Academics did not come easy to Brock Gittins.
As a person who learned best through repetition and hands-on activity, it could be hard to keep up with coursework and grade-level expectations.
Because of this, his mother, Vicky Gittins, said it took a lot of determination for him to succeed.
“He would get so frustrated sometimes because he wanted to be good,” Vicky said.
As his parents, Vicky and her husband worked with Brock to help him succeed — setting goals, outlining consequences, reviewing concepts. In about eighth grade, she said all these efforts seemed to come together and things started to click for Brock.
“It took a lot of determination, but I knew that if he didn’t get this, he would struggle in life,” Vicky said.
Vicky attributes this progress to how seriously Brock took his academic success and his desire to succeed.
These attributes are something Brock’s teachers and administrators have also noticed.
“Brock Gittins is an exceptionally hard worker in everything that he is involved in,” said Principal Tyler Telford. “School was not a cakewalk for Brock, nevertheless, he put in a full effort on his assignments, on preparing for tests and quizzes, and has really earned his diploma.”
Brock said this hard work he put in during high school helped him gain the confidence to ask questions. He also learned to ask others what helped them succeed and see if he could use those tips for himself.
“Going through from sophomore to senior has just kind of changed,” Brock said. “I’ve felt a little more accomplished in the way I can do more things.”
Another area Brock has worked hard in is sports. During his high school career, he played basketball and football and ran track.
“He is definitely like a team player,” one of Brock’s coaches, Tyson Moser, said. “It’s not about him. It’s never been about him. It’s always about the team.”
Moser said Brock did not receive as much playing time as others but always did his best to excel in the roles he had. Brock said this was a very conscious decision on his part.
“I see some people who don’t really get what they want and then in later years, they regret doing it,” Brock said. “Throughout high school, I just planned on it and then I just keep going and try not to leave anything not done. If I do, I’m a little stressed out about.”
Vicky said one of the biggest changes she has seen in her son during his time in high school is his desire to continue his education.
“He wants to go to college, and he knows he can do it,” Vicky said. “It will take hard work, but he knows he can accomplish that.”
Brock said he wants to attend Utah State University and study heating, ventilation and air conditioning after he has served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He has worked in HVAC for two summers and is excited to enter that job field because it is so interactive.
“(It’s) hands-on learning (and) keeps you busy,” Brock said. “If I’m on a job, I don’t like just standing and watching, I like to stay busy and do the best I can.”
Brock said the confidence he has gained in learning how to ask questions will help him with both of these goals.
Vicky said his desire to see the good in people, rather than judging them, will also help.
“He is a better person and he is very understanding to people,” Vicky said. “He doesn’t really judge because he knows we all have our own issues and that is OK, we are OK the way we are.”
She also said the challenges he has worked to overcome will help him as he moves forward.
“He will be successful no matter where he goes or what he does because he has worked so hard and he is not afraid of hard work,” Vicky said.
Moser agreed that the way Brock treats people and his willingness to work are two of his greatest qualities.
“You won’t find anyone in a school or anywhere that has ever had a bad experience with Brock. He gets along with everybody, he is friends with everybody. He is just one of those kids that is very easily well liked. Between that and the fact that he is willing to work so hard, I think he has a very bright future in whatever he chooses to do,” Moser said.