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Articles & Local History > 2008 - Who's Who in Tampico - Spencer Jaquet

Prophetstown Echo, Feb. 19, 2008 B-2

By Denise McLoughliin

One can only imagine the surprise Tracy Jaquet experienced when she opened a letter addressed to “The Parents of Spencer Jaquet.” It was a letter of congratulations. Spencer had been nominated for recognition in the 2007-2008 Who’s Who Registry of Academic Excellence (Middle School Edition).  She raced through, reading the criteria  for such an esteemed honor and was flushed with pride. This was for the crème de le crème – her eyes skimmed over words such as exceptional, esteemed, elite, sensational.


The mission statement of the organization is to promote students for their effort and hard work by awarding them recognition and honor through a listing in Who’s Who Registry of Academic Excellence and awarding scholarships for financial support. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards that is earned by the student. There are no fees involved – you cannot purchase a listing in the book.


The letter ends with “Give your high-performing student an advantage in the academic world and ensure Spencer receives this deserved recognition. Please take a moment to accept our invitation by applying for this honor today.”  


As most moms would, she first told Spencer how very proud she was of him; but continued  to tell  him that it was an honor just to be nominated, whether or not he was accepted.


 If  Spencer’s biography met the criteria and were accepted, his biography would be included in their 500+ page, hard-cover book, Who’s Who in Academic Excellence . He would then be eligible to apply for scholarships awarded through the Student Scholarship Foundation  which also opens doors of opportunity that might otherwise be lost. This is done by writing an essay about their hero. Spencer’s hero? His mom.


Not too long after Spencer’s parents submitted the questionnaire,  the second letter came to the “Attention of the parents of Spencer Jaquet.” “It is with great pleasure that we inform you that Spencer’s biography has been approved for listing in the 2007-2008 edition of  Who’s Who in Academic Excellence.” He is now eligible to compete for one of many scholarships to be awarded at the end of the school year.


When I asked Spencer what this meant to him, his face lit up with an ear-to-ear grin and he said, “The good life”! A side glance toward mom and he continued, “A promising future.”


One hundred and thirty-six years ago, Tampico was the birthplace of a Rear Admiral who served in three wars, had an exemplary naval career, was instrumental in the use of air craft carriers during war AND had the first football helmet made for him. Ninety-six years ago Tampico was the birthplace of a future president.  And fourteen years ago, she produced Spencer Jaquet, an eighth-grader who attends Tampico Middle School and maintains an A average and is in the Advanced Math class. Spencer participates in basketball, cross-country, running and track. He has received Special Honors and Awards which include the Academic Achievement Award, High Honor Roll, National Physical Fitness Award, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Perfect Attendance Award and Principal’s Award. Spencer is a member of the Church Youth Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was a member of the Running Club. In his spare time, he enjoys astronomy, computers, listening to music, playing video games, reading and spending time with family and friends.


Spencer’s roots run deep in this town. His parents are Paul and Tracy (nee Spencer) Jaquet and grandparents are Art and June Spencer. Siblings include brothers Matthew, 18 and Colin, age nine. Paul is a machinist at Tyco in Prophetstown and Tracy is a Teacher’s Aid at the Tampico Elementary School.


What is it about a little town of 772 (and I always say they counted the cows, too) that spawns such greatness?  A place where mom is still a hero to a 14 year old boy? Tampico - Good parents, good values, good kids.


TAMPICO AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - MUSEUM - FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY/RESEARCH CENTER  119 Main St., P. O. Box 154,  Tampico, IL  61283   www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com   tampicoareahistory@gmail.com  We are an all-volunteer organization so your donations are always appreciated!  Sign up to receive our e-newsletter. Thank you!  Visit us on FACEBOOK.