LINCOLNTON, N.C.––You might say Jade Carpenter is galloping off into the sunset, headed toward success.
Carpenter, 18, has been riding horses since she was just 4 years old. And since she was 9, she has taken part in barrel-racing––a demanding rodeo event for only the most accomplished riders. She is also a member of the Four-H Southern Saddles Equine Club.
More recently, Carpenter made history at West Lincoln High School. With her best friends, Carson Warlick and Addie May, she is one of three co-valedictorians for West Lincoln: a first for the school and possibly unique in the entire history of the Lincoln County Schools.
Born in Shelby, she has always lived in the Lincolnton area. She is the daughter of Jimmy and Lisa Carpenter. The family attends Hull’s Grove Baptist Church in Vale.
Last week, Miss Carpenter told The Herald that, come August, she plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“While there, I plan to study at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy,” she said, adding she intends to earn a doctoral degree in the subject. “I was accepted into the assured admissions program for the pharmacy school, so I already have a guaranteed spot in UNC’s program.”
At West Lincoln, Carpenter has excelled not only in the classroom but also in athletics. In volleyball, she spent a year on the junior varsity team and two years on the varsity team. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She has served as the vice president of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club and the school’s chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (or DECA). A member of the “Quiz Bowl” team and student council, Carpenter also served as the Interact Club’s treasurer. Plus, she served on the prom committee, the National Technical Honor Society and on the student advisory councils for the Lincoln County Schools superintendent’s office and the City of Lincolnton. And Carpenter has played the piano for half her life.
“My favorite subjects in school were always related to science or math,” she said. “In particular, I loved chemistry and statistics. I like being confronted with a problem and being able to work towards a definite solution.”
Good inspiration and fond memories
Carpenter cited teachers Kenneth Hilderbran, Allan Chapman, Deborah Cornwell, Bruce Costner and Ron Patten, respectively instructors in chemistry, government, English, history and mathematics, as amongst her favorites. All served to inspire her to academic excellence.
“My favorite memories at West Lincoln would have to be homecoming and the tractor parade,” said Carpenter. “If you have never experienced a West Lincoln homecoming, then it should definitely be on your bucket list. The energy on Rowdy Rebel Day at our high school is insane, and everyone goes all out to show their school pride. It’s definitely the most fun day of the year. Other than that, just being able to spend time with my friends every single day was special to me. I have no idea what I’m going to do without them next year.
“You’ll never believe adults when they tell you that your high school years will fly by, but they definitely will,” she continued. “So enjoy every minute of high school. Don’t let the stress of your classes overwhelm you, and hang out with your friends as much as possible. Lastly, work hard and be determined, because all the work you put in will pay off in the end. The future is bright, and I can’t wait to see the impact that we will all have on the world.”
A decade hence, Carpenter plans to have started her pharmacy career.
“I’m not sure exactly what branch of pharmacy I want to go into yet,” she said. “I will still be barrel-racing and rodeoing, as that is where my true passion lies, and it’s something that I hope to continue doing for many years to come. While I hope that my friend group has grown with the people that I meet in college, I hope that the relationships I have now only get stronger in the years to come.”
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