Jon Crump grew up exploring the woods behind his house in Poland. The Poland Regional High School senior plans to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, this fall. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

POLAND — If you were stranded on a desert island and had to choose one person to be there with, Poland Regional High School’s Jon Crump, 17, of Poland would be that person, English teacher D’Arcy Robinson said of the student selected by Principal Erik Anderson.

Crump would figure out what was necessary to survive through creative problem solving while sharing entertaining observations and stories to keep from getting bored, Robinson said. It is that sense of humor that gets every morning off to a good start in his classes.

Academically driven, Crump seems to have taken almost all of Poland Regional’s advanced placement courses, along with some college classes, according to English teacher Derek Latham. He does not just share his thoughts in the classroom but considers his classmates’ thoughts when coming to his own perspectives and interpretations.

“Yet still, I think the most notable aspect of this impressive young man is his kindness,” Latham said. “Jon treats everyone with a gentle respect that resonates with classmates from all walks of life. I am truly proud to have worked with him these past several years.”

Crump said the biggest lesson he has learned in high school is it’s OK to ask for help. He made a lot of mistakes through his school years but he always asked for help from a teacher or peer when he was struggling, along with spending many hours with teachers outside school for extra help.

“You should never feel embarrassed or humiliated when you don’t understand something, and it is okay to ask a teacher for guidance – that’s what they’re in the classroom for,” he said.


Best part of each day?

The best part of each day for me is seeing all of the teachers around the building who care about me. It always brightens my mood when talking to faculty because they put so much effort into supporting the students general well-being, along with their learning. I’m glad to say that I have many teachers in my school that I feel safe around and can reach out to if I need help with something personal. This is something that Poland does very well and makes my day.

Worst part of each day?

The worst part of each day for me is probably getting out of bed in the morning. When school is in session, I normally have so much to do in terms of homework and my job at McDonald’s, and since I’m a night owl, I prefer to stay up late doing homework and other various assigned projects. This ends up leaving a huge dent in the amount of time I spend sleeping each night, and I find it extremely hard to wake up in the morning. On top of this, my first period class is usually very unproductive as I take some time to fully wake up. This year, it has been very rare for me to get more than six hours of sleep on any given weekday. In the mornings, my eyes are heavy and I find it hard to focus, which ends up being the worst part of most school days. Hopefully in the coming years I can fix my poor sleep routine, however for now it remains a big problem.

Favorite class or subject? Why?

My favorite subject is math, specifically calculus. I feel as though math comes easier to me than any other subject. However, my favorite class can vary based on the teacher’s teaching style and how well their style matches with the way I like to learn.


Favorite teacher or school staff member? Why?

There are so many teachers that I value at Poland Regional High Schools that I would feel guilty picking a favorite teacher. Every teacher is a unique person with different quirks that make them who they are. If I had to pick a couple teachers who have really changed the way I think about things daily I would have to say that Mr. Hayashida is one of them because he helped me find my passion for mathematics, which will most likely be what I pursue in college. He always got me excited for calculus with his positive attitude and his massive amount of energy. Another teacher that redefined the way I view the world is Ms. Fryda because she taught me that there is so much I don’t know and that keeping an open mind will allow me to understand others better and become a better person.

What was the hardest part of high school and how did you find your way through it?

The hardest part of high school for me was long project-based assignments. I am very bad at pacing myself with work, so whenever something big was assigned to me with a late deadline, I usually ended up waiting until the last few days to do the work, which led me to be overwhelmed. I found my way through these treacherous projects by splitting each project into little sections and setting due dates for each little bit. This method helped me inch my way through my assignments in a more timely manner so I wasn’t stuck in my room doing the project last minute.

How do you think you’ll be remembered by the members of your class?

I hope I am remembered by my peers as someone who they could talk to whenever they were feeling down or needed help in some way either in or out of school. I hope I am seen as someone who thinks for themselves, not worrying about conforming to what everybody else is doing just for the sake of fitting in. Finally, I hope I am seen as very funny – and handsome as well, hah. Obviously, I can’t speak for my classmates, but those are the most important aspects of my character that I think allow me to be myself.


Something you wish teachers and administrators understood about students today?

Something I wish teachers and administrators knew about students today is that a large portion of high school students have mental health problems, especially when things get stressful. If a change in behavior happens in a student or a student’s grades drop, it may be worth checking in with said student to make sure everything is okay. Teen years can be confusing to go through at times, and frequent check-ins from faculty members just might make a student’s day, or even allow the teacher to direct a struggling student to resources available that are designed to help them through difficult moments in their life.

Advice to all those eighth graders entering high school next year?

My message to people entering high school is to make your time matter and don’t waste the opportunity you have to learn.

What is next for you after graduation?

After graduation, I will go on to study at Dartmouth, in Hanover, New Hampshire. I think I want to study some sort of engineering, and maybe a language, however that may change as time goes on.

This is the fifth article in a series featuring a high school senior, chosen by their principal, from each of the 18 high schools in the Sun Journal’s coverage area.

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