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West Jordan Journal

Student Spotlight: Itineris grad knows the value of balance

Jun 08, 2020 12:00PM ● By Jet Burnham

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Jaci Peterson is ranked No. 1 in her graduating class at Itineris Early College High School. She is graduating with 4.0 GPA and an Associates of Science degree. Jaci served as president of Future Business Leaders of America and has placed well in the organization’s annual competitions.

Jaci began her high school career at Itineris on full blast, taking high school advanced placement classes and 13 college credit hours during her first summer. She maintained the rigorous schedule her junior year while working two after-school jobs. Eventually, she became stretched thin and burned out by her enthusiastic pace. Jaci realized she needed to find a balance.

She began to carve out time for relaxation and self-care, which she discovered enabled her to be more productive.

“I realized how much better I felt,” she said. “I did my job better when I had enough time to sleep, eat well, hang out, read books—that kind of thing. Just finding something to relax, I found that I did a better job academically, socially—everything, basically.”

Robert McKay, who taught Jaci in his Spanish and art classes, said she was an exemplary student with an upbeat attitude. He could always expect her to complete her assignments with attentiveness to detail, often doing more than required.

“Even though she wasn’t necessarily going into art, she really put in the effort as though my class were her only class,” he said.

Despite the rigorous academics of high school and college courses, extracurricular demands and part-time work, Jaci thrived at Itineris, which was recently named a top school in Utah by “US World News.” 

“We work them pretty hard at Itineris, so I was just really proud of her and extremely impressed that her attitude was always positive,” McKay said.

He also appreciates how kind-hearted Jaci is to those around her.

“She was always willing to help me,” he said. “Even if I looked like I needed help or like I was under stress, she’d ask if I needed help.” 

Jaci liked the small-school feel at Itineris (enrollment is just under 400 students grades 10-12). She felt she was able to form good relationships with her peers and with faculty members.

She is headed to Southern Utah University on a President's Scholarship to study accounting.