Tomorrow’s leaders: John White

Published 2:31 pm Monday, March 1, 2010

John White is courteous, a good student and well-respected by his fellow classmates at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. He’s quiet and confident in the presence of others and serves as senior class president, elected by his peers last spring.

But when the weather turns warmer and the calendar moves to spring, the NSA student shows a much wilder side as a defenseman on the Saints’ lacrosse team.

“I love lacrosse,” White said with a smile. “It’s a contact sport, and you get the chance to run around and smack people with a pole. It’s fast-paced.”

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Although he enjoys the time on the field, it is the technical world of chemistry, the historic roots of Latin and the various writings of American and English authors that interest him the most.

“My interests are kind of diverse,” White said, talking of his plans for college. “I believe the saying goes that it takes four years to learn how to learn. I want to be able to start college and make sure that the interests I have today are the interests I have in my sophomore year.”

As for his interests in chemistry and Latin, White says it is the puzzle-like qualities of both he enjoys.

“I’ve taken Latin since the eighth grade, and it is really like decoding the language,” he said. “It is learning language that all other languages are built from.

“Chemistry is the same thing,” he said. “It’s understanding the basics and how things build upon one another.”

In the world of literature, White enjoys the writings of Mark Twain, someone far less complex than the world of Latin and chemistry, but just as interesting.

Preparing for his next step in education, White, who has attended NSA since kindergarten — referred to as a “sandbox senior” at the school — knows exactly his high school graduation date, but does not yet know what school he will attend.

“I am still deciding,” says White, who has narrowed his choices to University of South Carolina or Hampden-Sydney. “I want to make the best choice for me and my education.”

White is the son Paul “Clint” White and Mary Bradford White. He has one older brother, William, who is a graduate of NSA.