Franklin County Times Scholar-Athlete of the Week
Franklin County Times
RED BAY – Some high school students struggle with choosing a college and career path, but not Red Bay's Jessica Johnston.
Johnston, 18, has already decided to attend the University of North Alabama in Florence and wants to become a teacher.
"I'm going to UNA, and I want to be an advanced math teacher or secondary math teacher," said Johnston. "I don't think I'll come back here (to teach). I want to go somewhere that's different and a little bigger."
Not surprisingly, math is Johnston's favorite subject and her favorite teacher is a high school math teacher.
"I just understand math – it comes easy to me. Chemistry is my toughest subject – it's been a hard year so far," said Johnston, a 4.0 student who was voted "Most Intellectual" and class president. "Coach (Greg) Cash is my favorite teacher because he makes class fun and is really good at explaining things."
Johnston identified friendliness as the top characteristic of Red Bay High School.
"I like the friendly atmosphere – the students and teachers are friendly to each other, and most of the teachers are easy to talk to," said Johnston, who named classmate D.J. Elrod as the funniest person at school. "DJ is a football player, and he always has a smile on his face. He always has something to say, and he can always make me laugh."
She also plays varsity basketball, softball and golf, and participates in several extracurricular activities, including Students Against Destructive Decisions, Beta Club, Science Club, Spanish Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Despite having success in the classroom and in sports, Johnston has experienced her share of embarrassing moments, especially during her sophomore year when she joined the Tigers golf team.
"The first time I teed off, I missed the ball as everyone was watching me," said Johnston, who was playing in a Moulton golf tournament. "It was the first shot, and it cost me a stroke. It was very embarrassing, but I wasn't the only person to miss."
On the Red Bay girls varsity basketball team, the seniors and juniors choose the pre-game song for warm-ups, which prevents the same song from being played each year.
"When I was in junior high, you had to run out to the same song every year – 'The Eye of the Tiger,' which is a good song, but it gets old after a while," said Johnston, whose most memorable game was last year's one-point win over East Lawrence in the Christmas tournament. "This year, we're running out to 'Remember the Name.'"
In addition to going to concerts, Johnston enjoys spending her free time hanging out with friends, riding four-wheelers and deer hunting.
"I've rode four-wheelers and deer hunted my entire life, and it's not a big deal around here," she said. "Most of my classmates deer hunt, even the girls."