Monday, May 20, 2024

Top grads: Jacob Unruh, Cd’A Charter salutatorian

Staff Writer | May 21, 2020 1:11 AM

I'm originally from Coupeville, Wash., then moved here when I was 11. I've been playing the violin for 10 years. Though I love living in Coeur d'Alene, I'm excited to go to college in Denver!

Activities/clubs/sports: Tennis, Spokane Youth Symphony, acting.

Hobbies: Playing violin, hiking, skiing, stargazing, drawing, video editing, photography.

Favorite books/movies/music: “1984,” post-apocalyptic novels, “Schindler's List,” “The Office,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Parasite,” romantic and modern classical music (especially Russian classical music), indie rock, all kinds of jazz, Hilary Hahn, Jacob Collier.

Favorite school subject: Government.

Senior quote: "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." — Walt Whitman

What has been your proudest moment in your school career? Playing lead roles in “The Odd Couple” and “The Foreigner.”

What has been the biggest challenge you overcame to become top of your class? I didn't overcome challenges simply to be at the top of the class. I overcame challenges because they added meaning to my life. In that sense, finding a healthy balance between my social life and my academic life was the greatest challenge that I overcame.

What is one of your favorite school memories, from K-12? Playing Christmas carols on a clarinet carrot throughout the halls.

What are your plans for after high school? I'm studying violin performance at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, as well as political science. I will also be minoring in leadership studies in the Pioneer Leadership Program. During my time at college, I want to do service projects that promote universal basic income, the policy that was the focus of my senior project.

Who has been your biggest influence or your biggest cheerleader through your academic journey? My parents. They have always been proud of my achievements, but they also encouraged me to live a balanced life.

What will you miss most about high school? The people. I've made some great friends.

What advice do you have for younger students that will help them excel in their studies? Make friends, then work hard. Humans are social beings. Without a foundation of solid relationships, academic achievements might feel meaningless.

What is your legacy to your school? I hope I have inspired younger people to become more dedicated to music, and I also hope that my fellow introverts were encouraged when they saw me playing very eccentric characters in two plays. I helped contribute to a collaborative atmosphere through my respect for different perspectives, my strange sense of humor and my noncompetitive nature. I hope these qualities endure in future classes.

• • • The Class of 2020 is filled with stars so bright, even a worldwide pandemic can't overshadow their accomplishments. This series will highlight the top graduates of North Idaho's high schools. Top seniors, we salute you!