Jake Ackman, 17, of Dixon, is Newman Central Catholic High School’s January Student of the Month. He is the son of Kyle and Corrinne Ackman, and has a brother, Andrew, and a sister, Samantha.
Favorite class: English. It makes me think outside of the ¨rote¨ mindset that my other classes follow.
Least-favorite class: Precalculus (sorry, Missy Rhodes). The only reason is because I have always been a troubled math student.
Favorite teacher: Paul Magnafici. I have a few favorites, but he has taught me so many ideas, whether it be in the classroom, outside the classroom, or on the football field (he is my defensive backs coach).
School activities in which you participate: Building Lasting Impressions that Never Die, which focuses solely on building leadership and communication skills with others as well as establishing friendships with other students who have similar interests in the Sauk Valley area; I am a leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which helps other athletes maintain their relationship with Christ while at the same time participating in the sports they love; National Honor Society; Student Council executive president; and football, baseball, basketball.
Civic, church, or other volunteer activities in which you participate: Volunteered at Food Pantry as a part of Student Council.
What will you do after high school? I will attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where I will be playing football and majoring in communications.
What is something you learned in high school that you think you’ll never use? I will never use proofs from geometry. Ever. They were pointless sophomore year, as they applied to real-life in no way, shape, or form.
If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be? I would change our policy on school sweatshirts. If we buy these sweatshirts and the money goes to the school, why can we not wear them in school?
If you could create any new class at your school, what would it be? I think it should be sports history. Our history teacher, Andrew Olson, has discussed it, and I think it would be very interesting, as it could go as far as applying world history patterns to the sports world.
What does it take to be a successful high school student? Time management is of the utmost importance. Chances are, as a high schooler, you will be very busy with sports and other extracurriculars. Manage your time wisely and make sure school comes first. A thriving freshman year will go a long way in your high school career.
Do you have a job? I do not have a job right now, but I worked as a farmhand for my grandfather during the summer, as well as an umpire at the Al Morrison baseball complex. The umpiring job taught me empathy for the job of refereeing, as it is near impossible to call a perfect game; we forget that sometimes.
How would you describe your group of friends? Loyal. We’ve all been best friends since the beginning of high school at least, and we will continue to stay best friends as we grow up.
Who is your best friend? I have four best friends: Ethan VanLanduit, Andrew Velasquez, Brady Stevens and Nolan Vesley. What makes them special is that they all have a switch, one minute we could be laughing or making fun of each other, the next we can roll off a deep talk that lasts hours.
What do you do in your free time? I like to play video games, especially Madden [NFL]. I actually believe it has helped me play better in real-life football. I also spend time with my friends, girlfriend and family. My parents, sister, and I play cards for fun.
What kind of music are you listening to? Rap and country music. Rap before a workout or game, and preferably country on car rides.
If you could go anywhere in the world for free, where would it be? Cabo. I love the beach, and they have one of the prettiest beaches in the world.
What is your favorite childhood memory? Waking up early every morning to sneak in an episode of SportsCenter before my parents woke up.
What is the best way to cheer you up? Taking me to Buffalo Wild Wings during college football season.
What is your life’s philosophy? Never go to bed angry.
Do you have any pets? Yes, a golden retriever named Briggs.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you? I work hard for everything I have earned, and I will continue to persevere through my hardships in life.
Musical artist: Kevin Gates
TV show: ”The Office”
Pro or sports team: Chicago Bears