Jake Sledge, '19, was named a 2018 National Hispanic Scholar by the College Board. It's just one of many academic honors Jake has received during his time at ESA. In early 2018, Jake presented at the 2018 Crossroads Conference, an academic conference that recognizes exceptional and unique scholarship by high school humanities students. For his presentation, Jake discussed his favorite book, What If?, by Randall Monroe. He looked at how the field of science is all about asking absurd questions, and how sometimes these questions have led to the greatest answers.
“The greatest scientists have been the ones to take these questions seriously and give them scientific answers,” Jake says. “Science is not about slogging through numbers; it is about asking curious, and maybe absurd, questions about the world around you.”
In the summer of 2018, Jake assisted Dr. Manos Chatzopoulos of the LSU Physics and Astronomy Department with research on the new class of superluminous supernovae and related luminous transients. Speaking about his studies at ESA, Jake says, “The ESA science program has helped me delve into each branch of science on a deep level, understanding each concept intuitively. This understanding brought with it a profound love of the subject only discovered through a conceptual grasp of the ideas and not memorization of equations. The science faculty manage to bring a certain excitement and vigor to each class that leads the student into comprehending and appreciating what they are learning.”
A leader on the Quiz Bowl team (which went to Small Schools Nationals in Chicago in May), Jake has also served as a Student Council representative and as a Discipline Council representative, and was the Discipline Council President for 2018-2019. He has taken on major roles in ESA musicals, including Little Shop of Horrors, The Wedding Singer and Spamalot. In addition to NHS tutoring and other community service activities, Jake worked with Helical Outpost Farms, where he created a video, "The Life of Lettuce!" to showcase local chefs using the farm's produce.
At commencement in June, Jake was awarded the Headmaster's Award, the Literature, Math, Science, Social Studies and Performing Arts Awards, and the Bishop's Medal for highest cumulative GPA. He is one of five students named to the founding class of ESA's Cum Laude Society chapter.