Jessica James, 18, wants to be a journalist. A senior at Stanwood High School, she is a determined girl who is working hard in school. Her ability to remain curious about learning distinguishes her from her peers, according to Damon Burnett, her English teacher.
Question: I heard you received a great score on the SAT, how did you do that?
Answer: I took it two times, in May and in October. I had to pass for a specific subject and to submit my essay’s score. I guess my English class that I took last year helped me a lot to write good essays. I had also taken the PSAT; I had 201 to 240 then.
Q: What are the AP classes you wanted to attend?
A: Chemistry, calculus, physics, English, Spanish and comparative government. I was supposed to have six of them, but I ended up with only three.
Q: Which classes do you like here?
A: I liked my English class from last year, calculus and math, and history. I like English more, though.
Q: Who is your favorite teacher?
A: I can’t tell. I like my English and my calculus teachers, Mr. Damon Burnett and Mrs. Kathy Redfern. They really make their courses interesting; they work really hard to inspire their students. I’ve definitely learned the most in their classes. After going to their classes, I’ve grown a lot, you can’t say that about a lot of classes.
Q: What do you spend time doing outside of the classroom?
A: I remain pretty busy. I am doing a lot of clubs like community services and then just hang out with friends.
Q: What kind of community services do you do?
A: Key Club, which is like all community services, so it is set up with all community services all over the town, or working for the food bank for Christmas. I am also in the National Honor Society, which does kind of the same things.
Q: When you’re not working, what do you do?
A: I hang out with friends and family. I like to go to downtown Seattle. With my friends, we go to movies, shopping a lot and play board games.
Q: Do you play any sports?
A: I play tennis, too. I was on JV last year, so I’ll start in varsity this year. (Before last year,) I never played before, but I love it so far.
Q: What do you want to study in college and where?
A: Right now I am thinking political journalism would be really cool. Public relations seems interesting, too. I’d like to be a print journalist. I’d like to go somewhere out of the state, in L.A., on the East Coast, Columbia. I don’t really know yet.
Q: Why do you want to go in another state?
A: I want to have new experiences, go somewhere else different. I feel like I’ve been in Washington for awhile now.
Q: What is your motivation to keep learning?
A: I grew up in such a small town, learning everything I could. For my family, it is important to do a lot of school work and be the best as you can.
Q: What about your friends? What do they think about your idea of studying in another state?
A: I’ve got my friends’ support. This is gonna be hard for them but they want to do different things than I do.
Q: Tell me about your family.
A: My family is my biggest support. My brother, my sister and I are very close. We all have big goals; like my brother is a Marine. He’s in Afghanistan right now. My sister moved to New York to become an actress. We all have different dreams, I like that.
Q: What do you think of your school?
A: I think it is a pretty good school. I’ve found a lot good teachers and lot of good people, and take a lot of good classes. But it is kind of frustrating this year they didn’t offer so many AP classes. They had to get rid of them because they don’t have enough people to sign up for them. I can’t really blame them for that, I guess.