Sometimes, art does not imitate life.
Through his first three years as a student at West Jefferson High School (WJHS), Nathaniel Dersom has proven himself to be a true renaissance man.
During this March’s musical production of “The Music Man,” the WJHS junior portrayed Mayor Shinn — a character whose traits included being easily outsmarted and having the inability to string together logical thoughts.
Off stage, Dersom has proven to be the anti-Shinn.
The current WJHS Class of 2019 president recently earned a perfect 36 on the ACT — an academic-based standardized test. These scores — along with school/community activities and citizenship — can be utilized for college admission.
Attaining the highest score is a rarity as less than 0.15 percent people who take the test reach that pinnacle of academic achievement.
A dedicated student, Dersom currently plans to major in Engineering in college, but he points out that he cannot take sole credit for this accomplishment.
“I couldn’t have been able to do this without the tremendous education I have received through Jefferson Local Schools and Cypress Christian School,” Dersom said. “I’m grateful to God for what he has allowed me to do.”
A well-rounded student, Dersom excels in a variety of academic, extracurricular, and community pursuits.
“He looks for ways to better himself and the class,” said WJHS Choirs and Theatre Director Rachel Armas. “Whenever anybody needs help with anything, he is the first to volunteer his time and energy.”
In addition to class leadership, Dersom is a member of National Honor Society, WJHS’ award-winning Envirothon team, and will be a delegate this June for Buckeye Boys State.
Athletically, he was second team All-League in soccer and is currently the number one singles player for the WJHS tennis squad.
He has been a member of both the school’s Chamber Choir and Concert Choir, the latter of which serving as president. He was a member of the Ohio Heritage Conference Honor Choir this year, and has earned a number of superior ratings for vocal work at Ohio Music Education Association Solo Competitions.
Dersom has been a mainstay on the WJHS theatrical stage; aiding in its resurgence over the past three years. In addition to his previous-mentioned most recent role, Dersom has shined on the stage in the character roles of know-it-all mantle clock, Cogsworth, last year in “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as the French-accented Reuben in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as a freshman.
Outside of school, Dersom is actively involved in Center Street Church in London — serving on the worship team, as a greeter, and a Vacation Bible School worker. Dersom is the son of Steve and Myra Dersom of West Jefferson.
“He definitely sets a very high standard, and not only in academics,” Armas said. “Nathaniel stands out as a solid person of character, respect, and a joyful spirit in everything.”
Jeff Gates is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.
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