Dare to Excel

Wright City senior ready to lead her classmates and her school

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 8/14/23

Wright City High School Senior Tayla Payne will serve as president of the 2024 class and the Key Club in addition to being involved in FBLA and TEAM.

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Dare to Excel

Wright City senior ready to lead her classmates and her school


Tayla Payne is the incoming senior class president at Wright City High School. And she’s preparing for a busy senior year.

Not only is she ready to take on student leadership and get ready for her final year of high school, she’s also the president of the school’s Key Club, a part of the TEAM group that helps incoming students, and is the treasurer for Future Business Leaders of America.

All of that keeps her plenty busy, and that’s exactly how she likes it.

Q: Why were you interested in being senior class president?

“I just love leadership. I really do. I think I have a talent for it and I really like that I can put my good ideas into the school and help my class as much as I possibly can because I really do care about all of my fellow classmates and what we can do for the school.”

Q: How long have you been involved in student government?

“I started late sophomore year. I wasn’t officially a part of student council, I was just a member So I kind of started later and then junior year came and I jumped onto that. And I also wasn’t a part of the officer team, I was a member, but we had someone step down and my sponsor put me in their role.”

Dare to Excel: Wright City High School senior Cassie Reash

Q: How did you become senior class president?

“So we do voting. I ran and went against a few other people and they voted for me.”

Q: What do you with TEAM?

“So we go to the middle school and we will go around to classrooms and basically tell them about the high school and what all we offer. I’ve done one where they put me in the English department because that’s kind of my strong suit. So I had classes come in through rotation and we basically just described them to the classes, what we offer, just basically telling them everything they want to know. And then we did another thing where we went around and gave them a tour. They came here, the eighth graders did. And once again, we kind of just described the classes, extracurriculars, anything they were interested in.”

Q: Why did you get involved with that?

“It was just one of those things that I could really put my talent into this. And I just love being able to work with the younger classmen because I know that when I came here there were definitely some things that I didn’t know that I would’ve liked to know.

Dare to Excel: Warrenton senior Emily Likes

Q: How did you use that experience to make sure the eighth graders are prepared to come in here?

“I’ve just told them everything that I wish I would’ve known. Like if you want to be involved in something, you talk to this person or that your attendance is very important, it’s really going to affect you in your later years. I know that as a freshman you’re not really going to look at things as important as they are, but I told them how important attendance was. Definitely grades, and the reputation you make with your teachers and your classmates.”

Q: How did you get involved with the Key Club?

“So my best friend Geronimo, he was president and told me ‘I really want to bring Key Club to Wright City High School’ because we’d worked with the Kiwanis Club before and I was like ‘I really love that idea and I will totally help you.” And we started getting into service events and then I realized I just really loved being involved in the community and making those connections. It was a great experience.

Q: Why did you want to be president this year?

“I wanted to be president because I realized there were some things I wanted to be a little different and I just really wanted to build my reputation, my resume. I wanted to get even closer with the organizations I was in and I thought I would be a great candidate for the position.”

Q: Why did you get involved with FBLA and why did you become treasurer?

“So I’ve been in FBLA since I was a sophomore. I loved the competition. It was amazing getting involved in the business world andI love our sponsor, Ms. Bair. She’s amazing and I really wanted to be closer with her. So junior year came and I wasn’t a part of the officer team because I wanted to focus on other extracurriculars. I didn’t want to spread myself too thin. So I just focused on the competition aspect of that and helped here and there. And then I picked up the role of being treasurer because, honestly, they were like ‘you know, we really want you as treasurer.’ And I was totally for it because I also love that organization.”

Q: How did you get involved with FBLA?

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for certain once I started FBLA, but Ms. Bair really, she just told us the opportunity of what you could do and I had never really been in a competition based thing. I am not really a sports person. So I thought that was kind of a personal challenge and once I found out more about it and really started to look into it and invest my time, it was something I really had a passion for.”

Q: What do you want to do with your career?

“So I want to be a creative director and I’ve actually found that out through FBLA because I do a competition called social media strategies all about advertising and marketing. I found that I have great talent for it and I really want to pursue a career in it and climb my way, become a CEO, that's my goal.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to during your senior year?

“There’s so many events, so many fun things we have planned. I am very excited for our senior trip. I think that’s going to be great. And I love the fundraising we’re going to do. We’re actually about to do the parking lot painting event, … and we’re going to do a luau themed lemonade bar. So that’s just a great welcoming August event. So excited for that.”

Q: What do you do outside of school?

“Oh I’m pretty busy with school. So when I’m not at school I’m definitely working the majority of the time, but I really enjoy hanging out with my friends and my family. I love going camping, visiting my grandparents.

Favorite food: Shrimp Alfredo

Favorite music: Country

Favorite singer: Tyler Childers

Favorite class: English

Favorite vacation destination: “Tennessee. Anywhere in Tennessee.”

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at jason@warrencountyrecord.com

wright city, high school, senior, president, key club