Senior Jackson Parks has served as editor-in-chief of the WG Echo for the 2022 school year, and now plans to take his leadership skills to the FBI.
Parks attended St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School for elementary and middle school, entering the Webster district for freshman year.
“Switching into the district in freshman year was definitely a big adjustment for me, especially since I went to a small private school before that. It’s kind of weird coming into a school district where everyone already knows each other and their relationships are just so established already,” Parks said.
Parks definitely got over those anxieties quickly and became thoroughly involved in yearbook and the Echo receiving several accolades for his writing and becoming known for his “iconic” “Riverdale” reviews.
Jackson is committed to Loyola University of Chicago to begin this upcoming fall after it being his “dream school” since freshman year.
“I’m majoring in criminal justice and might double major with that and psychology. I love Chicago and the water, so I’m super excited to be in the city and on the lake,” Parks said.
Following his degree, Parks has aspirations of joining the FBI, his love of mystery coming from shows like “Riverdale” and “Criminal Minds” and to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“I think that there’s so much cool stuff and so much to admire about the FBI, especially when you add psychology to the mix of all of it. My dad was actually in the FBI, but I’m not easily swayed so it’s more of a coincidence that I hope to join,” Parks said.
Parks found most of his support at Webster came from teachers and friends.
“If there’s one thing I know about Jackson, it’s that Jackson is one handsome, funny, creative man! He’s such an outgoing person and a hard-working person,” one of Parks’ best friends, senior Anna Karpen, said.
“One quote that stands out is by SE Hinton from the novel, ‘The Outsiders.’ One character tells another to “Stay Gold.” Jackson is like gold, a rainbow and a pot of gold. Stay Gold, Jackson. You have so many gifts and talents to offer,” SSD teacher Marina Holcomb said.
“I don’t think I ever really felt supported by the school or administration…at least as much as I should’ve. High school wasn’t amazing or all that for me, especially being like one of the only openly gay students in my class. Not trying to guilt trip, it’s true. I think Webster definitely taught me life lessons and things I carry, but I don’t know if I feel ‘shaped’ by Webster,” Parks said.
Parks “doesn’t think” he’ll leave some huge mark on the world, but would “like to leave a mark on the people close to me. I just want to be remembered for being my crazy self and having fun. That’s dumb, but I don’t really care.”
This will be Ava Musgraves’ second year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.