William Ruggles ’22, leaving a legacy of leadership

Plank Article Nick Venegas ’22

After playing in the Jesuit High School Sacramento Marauder Band for four years, William Ruggles ’22 is making the most of his last year of high school as he assumes leadership positions for the band and even embarks on his own philanthropic ventures.

After proving himself a talented saxophonist as an underclassman, William started teaching in the band, instructing new musicians in both technique and showmanship. Instrumental Music Director Mr. John Cargile notes how William goes above and beyond the technical duties of being a mentor.  

“Will has been on my marching band leadership team for the last few years,” Mr. Cargile said. “He’s responsible for modeling the music and teaching marching skills to the students in his unity group. He is smart, kind, and funny, but he is really empathetic and listens both to his unity group members and to the rest of the leadership team, making sure he brings the best version of himself to each rehearsal.”

The fact that William’s praise is coming from a teacher should already suggest his natural ability to lead; however, the reverence of his fellow bandmates echoes Mr. Cargile’s sentiments even more. Playing with William for the past four years, Trumpeter Joshua Cortez ’22 makes his respect especially known as he attributes a large part of the band’s success to William’s guidance. 

“His musicianship is one of high caliber and he greatly adds to the value of the band program in that way,” Joshua said. “Marching is not an easy thing to do yet he does it with ease. He was part of the leadership team for the marching band and through his leadership and devotion, he led his fellow Marauders in one of the most successful years at Jesuit High School for the marching band.”

Luckily, William has been exercising his leadership skills now more than ever with his founding of the Veteran’s Appreciation Club. Looking to give back to those who have already given so much to the country, William assembled a group of students to raise money and donate supplies to veterans in need. William recalls how he felt when he started the club as he sought to correct the mistreatment of veterans and educate students.   

“Military history has always been my favorite subject, particularly naval military history. My interest in naval military history prompted me to tour several vessels,” William said. “I was even lucky enough to meet some volunteers who actually served on the ships and was able to get firsthand accounts of what it was like living on a USN ship. Meeting these veterans made me realize they deserve respect and recognition for giving years of service to defend our country. I wanted to do something to honor the men and women who have served, so I started the Veterans Appreciation Club at my high school, which provides a space for students who want to become more involved in learning about historical events and our veterans.”

Although William Ruggles’ time at Jesuit is coming to a close, he has left a legacy that will last throughout Jesuit and beyond. Touching the lives of musicians, students, and veterans alike, William is certainly ending his high school career on a high note.