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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Jens Islev-Petersen '21

Virginia Tech

“I’d like to think that my numerous saxophone solos added some sort of spark to the NA concerts. They were musically off-key at first, but in culmination with my rise in devotion to the NA music department over the years, I would say that I helped allow younger players to express creativity through the power of jazz.” 

Varsity Soccer, Varsity Track and Field, Tunstall Jazz Band (Saxophone and Guitar) 

Three Words to Describe the Class of 2021: Strong, Iconic, Exciting 

The thing I will miss most about Norfolk Academy: The weird conversations I’ve had with Dr. Rezelman 

A Favorite Memory 
I always enjoyed talking to my friends and Mrs. Hopkins during my numerous break detentions accumulated from ninth grade English. While it was seen as a punishment, sometimes I'd purposely get break detention to talk about life with the people in there. Most notable memory from such experience was learning Japanese with Ms. Nasimiyu. 

Inspirational Teacher-Coach 
I've had fantastic teachers and coaches, but I would argue that Coach Tucker had the most positive impact generally. He made me become more confident as a person and appreciative of life in general, and though I only had him as a coach for soccer, he aided in me becoming passionate about fitness and getting stronger physically. He also taught how important it is to be nice to others, as in his words, you don't know what people are sometimes going through internally. 

The Academy Difference 
Without the Cooper Library, I wouldn't be enthusiastic about learning new things. Almost every week in the Lower School I would acquire a non-fiction book of some sort to read in leisure. While it may have been weird for a second grader to continuously read about F-14 Tomcats, it established a basis for how I research things that I am curious about. 

Words of Wisdom for My Fellow Bulldogs 
Never let anyone else's judgment of you get in the way of what you set to accomplish. Admittedly, this school is competitive (not a bad thing per se), but what others say to you/about you behind your back are ultimately out of your control, and therefore, it's only appropriate to focus on what you can control in the essence of self-improvement. 

A Quick Word About Jens 
“Jens is a conscientious student and a hard worker in the classroom. He is a dependable contributor to the class, expressing himself with precision and proficiency in German. On the track, Jens is a fierce competitor. While not the biggest, most powerful, nor the fastest sprinter in the field, he nonetheless competes with purpose. He has never ‘lost’ a race; opponents must beat him. His record speaks volumes about who he is - a team leader, a competitor who wants to win for his team, and the finest of examples for younger runners to emulate. His coaches always know what they will get when Jens enters a race - an unrelenting effort, a positive influence, and a sportsman. Even if he were slow, I would want him on my team!” ~ Mr. Christopher Nelson, Jens’s German Teacher and Track Coach 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… my refusal to back down.