Xan Likes displays many talents. He’s published his own children’s book, “Corporate Fish.” He recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. And he’s earned a six-year letter for playing tuba in his high school’s marching band.
“Corporate Fish” began as a project for Xan’s finance management class. The project was to email one’s hypothetical boss every day and ask for a raise, with all the reasons why that day’s work was so extraordinary as to merit the raise.
Xan decided to add a touch of humor to the assignment, using problems caused by intelligent fish to justify the raise. After finishing the project, his teacher at the time recommended he compile all of the emails and convert it into a story book.
That began an online search for an illustrator. Xan found Mary Barrows. Xan edited and formatted the fictitious emails for a storybook, Barrows completed her illustrations, and Xan used CreateSpace to self-publish the work.
Along with publishing it independently, he’s also sent “Corporate Fish” to Deseret Books, where it is in review for listing on their website. His first author read was at St. Jude’s Hospital. Xan says the kids seemed to have a good time listening to the story.
“Xan is a very deep and caring person,” said Kelley Likes, his finance teacher. “He has the ability to make you laugh and wonder all in the same sentence.”
Xan picked up the tuba in sixth grade. As one of the bigger kids in his grade, he – naturally – was assigned to play the largest horn, and he says he always enjoyed hitting the low notes.
He kept playing through Marist School’s high school band, marching with the band for six years.
In case any readers may be wondering what Xan does in his free time, he is also part of the national runner-up robotics team and takes roles in Marist theater shows.
Over this summer, Xan will be submitting papers to go on a mission trip for the Church of Latter Day Saints. He plans on attending Georgia Tech.
This article was prepared by Sam Wimpfheimer, a rising junior at The Galloway School.