Jessica Harrington's motor never stops running.
Whether she's literally running for the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams, or buckling down with the books, Harrington is as determined a student-athlete as they come.
"Jessica does an impressive job of juggling academics and athletics," said Ipswich High principal Jonathan Mitchell. "Even though she is not the fastest runner on either the cross country or track team, she was selected to be a captain as a junior because of her leadership qualities. Put simply, Jessica is a student who teachers and students love to have in class and an athlete that coaches and teammates love to have on the roster."
Beginning her days in the classroom, Harrington maintains an impressive 4.1 GPA and scored a 1,300 on her SATs. She's a member of the National Honors Society and has received such academic honors as the St. Michael's Book Award and the Girls Scout Silver Award. In addition, she serves as a peer mentor, yearbook editor and vice president of model United Nations.
Harrington regularly challenges herself with honors and advanced placement level courses and was a teacher's assistant for an eighth grade social studies class during her junior year. It's a course and extracurricular load most students wouldn't even attempt, but Harrington makes look easy.
"I believe Jessica holds the record for the most dual enrollment courses taken by a student at Ipswich High School," said Ipswich guidance counselor Clair Powers. "She has completed seven college courses through Salem State and is working on her eighth. Jessica has taken the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects not on offer at the high school, and in the process has clearly demonstrated her ability to successfully tackle college-level work."
When she's able to put her school work on pause, Harrington laces up her Nike's and shines as a gifted athlete and irreplaceable leader. She also holds a job at Plum Island Grille and has earned her Black Belt in karate.
"(Jessica) is one of the most dedicated athletes and leaders I've ever coached," said Ipswich track and field coach Martin Binette. "She's the most versatile athlete I've had the pleasure of coaching in my ten years here. A tireless worker in practice, she is coachable and strives for athletic perfection."
Harrington led the track team in scoring with 27 1/2 points in just five regular season meets last go around; she ranks second all-time in school history in the long jump indoors with a jump of 15 feet 11 1/4 inches; and she is fourth all-time in the 55 meter hurdles with a career best time of 9.22 seconds.
In outdoor track, she's led the Tigers in scoring in each of the last two seasons and ranks second all time in school history 100 meter hurdles with career best time of 16.18 seconds.
College you will be attending: Waiting on four more decision letters; UMass Amherst and University of Vermont are at the top of my list
What is your favorite book?: The Twilight series
What are your favorite movie?s: "Miss. Congeniality" and "Crazy Rich Asians"
What is your favorite band?: Maroon 5
What is your favorite App?: Instagram
What is your favorite class in school?: Psychology. I like learning about why humans are the way they are and the inner workings of the mind.
What athletic feat are you most proud of?: Participating in the pentathlon at Pentucket High last year. It challenged me to do events I'd never really trained for before. It got me out of my comfort zone and was a lot of fun.
What does being a leader among your peers mean to you?: It means being a good role model and setting a good example for intrinsic reasons rather than being extrinsically motivated.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?: Traveling a lot and working in the hospitality industry.
What is something most people do not know about you?: I learned how to drive on a standard car and have almost never driven an automatic.