Standout Student: Jacob Barnett at West Lutheran High School
Jacob Barnett of West Lutheran High School in Plymouth learns things just for the sheer joy of the knowledge. The aspiring mechanical engineer is a true academic scholar.
“I just really like numbers and like calculus. They’ve always intrigued me,” said Barnett.
Sarah Gierach, who has instructed Jacob all four years at West Lutheran said, “Yes, he definitely loves math class a lot. And just learning math and doing tons of things with it. So he’s doing a lot of exploration on his own. Last year he actually took two online classes that were PSEO, so he’s already knocked out a bunch of college credit too.”
Mathematics is just one passion
“I do like languages too,” said Barnett. “I’m taking Greek. That’s my favorite class,” said Barnett.
In addition, he took three years of Latin and also studied French.
Barnett reasoned, “I want to study the Bible, theology and stuff, and I think that’s a really great place to start, especially since I like languages so much.”
But Barnett’s nose isn’t always buried in a book. You’re also likely to see him on stage.
“I got involved in theater here right away, for the first show that was available to me as a freshman,” Barnett said. “So I’ve really enjoyed being in all the theater productions.”
Lisa Denninger is directing this year’s musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” in which Barnett is playing the lead role.
“I’ve watched his progress over many, many shows here and last year. He had the opportunity to play a classic role in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,'” said Denninger. “And so perhaps the greatest joy in working with a student like Jacob is to watch that development over the course of time.”
Meanwhile, Gierach, Barnett’s math teacher, described him as, “One who just has such a passion for knowledge and maybe things that are a little bit more impractical — or archaic too — just for the joy of learning about them.”
Barnett is looking forward to majoring in mechanical engineering at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he already has a full, four-year scholarship.