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This year's Jefferson County Amazing Kid is a musician, dancer, and a great student.

JAIME VALDEZ/PAMPLIN MEDIA - Pamplin Media Group President Mark Garber, left, and Vice President Brian Monihan honor Allison Turek, of Madras, as an 'Amazing Kid.'From play practice, straight to teaching a dance class, or off to an event for one of the numerous clubs and organizations she is a part of — Allison Turek is always busy.

However, the 17-year-old thrives on the craziness of it all. She still maintains a 4.01 weighted GPA, is the president of the National Honor Society at Madras High School, and serves as the senior class president — among other things.

Allison says she wouldn't want it any other way, "I don't want to be bored. I want to be as involved as possible."

She credits much of her drive to her father — who has Huntington's disease and retired as a physician at 35. "He was so driven and so smart and tried so hard to get into medical school and studied so much," she says. "I think I get a lot of that from him."

In part, juggling everything on her plate, from SkillsUSA to Key Club to drama or voice lessons, comes naturally to Allison.

"Ever since I was young, I have been doing a lot of stuff, so already I had to balance some stuff. Although, school work was not as hard in elementary school," she says, laughing.

A large part of Allison's busy schedule is dedicated to the arts, from voice lessons to leading parts in plays.

DESIREE BERGSTROM/MADRAS PIONEER - Allison Turek takes a break before play practice. Her music teacher calls her 'the busiest kid I know.' 
"She never rests. She is literally the busiest kid I know, but somehow manages everything on her plate with grace and decorum," says Jared McFarlin, the music director at MHS.

According to McFarlin, Allison is dedicated and driven and truly cares about the music department and drama, working as a teaching assistant for McFarlin in the band program and participating in the Chamber Choir, the highest level of choir at the school. McFarlin also describes Allison as a "leading lady" in the drama department.

Recently playing Cinderella in the MHS production of "Into the Woods," Allison has been a part of every school play since her freshman year, playing Will Scarlet in "Robin Hood," Cindy Lou Who in "The Grinch," and Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" — to name a few.

She has also been accepted as a part of the All Northwest Treble Choir, which takes the best of the best from six states.

All of her acting and music experience will prove valuable next year, when she heads off to college. "I'll be going into psychology and theater," she says, adding that her top choice for school is University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

As if that were not enough, Allison also takes and teaches dance classes at Dance Arts Unlimited.

Beginning when she was about 4 years old, Allison has been taking ballet ever since, as well as tap classes since she was in first grade.

"I just really liked it and it was something I was good at," she says.

An instructor at the studio asked Allison to be her assistant when she was 12. "I started assisting her class and I have been working with the studio ever since then," Allison says.

Now, she not only assists, and takes classes herself, Allison also teaches a couple of tap classes a week on her own, instructing students anywhere from kindergarten age through seventh grade.

"Allison is amazing," says Kathleen Avila, co-owner and co-director of Dance Arts Unlimited. "She has an acute sense of what's going on around her, which makes her very in tune with her students, peers and supervising professionals."

"She has such a positive attitude and strong work ethic," says Shannan Ahern, also co-owner and co-director of Dance Arts Unlimited. "She is always so respectful, manages her time well and is a wonderful role model for all our little dancers that look up to her."

Some of Allison's other teachers at the high school mirror the opinions of the dance directors.

"She is amazing at time management," says Kathleen Glogau, Allison's AP biology teacher. "She is just plain fun to be around."

Aside from dance classes and AP courses, Allison has a passion to help others and is involved in clubs and organizations that focus on community service — Key Club, SkillsUSA and National Honor Society. An officer in all of those, she also serves on the board of directors of the Jefferson County Cultural Coalition.

Allison is also an officer of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and a member of Muse Club. The Gender and Sexuality Alliance is "a safe space for LGBTQ+ members of our high school and also allies," she says. This year, the group is putting on a queer prom.

Muse Club is a "woman-led organization focusing on the empowerment of women and showing that they can be in leadership roles and encouraging that."

Her favorite clubs, however, are the ones where she gets to reach out to the community and help out.

"Key Club, we do a lot of community service," Allison says. "It's one of my favorite clubs; I love doing community service."

As president of National Honor Society, Allison gets to work on their annual community service project, as well.

"This year, we are working with the United Methodist Church and their Backpack Buddies," she says, adding that the club also works with the church's community kitchen by serving meals.

"My favorite part (of the community kitchen) is being able to sit with some of the people who come to it and get to know them," says Allison. "All the people that I have met have been really interesting. That has been an amazing experience."

"I love the ability to make an impact on my community and almost all the things I am involved in make an impact on the community in a positive way. That is something that I really love," she says.

"I think it's really beneficial that I got to learn about the importance of community here because I don't know that I would have felt the same had I grown up in a town where I didn't have as much of a personal connection with anyone I saw on the street," Allison says, mentioning how tight-knit the Madras community is.

"I know that whatever I am doing will benefit people I know, but also people I don't know," she says. "Helping the community is really important because you are helping people you know. You are a person; you would want to be helped."

JAIME VALDEZ/PAMPLIN MEDIA - Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr., center, is surrounded by the young people honored as Amazing Kids, including Allison Turek, from the communities the company's newspapers serve.


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