QHS Salutatorian Jacy Waltman sits in the QHS auditorium surrounded by family. There she announces where she will be attending college in August of 2020. You can see the video HERE.
Like many of her fellow graduates, Jacy has not returned to high school since the last week of February. In the couple of weeks leading up to 2020’s Spring Break, Jacy was attending state leadership conferences. She explains,
“Several of us were on field trips and at leadership conferences before spring break. We haven’t been on campus since the last week of February. There’s so much to look forward to. There’s so much to be optimistic about, and I know that we have the right to be sad that everything was cut short, but now we have taken this time to be with our friends and our families. We didn’t get every single one of the inevitable lasts, but we have so much to look forward to. Whether we’re going to college, whether we’re going to be in a sorority or fraternity, whether we’re going to a workforce school or straight into the workforce, we all have so much to look forward to!”
Jacy is continuing to cheer for her classmates just as she has done for the past four years in Panther Stadium and Panther Gym.
The Panther Cheerleader and Panther Reads Communication Coordinator is excited when she says,
“Everyone reads! It’s not just your teacher. When you’re in high school you start to have more of a social life. Having a social life is perfectly fine, but I also think you need to take scholastics and academics seriously because it is the foundation of your future even if you’re five years old reading Thomas the Train or a Barbie book or you’re in Mrs. Reeves’s class reading William Faulkner literature. I think Panther Reads gave to the students at the lower elementary and at the high school. I think it benefitted both groups, but those kids at the lower elementary could see that it wasn’t just their teacher who reads. They see that the people in high school read. They see that everyone reads!”
She pauses. Then continues,
“I found it important to be a part of both our local Imagination Library and Panther Reads so I could do my part in helping the students at the lower and upper elementary schools as well as those at the daycare centers to be able to have a strong foundation for their futures.”
It is obvious that what is important to Clarke County’s 2020 Distinguished Young Woman is literacy and the passion, which has grown through her work in FCCLA at the Career Center, will travel with her to Oxford, Mississippi. She says,
“I don’t know if Oxford has an Imagination Library, but I have been thinking about that. I wonder if anybody at Ole Miss has anything like Panther Reads for Oxford schools.”
Those who know Jacy understand what an asset both The University of Mississippi and the city of Oxford will be getting, but those who are closest to the youngest child and only daughter to her parents understand how much she will be missed in Quitman. About home, the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, FCCLA and FBLA member states with conviction,
“I couldn’t have done anything without my mom and dad, and there’s such an age difference between my brothers and me that I probably couldn’t have made it without them either. It was like I had four parents at home. They would never miss a game. They would never miss a pep rally. They would never miss a chorus concert. Even the programs we had in the elementary – my mom and dad were always there. They would never miss anything ever. I know they had to sacrifice a lot to manage to be there.”
Jacy will soon move to The University of Mississippi on a Chancellor’s Leadership Class Scholarship through the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, an offer only 90 people in the university’s freshman class receive. There she plans to to receive a double major in business and integrated marketing communications, but before she leaves there is one last thing she hopes everyone will read.
“High school is a part of your path to success, but high school does not define you. So be all that you can be for you. Don’t be the best part of you for someone else. At the end of the day, the person you have to face is the one in the mirror.”