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Bloomington valedictorian: 'I'm still a nerd, basically'

By KBell
June 1, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.

Jonathan Turner is Bloomington High School's 2011 valedictorian. Throughout high school, Jonathan participated in seven sports before suffering an injury during football season. He has played football and  basketball, and was on the track and power lifting  teams at the school.

Jonathan Turner went from slacker to valedictorian in just a few years.

Admittedly, the 18-year-old at Bloomington High School student slacked off his freshman year, but by graduation, he was anything but lazy.

"I wanted better for myself. I was tired of not being as good as I wanted to be," he said.

Jonathan has been involved in football, basketball, powerlifting, track, FFA, NHS and UIL academics throughout his high school career. Contrary to distracting him from his studies, Jonathan said the packed schedule has helped him be a successful student.

"I'll be getting stuff done ahead of time now, trying to get rid of some of that stress," Jonathan said. "Now, I do have more time for fun stuff, like hanging with my friends."

In fact, it's that time Jonathan has spent with friends that's developed him into the young man he is today.

Jonathan said he was shy and something of a know-it-all nerd when he moved to Bloomington in sixth grade.

"I started playing sports with my friends and stuff, and I found out I couldn't be like that and have friends," he said with a laugh. "So I started changing. They helped me get better."

With another comfortable, confident laugh, Jonathan said he's still the same kid who loves to challenge himself with math and chemistry problems, though.

"I'm still a nerd basically, but now I can talk to people," he said.

The small-school atmosphere of Bloomington also helped him figure out his strengths and interests.

"I've gotten to know everybody, make friends and they've helped me though a lot," he said. "Whereas in a larger school, I think I'd just be another person in the crowd."

Jonathan plans to attend Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he'll study chemistry with the goal of being an engineer or researcher.

He also plans to graduate in three years, thanks to the college courses he's taken in Bloomington.

"It's going be a different experience," he said. "Kind of like coming here in sixth grade changed me, that's what I think college is going to do to me again."



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