NKOTB: New freshman polymath excels at guitar, piano, video games, art and taekwondo

Freshman Mackenzie McLeod sits in front of her piano while holding her guitar. McLeod knows how to play both instruments.
(Photo used by permission of McLeod)
Freshman Mackenzie McLeod sits in front of her piano while holding her guitar. McLeod knows how to play both instruments.

In the “New Kids on the Block” series, new students will be interviewed on their life outside of SCDS.

Freshman Mackenzie McLeod, who went to Katherine Albiani Middle School last year, is an avid artist and video-game enthusiast. She lives on a ranch with her sister and many pets, including chickens, horses and dogs. Next will be new freshman Darius Shahbazi.

Q: What did you do this summer?

A: I just stayed home and did art. I drew, mostly on painting programs online, but I would occasionally just draw with pencil.

Q: Are you taking an art elective?

A: Yes, I am taking Intro to Drawing. When I draw, I draw a lot of people, mainly fictional. I usually draw original characters.

Q: What was your previous school like?

A: There were  about 1,400 people, so it was really crowded. It’s really similar to this one, but the schedule didn’t rotate or anything.

Q: Why did you choose SCDS for high school?

A: Before I found SCDS, I was going to go to Pleasant Grove High School. Then my mom found SCDS online and thought it would be really cool to go to, and Pleasant Grove had 3,000 students.

We chose SCDS over Pleasant Grove for the size, because it’s much smaller, and for the statistics, which we found online. People generally performed better academically at this school.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Outside of school, I do taekwondo, piano and guitar.

I’ve been doing taekwondo at Robinson’s Taekwondo in Galt for about a year, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A few of my friends got me interested in it.

Q: Do you have any favorite moves?

A: I don’t really have any favorite moves, but forms are my favorite things to do in class. Forms area sequence moves we have to memorize.

Q: Have you gone to any competitions?

A: I don’t go to competitions yet, but maybe I will soon!

Q: How long have you been  playing the piano and guitar? Any favorite songs?

A: I’ve been playing the piano for five years and the guitar for a year and a month. My favorite song to play so far is “Therapy” by All Time Low.

Q: What do you do in your extra time?

A: I don’t have a lot of extra time, but I play video games like “Undertale.” What I like about “Undertale” is that it looks really simple on the surface, but the more you progress, the more meaning it has. The story is also pretty interesting.

Q: What other video games do you enjoy?

A: I also play “Istaria.” It’s an RPG (Role Playing Game) where you level up like a regular video game.

I like “Istaria” because of the freedom of what you can do in the game. You can choose to follow the quests, but you can also just not do that.

Q: Do you have any siblings or pets?

A: I have two siblings, an older sister (Beth) and a younger sister (Campbell). Beth graduated from college already and is living on her own, and Campbell goes to Albiani. Campbell is in eighth grade, but she probably won’t go to SCDS, as she wants to join Future Farmers of America in high school. 

I have so many pets: 10 chickens, four dogs and six horses. We live on a ranch in Galt. I don’t ride horses, but the rest of my family does.

Q: What are your favorite bands?

A: Panic! at the Disco and Ghost Town, but I haven’t been to their concerts. My parents are really strict about that.

Panic! at The Disco can have a variety of sounds, which I like. Their new album, “Death of a Bachelor,” has that variety. Also, (lead singer) Brendon (Urie)’s vocals are really impressive.

I like the theme of Ghost Town’s songs and electronic music in general.

By Rebecca Waterson

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