Bishop Dunne Senior is Dale Hansen’s Scholar – Athlete of the Week
Jared Michael Alex has big shoes to fill. Fortunately, he has size 15 feet.
“My father has size 13 feet, so he wear my old shoes some times,” he admits with a shy laugh.
As defensive back for the Falcons this year, he replaced Nick Watkins, who received a scholarship to The University of Notre Dame and played there this fall as a true freshman.
In the first football game of the year, the Falcons won 51-0, “But they kept running the ball to the other side of the field,” Jared said. “So I basically got to watch a lot of plays.” The team went on to a winning season, and a State Championship. At 6’3” and 185 pounds, Jared is intimidating on the football field – which could explain the opposing team throwing to the opposite side of the field. Only two players on the team are taller than he is, A.D. Miller, headed to OU this fall, and Darrien Daniels, going to OSU, both on full scholarships. “He’s a smart guy,” Daniels says of his teammate, “and really sarcastic.”
That sarcasm isn’t evident in class. With a 4.21 current average, Jared is better known for thinking critically and working hard. He’s been accepted to “basically every school I applied to, including Rice last week,” he said with a shy smile. He’s won a full scholarship to one of the toughest schools in the nation: The Colorado School of Mines.
Keisha Brown, Bishop Dunne’s college counselor for almost a decade, said she is aware of only one other student at Dunne accepted there. “Sebastian Saldivar was from the class of 2011, and I thought he would go there, but he ended up attending Harvard instead.”
Jared came to Bishop Dunne from Merrywood, with classmates C.J. Ramsey, Lily Guy, Sofia Rana, and De’Stini Henderson. “I was a little bit afraid of the bigger school,” he admits now, “but with friends around me, it didn’t scare me for long.”
In fact, he now puts other younger potential students – and their parents – at ease, working as a Bishop Dunne Student Ambassador. With many AP courses on his transcripts, it seems automatic that he’d be in the National Honor Society, and he is, and was elected Vice President for his senior year.
His favorite teacher in 7th grade was Sister Carol George. “She was so funny and so clear in her teaching that I learned to love math.” He’s hard pressed to pick a favorite teacher this year, but admits, “Mr. Braun is also pretty funny and an excellent AP Calculus BC teacher.”
This semester he’s taking four AP classes: AP BC Calculus, AP Economics, AP Physics and AP Government.
He attributes the good teaching of Mr. Halevy in Human Geography Class to the “4” he earned on the AP test, and admits that he passed all the rest with a “3” which means he has college credit in World History, US History, English and Calculus AB. He also is receiving dual credit in English and Calculus this year. Jared was one of three students who spoke at Mr. Halevy’s celebration of life on December 4, 2014.
Jared was a hero this past summer, working as a life guard at a local pool. Twice he had to jump in and pull struggling swimmers out of the deep end. “It’s an adrenaline rush, after, when you realize what could have happened,” he says simply. “I’m just glad I was there and could do my job.”
His job on Easter Sunday was easy: sit back and watch himself on Dale Hansen’s Scholar Athlete of the Week highlight. Nominated by Bishop Dunne parent Pam Jones, mother of sophomore Lauren Jones and Caitlyn Jones, Class of 2014, Jared said he was honored to be chosen by the exuberant sportscaster. Was he nervous? “A little bit – but he’s so funny, he put me right at ease.”
He and Caitlyn became friends four years ago when Jared served 100 hours as a freshman in a city program, helping out at a local clinic with his older sister Jorden, now attending the University of Missouri, and Caitlyn, now attending Oklahoma University. The Youth Volunteer Corps was a great way for him to spend a summer and he was happy to lead the NHS students to other service sites last year and this fall.
WFAA Channel 8 and Dale Hansen showcase North Texas high school seniors who have excelled in academics and athletics, as well as contribute to making their community a better place to live. Dale has been recognizing area athletes for over 20 years and Jared was thrilled to be chosen as this week's Scholar Athlete, with the interview aired on Easter Sunday night after the news, on Dale Hansen's Sports Special.
On a typical Sunday, Jared attends Oak Cliff Bible Church with his parents, and prays for his older sister Jorden attending one of the many colleges where he was accepted.
His father worked as Assistant District Attorney of Dallas for years under Craig Watkins, prosecuting some high profile animal cruelty cases, and Jared says of his father, “I admire him greatly, but he’s downright scary in a court room. I look at this giant man making a case against a criminal and I think, ‘that tough guy is not my dad.’ He’s really very good at what he does. “
But it’s his mother, Bonnie, who runs circles around them both. “If I were ever in a car wreck, she would know about it before I would. She’s so organized and pro-active. She knows more school gossip than I do.” His parents met when his father was in a gap year between college and law school, and then within the first two years of their marriage, they had Jorden and Jared. “I know it wasn’t easy on my father to be studying for the bar exam with two little kids in the apartment,” Jared remembers. “I give credit to my parents for working hard through that and getting us to where we are now.”
Jared is willing to follow their example and work hard, as he studies to become a mechanical engineer. Would law school be in his future too? “No way,” he says, “I’m not interested in that arena or politics. I’d rather create things to help others, than do it in a courtroom.”
Prom is next on his agenda, and Jared is looking forward to it, and then graduation in May. The sky is the limit for this Falcon. Time will fly by fast - and Jared will soon head north to a new venture in Colorado – and beyond.
For more information on Bishop Dunne see the school’s website: www.bdcs.org or dunnesports.com. The school is hosting “An Evening with Legends,” at AT&T Cowboys Stadium on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 featuring Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, “Mean” Joe Green, and Drew Pearson hosted by John Wooten and Pettis Norman. Tickets to the event are available on the school’s website or by contact Lydia Torrez at email@example.com or 469-291-1775.