Humans of CF: Blended Background: Ninth grader hails from home of diverse family, pets

By Sabine Martin

Jack Stichter is a ninth grader at Holmes Junior High. He is a Human of Cedar Falls.

Family is important to Stichter. He has a large blended family, and he counts all of the people in it as equal family members.

“I have one full sibling, two half siblings, then my two half siblings have two half siblings, an adopted brother and an exchange student. It’s a big family, but I don’t see halves or the full siblings. I just see ‘that’s my sister, that’s my brother,’” he said . “I have grown up in such a big family with different pods of children, but it’s been nice. I like it.”

Stichter’s parents are used to being around a lot of children, since they are both involved in education in Cedar Falls. “My parents are both educators. I almost think that is kind of cool. They are teachers and  guidance counselors. They have been a lot of things. Really it took me this long to realize that they are more than just parents. If I ever got the chance, you know, I am open to adoption, and I am open to these things. I don’t see myself having one child biologically and then not having another through adoption,” he said.

For many years, life for the Stichter family evolved around the Price Laboratory school. When the school closed down in 2012, it was hard for his family on all aspects. His father was a principal there, and his mother was a second grade teacher.  Stichter and all of his siblings went to school at Price Lab, just a short walk from his home. The closing was “a dramatic time,” Stichter said.

Beyond his studies and running cross country and playing tennis, Stichter loves to read, write and care for his many pets, which include two dogs, three bunnies, one horse, one cat, three fish and two turtles.

He gets writing inspiration from his surroundings. “I like writing about other people in my head or actual real people and make fake stories about them. It’s friend fiction. I think that’s what it’s called,” he said. “I listen to other people’s conversations and see if they have anything interesting to say, and maybe I’ll write it down. A lot of it is just me thinking.”

Other than realistic fiction, some of his writing includes poetry. “I really love writing poems, and recently I submitted a poem to a national poem competition with the help of my English Teacher [Leesa Talbot].”

With his future in mind and goals to achieve, Stichter wants to expand his cultural surroundings. “Somewhere far away. First off, when I go to college, I want to be able to study abroad. I don’t care where I go, but if I am able to get out of the U.S., that would be so cool,” he said.

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