The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Salutatorian Jack Whitman sprints to Notre Dame next fall

Jack Whitman
Jack Whitman commits to the University of Notre Dame for the next four years.

As senior Jack Whitman embarks on his next chapter, his decision to commit to the University of Notre Dame is the culmination of his high school journey filled with many remarkable achievements. From securing a perfect score on the AP Chemistry exam to excelling as a four year athlete and captain on the cross country team, Whitman will be remembered at WA for his wide range of talents.

On April 3, Whitman made made his official commitment to the University of Notre Dame, where he will be majoring in electrical engineering, specializing in the research and design of microchips. Whitman has also been awarded the title of 2024 Salutatorian at WA.

Whitman found numerous aspects of the Notre Dame atmosphere enticing, specifically the on-campus facility offering undergraduates the chance to engage in research and development of computer chips—a remarkable opportunity he has been fascinated with his whole life and was eager to embrace.

“They allow undergraduates to do research in it too, [and] I just thought it was such a cool opportunity. It’s definitely one of the things that added to its appeal,” Whitman said.

Other aspects of Notre Dame that led to Whitman’s decision was the university’s vibrant atmosphere, particularly captivated by its rich football culture and the college’s ability to balance the importance of both athletics and academics.

“When I visited [Notre Dame] with my family, I just got the feeling that everybody there genuinely wanted to be there,” Whitman said. “It felt like a place where I would not only excel academically, but also socially with the culture.”

Additionally, a notable 60% of Notre Dame’s incoming freshman class is comprised of former high school varsity team captains, creating a shared sense of leadership and athleticism, which was very important to Whitman and is one of the aspects that drew him to the school.

Whitman has always been regarded by his teachers and peers as a driven and remarkable student, always looking for a way to challenge himself and always putting his best efforts forward with every endeavor in his life. His many years of hard work and dedication have led to him receiving the title of WA’s 2024 Salutatorian.

“[Salutatorian] is certainly a great achievement, and it speaks to the excellence I’ve striven to put forth in the last four years,” Whitman said. “Pushing the edges of your comfort zone is where you grow–and through that growth, you find out who you really are.”

A prime example of Whitman’s impressive achievements was his perfect score on the AP Chemistry exam in his junior year, being one of 23 students worldwide to achieve every point possible on the exam out of the 141,000 students who took it. 

“Jack is outstanding, I think in both regards, as a student and person,” Whitman’s AP Chemistry teacher Timothy Knittel said, “He just invested himself completely in everything that he does, and he does so many things. I haven’t seen that very often.”

Throughout his time at WA, Whitman has been involved in many diverse extracurriculars and activities, some of his personal favorites being the Spanish Exchange and Nordic Ski.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Whitman was on the varsity cross country team for four years, obtaining captainship his senior year. He has also been participating in triathlons for the past 10 years, challenging himself physically as well as academically.

Despite suffering from a hip injury his sophomore year, he still managed to excel in both cross country and multiple triathlons. The injury prevented him from participating in the running aspect of triathlons for nine months, but he still found a way to continue his athletics. 

Whitman transitioned to aquabike races, which only combine swimming and biking. Whitman navigated a less crowded field, resulting in his national ranking and recognition as an All-American athlete. This achievement serves as another testament to Whitman’s ability to persevere, despite encountering setbacks along the way. 

“I think [the aquabiking successes] was a very interesting thing, it was such a positive thing that would never have happened if I hadn’t gotten that injury,” Whitman said.

Whitman is on two club teams for triathlon, Tri-fury Triathlon Team and Bothwell Triathlon. Although he will have to leave the teams when he moves to Indiana in the fall, Whitman plans to continue competing on the Notre Dame Triathlon team.

Whitman will be competing in both the Massachusetts and New Hampshire state-wide triathlons this coming July. Additionally, he is gearing up for a challenging half Ironman event encompassing a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run, with the goal of tackling a full Ironman within the next six years.

As he bids farewell to Westford Academy, Jack leaves behind a legacy of excellence, ready to embark on his next chapter at Notre Dame with determination and hoping to continue to thrive in his academic and athletic pursuits.

“The classmates and teachers with whom I’ve interacted have made me the best version of myself during my time at WA,” Whitman said, “I’m grateful for the connections I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had, and the preparation that WA has given me for college and beyond.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Scarlett Barnes
Scarlett Barnes, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Scarlett Barnes and I’m a sophomore staff writer for the Westford Academy Ghostwriter. This is my first year in journalism. I play sports year round at WA; cross country in the fall, swim and dive in the winter, and track and field in the spring. In my free time I really enjoy going on runs, listening to music, and reading books. I am really looking forward to my first year of journalism and all the new experiences I will make being a part of the Ghostwriter. 

Comments (0)

All WA Ghostwriter Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *