Jen Newman and Urvi Patel pose for a photo on top of Jacksboro High School. The girls are JHS Clas of 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian.
Jen Newman and Urvi Patel pose for a photo on top of Jacksboro High School. The girls are JHS Clas of 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian. (Cherry Rushin)
The top two students graduating in the Jacksboro Class of 2014 are Jen Newman, valedictorian, and Urvi Patel, salutatorian.

Jen has attended JISD schools since sixth grade and Urvi since fourth.

Urvi said she was in the number three spot until this year.

“Jen was always number 1,” she said. “We got really close this year. I tried to beat her, but she’s just really good.”

Both students have been very active in extracurriculars throughout high school. They both participated in student council, FCCLA, FBLA, drama, Beta Club and National Honor Society.

Urvi competed in UIL science and calculators. For science, she earned a spot a regionals twice and got first as a team at regionals once. For FCCLA, they placed second at regionals and advanced to state. She has also served as treasurer of her class all four years and received the President Youth Volunteer Award.

Jen competed in UIL science, poetry and prose interpretation and one act play. She was named the Jacksboro Chamber of Commerce Youth Volunteer of the Year, Who’s Who in Science and won the Times-Record News Silver Star Leadership Award.

Jen said her proudest accomplishment in high school was advancing to nationals this year in FCCLA along with her grades. Urvi said earning the salutatorian title was her greatest.

“That was the hardest thing for me to accomplish,” Urvi said. “We’ve been going back and forth the whole time.

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I was number 3 until my senior year so that’s my greatest academic accomplishment. Also, a great accomplishment is being a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

Urvi has participated in BBBS for the last two years and mentored the same two Littles for both years. Jen had two Littles that moved away last year, but took on a new one in December. The girls have had to say goodbye for now to their Littles.

“I closed one match yesterday (Tuesday) and closing the other match today,” Urvi said. “It was hard. My Little cried a little bit so I felt really bad. But whenever I come back to Jacksboro, hopefully, I can call him and see if he can hang out. Since I’m going to UT that’s too far away to do the community based program, but hopefully we can keep in touch.”

Jen plans to attend Texas A&M University in the fall and major in biomedical sciences and veterinary medicine.

At University of Texas, Urvi plans to major in biochemistry and pursue a medical degree.

To read the complete article, see the May 16 edition of the Herald.