FULTON — You could say Jack Jones has multiple personalities.
His first personality: the outdoors aficionado. In his down time, you can find Jones scuba diving, hunting, camping, hiking, rappelling or canoeing. The 17-year-old Fulton Independent High School senior has been scuba diving for five years. He was certified in Memphis, Tenn., and enjoys summer trips to northern Arkansas’ Lake Norfork.
His second personality: the jock. Jones has played varsity baseball for five years. In 2010, he was named to the All-First District team and Bulldog 400 Club at his school. He was also the top hitter on his team. Jones was also on the state runner-up team in the Senior Babe Ruth League of Western Tennessee in 2010 and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman state finalist. He hopes to continue his baseball career into college. Jones also played varsity football from 2007 to 2010.
His third personality: the philanthropist. Jones volunteers at nearly a dozen local agencies, including Ken-Tenn Food Bank, Ken-Tenn Humane Society, Project Hope Humane Society, Shepherd’s Garden community produce, Habitat for Humanity, Let’s Paint the Town city rejuvenation project, Greater Paducah Sustainability Project and Heartland Cares.
Bill Robertson, Jones’ former scout master and vice chairman of the school board, said Jones is committed to helping his community, as he demonstrated while volunteering for Let’s Paint the Town.
“He chose to paint an older building now housing the local food bank. Jack planned the project, obtained the paint and other materials and enlisted the services of his Troop 43 to do the actual work. From start to finish, it was an outstanding, well-run endeavor,” Robertson said.
His fourth personality: the leader. As a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Gender Equity Committee, Jones strives to level the playing field between girls’ and boys’ athletic teams, including working for equitable game times, practice locations, uniforms and equipment.
Jones is also vice president of the student council, a 2010 graduate of the Twin Cities Youth Leadership Program, an Eagle Scout and an instructor for Bilingual Buddies, a program that teaches Spanish to elementary students. To hear Jones tell what he likes about Bilingual Buddies, watch the video interview at paducahsun.com.
His fifth personality: the medic. Jones recently completed a two-year emergency medical training program through his school and West Kentucky Community & Technical College. He is scheduled to take the state licensure exam in April. Once certified, he hopes to take a summer job as a lifeguard.
Jones plans to pursue his fascination with the medical field into college. He hopes to study pre-medicine at Murray State University in the fall. Jones expects the medical terminology he learned through the medical training program to give him a leg up in health care-related classes.
His sixth personality: the brain. With a 3.7 grade point average, Jones is on track to be named valedictorian of his class in May. He even had perfect attendance in 2009.
Over the summer, Jones studied psychology at Bellarmine University in Louisville as part of the elite Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. He said the five-week course gave him a taste of freedom that helped better prepare him to leave the nest after graduation.
Jones, son of Dr. Alan and Beth Jones, is the Murray State University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MSU Teen of the Week selected from nominees submitted by high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a $5,000 scholarship to Murray State. Teen of the Week is part of the Sun’s Newspapers in Education program.
Jones has earned the confidence and support of his peers, teachers and school administrators.
Mindy Ames, Fulton Independent guidance counselor, said, “This young man is well-rounded and bound for no less than success in all his endeavors.”
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.