September 26th, 2017

Jackson Academy senior Emma Ward has been named a Commended student in the 2018 National Merit Corporation. Emma is a student who exemplifies more than academic prowess. A talented soccer player, Emma is most importantly known for her character. Sincerity, courage, honesty, and kindness are just a few of the traits that she has been recognized for among her peers and by Portico magazine’s “25 Students Who Will Change the World.”

With character and a strong work ethic, Emma has succeeded in her many academic and extracurricular endeavors. “I have seen Emma make some very hard decisions throughout her high school years that have led to her success in the classroom, in athletics, and in school government,” says Dean Steven McCartney. “She has a knack for figuring out what needs to happen to accomplish her goal and following through.”

About 34,000 students were commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program for their exceptional academic potential this year. Emma and other commended students place among the top 50,000 scorers within a pool of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition. As Emma looks forward to graduation and college, she took a few minutes to look back at her time at JA.

How have the teachers at JA influenced your life? Which teachers have been most influential?

The teachers at Jackson Academy have always been extremely personable and that congeniality often radiates through to the students. Their interest in the areas that they teach is contagious, and they make us excited about the class, too. If I had to pick, I would say that my favorite teachers are Mrs. Ball and Mr. Dickson.

How has JA helped prepare you for academic success?

JA is always updating its teaching styles, and our school’s participation in education using technology has been really beneficial to me personally. Also, JA has high expectations for all its students, so being able to see other students participating in and achieving great things serves as inspiration to push yourself.

What classes are you taking this year?

AP English Literature, AP Calculus, AP Government, AP Art, Spanish II, and Soccer

Which has been your favorite class, and why?

Mr. Dickson’s AP English classes have been some of my favorite because we are always studying new writing styles, and he lets us form our own opinions about the writing.

Why do you like the challenge presented by a rigorous class?

I like being challenged and being able to learn something that I had not previously known, so the rigorous classes at JA are perfect opportunities to work collectively with your classmates and teachers to learn some really complex concepts in a way that interests the students.

What things do you do outside of class, and which is your favorite?

I play on the soccer team in the fall and run on the track team in the spring. I am in charge of the Upper School student council and  also participate in quiz bowl tournaments and math competitions. I would have to say that my favorite activity would be photography, which I practice in my free time. I take photos of my friends constantly and also shoot senior portraits.