Jake Swanson ’23: leading the celebration

Plank Article Luke Kriss ’23

Jacob Swanson ’23 is perhaps the most well-known student on campus; he’s widely regarded as a hard worker and a great leader, especially when it comes to his four year contribution to student government at Jesuit High School Sacramento.

“My main leadership responsibility is Executive President in Student Council,” Jake said. “Additionally, I have leadership roles as captain of the cross country and track team, a three year leader of the STAR team, class President Freshman through Junior years.”

Being an elected leader on campus throughout his entire high school tenure, Jake has developed what he thinks to be a good approach to leadership.

“I believe the best leadership is purpose driven, which is why I constantly try to remind myself and my team of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and ask if we should keep doing it,” Jake said. “This type of leadership I believe leads to a committed team doing meaningful things for our community.”

Mr. Nick Lai, Jake’s former AP Biology teacher and current long distance track and cross country coach, knows Jake’s personality as well as anyone else.

“Jake is a spectacular human,” Mr. Lai said. “He is kind, intelligent, compassionate, generous, and selfless. When you look at the Grad at Grad, Jake checks and exceeds every expectation. Jake has the biggest heart. He is the model of being a ‘Man for Others,’ putting everyone’s needs before his own and trying to uplift those around him.”

Mr. Lai also values the many contributions Jake has made to the sports of cross country and long distance track over his four year tenure as a varsity athlete and time as team captain.

“He has been a leader on the Cross Country and Track teams since he made varsity as a freshman,” Mr. Lai said. “Not only has the team found athletic success with two section championships and four league championships, Jake has helped build a cohesive team environment that came out of the pandemic canceled sports seasons with a team culture and good work ethic.”

Fellow cross country runner Nicholas Lyons ’23 has known Jake since freshman year and like Mr. Lai, Nicholas has seen Jake’s leadership ability and absolute dedication to student government and athletics.

“As I have come to know [Jake], I learned that he is an extremely hard worker,” Nicholas said. “He is also a great leader [having] served in student council all four years helping to bring out class and school closer together, spreading the brotherhood.”

Nick also believes Jake is a great and selfless individual with a perpetually positive attitude.

“Jake is a really kind and compassionate person,” Nick said. “He is always positive and you can always see him with a smile on his face.”

Jake is eternally grateful for the friendships he has found here at Jesuit, and for the opportunity to help his friends in their times of need.

“I love the Jesuit Community,” Jake said. “I know the Brotherhood sounds cliché but it is real. Most of my best times in my past four years here have been celebrating each other with my brothers. Likewise, some of my lowest times have been spent comforting, being comforted, and praying with the same guys. I believe that is truly special, and it is why I love Jesuit so much.”

Jake hopes for his legacy to remain in the Student Council, and for the school spirit to fully recover after the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck in his second semester of freshman year. 

“I would like to be remembered as the guy who got the ball really rolling for a vibrant, inclusive, high involvement student council,” Jake said. “I think this year’s Student Council has done a good job creating high involvement and fun on campus, but I truly hope it continues to be topped year after year. I hope that my student council and I can be the base for a vibrant student activities culture to grow in years to come.”