EXETER -- For many high school students, high school is about fitting in. For senior, Ben Bartu of Exeter- Milligan Public Schools, high school is about being authentically true to yourself. Bartu is the son of Dean and Leesa Bartu from Exeter. Bartu is involved with FFA, football, band, trap shooting, and Boy Scouts of America.
After being involved with Boy Scouts for most of his life, Bartu has become passionate about building relationships in and outside of the classroom. Recently, he helped pave cement at Storybook Park by Exeter Public Library for an Eagle Scout project.
Bartu said, “I love doing work and spending time in the shop at school. When things need to be done, I get them done, and I want to demonstrate a good work ethic for others to follow.”
Bartu earned the Eagle Scout Rank after meeting several requirements met under troop meetings, outdoor activities, projects, and service to the community.
In school, his peers describe him as one of a kind, funny, entertaining, and a person of wisdom.
Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield said, “Each and every day Ben will surprise us with a thought, word, or deed. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and is always willing to share that spirit with whomever he meets.”
Bartu said he is inspired by his grandfather Larry Light.
“My grandfather is thoughtful, respectful, and is a gentleman. He’s the kind of man I want to be like someday. It’s funny because my classmates already call me the grandpa of the school.”
As a pastime, Bartu enjoys working on antique cars and school buses. He also likes to attend garage sales and auctions where he finds good deals like a $12 lawn mower he has been fixing up to use for next summer.
“What can I say? There’s a lot of good things you can find. I even attended Junk Jaunt for my birthday one year.”
On his way to sales and auctions, one can bet Bartu is bopping to his favorite polka music on repeat.
Bartu said, “I’ve always enjoyed listening to polka cassette tapes. I remember a friend in school handed me some CDs to listen to, and I asked him ‘What am I going to do with these? I only have a cassette recorder in my car.’”
With his fixer-upper personality and his love for cars, Bartu wants to be a diesel mechanic in the future. Right now, Bartu is living in the present and enjoying his last year as a senior.
Bartu’s advice to underclassmen is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t worry about what is to come. A lot of people my age overthink what they are going to do and who they are going to become. I know I’m never going to be the best at everything I do, I just have to be enough.”