The Mind of an AP Student: Daniel Payne


Anna Davis and Lindsey Schmidt

Taking a total of five advanced placement classes his senior year, Daniel Payne has a set goal for his future. Wanting to major in engineering at Purdue University, Payne is currently taking AP Computer Science, AP Psychology, AP Macroeconomics, AP Physics C, and AP Calculus BC.


“It was the next level of courses available in order to get college credits. College can be possibly cheaper and my resume is more impressive,” said Payne. 


Payne will be testing in the month of May on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 9th. 


When Payne was fourteen years old, he knew he wanted to be an engineer. He says, “My grandfather did it and I’ve always looked up to him, so I wanted to follow.”


Payne grew up in Hartland and went to school in the Merton district. When he was younger, his hobbies included camping, hiking, and biking. He participated in sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and hockey. He says he wanted to, “try every sport at least once.”


He is currently Caption of the Robotics club, President of the Investment Club, and participates in NHS, Warhawk Interact Club, and Chess Club. While he’s not busy with activities, he runs cross country and plays tennis.


He also works for Zilli Hospitality Group, a catering company that supplies events such as weddings, parties, and company meetings. Located in Waukesha, they have been catering for Milwaukee for over fifty years. 


Payne started working there in September. He said he “heard about it from my mom and it seemed interesting. I would be able to have a new experience every time with catering.”


Payne first started working at the end of his freshman year and he worked at Pick-N-Save, a supermarket. He says he left because “there was too much going on with school.”


Outside of work and school, he says he still enjoys having a social life. He prides himself in hanging out with his friends and playing video games with them, along with singing karaoke but admits he cannot dance.


His long roster of activities attributes to his love of the experience, he says, “There’s a lot of different things in this world to try. Doing it helps figure out who you are.”


He says, “I don’t, really. I don’t know how it works but I end up getting it done. It’s gotten normal for me to balance everything.”


Payne says, “Don’t procrastinate and have someplace to organize all of your work, that’s the best advice I could give.”