his final year of school. He began running while still in elementary school.

"I ran in elementary meets since the fourth grade," he said. "There are eight senior guys on the team - including my brother - and most of them have run since they were freshmen, so we're all close."

Meader said while he tries to be friends with everyone at his school, he also strives to achieve his best in all aspects. But he also realizes that each individual has to have their own path.

"My advice to my classmates is 'Just do you.' I live by that," he said. "Focus on yourself and whatever comes your way will work out."

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