Spoon River College 2020-2021 student trustee Jaylen Lyttaker of Industry gave up his seat at the board table to incoming student trustee Mary Toothaker of Farmington during the regular public board meeting on April 28 at the SRC Canton Campus.

Lyttaker is just one of many student trustees who have served during their time at Spoon River College, but he is the only one who has the distinction of serving during a pandemic when the halls were mostly empty and student activities were cancelled.

“Being a student through the pandemic was challenging,” Lyttaker said. “There were times I thought I was going to give up and let my ADHD take control of my focus. At one point I almost reconsidered my major and even continuing with further education.”

In that, Lyttaker was not alone, as students everywhere faced the same challenges during the pandemic and the subsequent shut down of schools. Finding the right perspective helped Lyttaker through that conflicting time. “Having the perspective that I’ll never get further if I’m held back by something I can’t control helped me realize that nothing is or ever will be perfect. You just have to do what’s best for you.”

Being able to accept the situation for what it was gave Lyttaker a sense of empowerment. Reassuring himself with positive affirmations, staying connected with his instructors and other students, not skipping any of his classes, and keeping a prioritized mind-set to complete work on time were tools Lyttaker used to regain his focus on the end game.

Lyttaker will graduate in May, and is no longer on the fence about continuing his education. He plans to transfer to WIU and major in music education.

“I am so proud of everyone I had the chance to work with, have as a classmate, and as an instructor. I’ve made new friends and many new memories, and being elected as the student trustee was by far the most memorable and rewarding.”

Curt Oldfield

Pictured are President Curt Oldfield, Jaylen, and Trustee Kent Schleich