Senior Jack Turrentine is Central’s class of 2023 salutatorian. Turrentine enjoys all of Central, from the staff to the clubs and the lifelong friendships he has found. He plans to attend the University of Mississippi to major in Public Policy Leadership, wanting to grow his connections and possibly work for the federal government one day.
Turrentine is constantly active in the community and leads three different clubs. He has served as freshman class president, student body vice president, and student body president. His efforts have helped to bring the homecoming dance back to Central after decades of it being gone. In addition to that, he helped raise over 50,000 cans through homecoming. Another role he enjoyed was being student section leader at football games. “I started several new traditions including the Bobcat Barbershop, Spirit Stick, Newspapers, and Halftime Games, among other activities,” he said.
Outside of school, Turrentine worked hundreds of hours of community service, some through the National Honors Society and others on his own account. Turrentine is an avid volunteer at Zoo Knoxville and became one of the highest-rated public speakers involved in the program. He has received the East Tennessee Volunteer Award and the Knoxville Optimist Club Youth Service to Humanity Award for his efforts.
The school work Turrentine completed each day last semester was a compilement of three AP classes and a Dual Enrollment class. “There wasn’t a day last semester when I went to bed earlier than 12:00 due to the immense amount of homework. Further, there were several days when I did homework for 12 to 15 hours consecutively,” he says. “I can happily say that this semester my workload has dropped almost completely and I can enjoy my last months with my friends.”
Turrentine will miss all of the staff who has guided him for the past four years. “Teachers like Derek Pacifico, John Valentine, Molly Searcy, Sarah Toll, and JD Lambert helped to elevate my high school experience to something truly life-changing,“ he says. The teacher that influenced him the most, Mr. Pacifico, has heavily impacted his time at Central. “He helped me get through an incredibly rough time in my life and has served as a role model for my time after. He helped shaped my public speaking ability, confidence, and self-respect…” Turrentine also says he cannot thank him enough for all he’s done.
While Turrentine is excited for college, he knows he will always look back on these times of fun and hard work and miss it. “Over the past four years, I have donated as much of my time and experience to try to pay back what this amazing community has given to me, even if it was only a fraction of what I’ve received. I can safely say the kindness I’ve received here will never be forgotten,” Turrentine says. His hard work to improve the community around him has not gone unnoticed and has opened many doors for his future.
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