[heading]by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Spark Photography[/heading]

From Biking Across California to Running School Assemblies, Jack Baxter is an Inspiration

Eleven-year-old Jack Baxter feels lucky to have found good friends at Shoal Creek Elementary School. “What I like most about school is getting to hang out with my friends,” said Jack. “I think people are surprised to know my friends are really important to me.”

Apart from his friends, Jack also holds a special place in his heart for animals. “We have a great dog that came from the humane society,” he offered, “and he got me interested in all kinds of animals and opportunities to help them.” So much so, that he hopes to one day have a career rescuing animals. “If I had to choose a career right now, I think it would be something like marine biology so I could work with beluga whales and dolphins,” he said.

Spark_28_student_-_Jack__026Jack’s passion for water goes beyond the animals that live in it. He enjoys surfing, paddle boarding and swimming at the beach. And on camping trips to Catalina and Camp Pendleton, he became interested in snorkeling and kayaking.

His camping skills recently came in handy on a charity bike ride called Ride Across California that he and his father, Tom, participated. The ride – which required them to camp for a week straight – started in Yuma and ended in Encinitas with a lot of adventure along the way. “We biked by many different landscapes, through the deserts, mountains and sand dunes and finished the ride at the beach! We came across some challenges like 30 mile per hour winds through Plaster City which was really tough!” he described. But it wasn’t all hard work. He and the group made sure to stop for some fun along the way. Highlights included eating apple pie in Julian and having the chance to pick fresh strawberries in the local fields. Jack did all this while receiving encouragement from his friends. “It was fun at night to see all my friends sending texts to see how I was doing!” said Jack. “I was very inspired by my friends who supported me on the bike ride.”DSCF0126

It’s safe to say that Jack is motivated by his friends, and the feeling appears to be mutual. For the last few years Jack has been voted onto student council by his peers. “I have been on student council for three years at Shoal Creek playing the roles of publicity and treasurer. I help lead Friday assemblies each week and organize fundraisers for the school,” he explained. Now as he gets ready to attend sixth grade at Meadowbrook Middle School this August, Jack is looking forward to making the move with his current friends and having the opportunity to make new ones…Oh yeah, and he can’t wait for his own locker!

[tabs] [tab title=” At A Glance”]

Name:  Jack Baxter
Age:  11
School:  Recently graduated from Shoal Creek Elementary, going to Meadowbrook Middle School in August
Grade:  Incoming 6th
Parents:  Tom & Gina Baxter
Siblings:  Brother – Michael (9)

[/tab] [/tabs]