You won’t catch Palmetto High School junior Jonathan Schleien sitting around doing nothing. Schleien has already earned well over 1,000 community service hours in less than three years of high school. He’s involved in a variety of extracurricular activities including marching band.
Being in marching band means participating in a two-week summer boot camp, as well as performing in half-time shows at football games.
Since he joined band, Palmetto’s band has been growing steadily and now has 65-70 members, including Chattonetes.
Schleien is also in the Jazz Band. He plays both alto and baritone sax in the bands, but he can also play clarinet – and will do that for concert band at the request of the band director.
“Some of the best memories I’ve had in high school (are from band),” he says. “My closest friends are in the band. You build a relationship with these people. It’s a great feeling.”
At the state competition, the Jazz Band received straight superiors, the highest score possible. Schleien also participated in a small ensemble that played Taking the A Train by Duke Ellington and scored an excellent.
Schleien is gifted saxophonist so he was chosen to play with the Jazz Army Ambassadors, a traveling group of professional army musicians.
“I played second alto and we performed at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center,” he says.
He was also chosen to play baritone sax in this year’s Superintendent’s Honor High School Jazz Band. His community service project involves music. Since the end of marching band season, he has been going to Palmetto Elementary School every Tuesday and sometimes on Thursday. There he assists the band director, Oliver Diaz, with the concert band. He takes two to three students at a time and helps them learn the music and the approach to the music
“I reached out to him,” Schleien says. “He had been waiting for someone to approach him with this kind of idea.”
Outside of music, Schleien is involved in the Model UN Club. He was president of the club as a sophomore.
“I took over and expanded the club to 45- 50 members to get a solid base so when we eventually leave, there will be people to take over,” he says.
As a participant at competitions, he has won twice for having the best position paper.
He’s also in the Social Science Honor Society and competes in the History Bowl. Last year, he was on the junior varsity A Team, which went to the national competition. This year he’s on the varsity C Team and will be going to nationals again.
Science is another area that Schleien competes in. He was on the Chemithon team both as a sophomore and junior. Last year the Chemistry II team he was on earned third place overall.
Once a week, Schleien goes to Temple Bet Shira to tutor students for their bar or bat mitzvahs.
“I help them with their prayers. I also tutor at the Hebrew School,” he says.
Although his junior year is not yet over, Schleien already has an idea about his college major. He’s interested in engineering or pre-law. Last summer he interned in a law office. This summer he plans to intern at Raltron Electronics.
Schleien is consider applying to Duke, Colombia, the U of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and Washington University in St. Louis where his two siblings go to school.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld