Arvada West’s newest up-and-coming literary transplant

   Who is Zach Free, mysterious newcomer to Arvada West’s junior class? Students may have seen him in one of their classes—that is, if they are taking the likes of AP Chemistry, AP U.S. History, and AP English Lang & Comp—and they may have even met him, but chances are they do not really know who he is.

   See, Free describes himself as a quiet person. “Well, I’m kind of, like, shy and maybe reserved at first, but once I start to get to know people I kind of open up.” Sitting at a lunchroom table, his subdued voice is hard to hear over the incessant chatter of approximately 850 students.

   But Free has a lot to say. He describes life before transferring to Arvada West: “I was born in Salt Lake City, but I would consider myself to have grown up in Pocatello, Idaho since we moved there when I was about seven.” He says his family moved to Colorado because “[his] dad got a job here and he works with the government with the Bureau of Land Management. He decided that there would be more opportunities in a bigger city.”

   How is Arvada West different from high school in Pocatello? “There’s lots of differences. For one, they do trimesters instead of semesters. And it’s a pain because you only have your core classes two out of the three trimesters, so you could have the middle trimester without English and have to pick up on the third trimester where you left off. Another difference is, they don’t do block days so they just have five periods everyday and they only have one lunch for everybody, so it gets really crowded at lunchtime.”

   Perhaps more interesting than Free’s past is what he aspires to become in the future.  Free is a talented writer—when he was in second grade, he won the best author competition in his class, and “got to go to a special, after school thing where they had different presentations by real authors,” and that’s when he realized he “could make it with writing.”