Versatility Is the Name of Jamie’s Game

Jamie Smith

• School: Henry Clay High
• Grade: 9th
• Sport: Swimming
• Academics: Jamie is a 4.0 student, a Duke TIP qualifier and won a $500 prize at the National History Day competition.
• Parents: Di & Greg

The quiet, unassuming demeanor of 14-year-old Jamie Smith belies the notable resume she has amassed in her short academic, musical and athletic careers.

A ninth-grader-to-be at The Academy at Henry Clay High, Jamie was a 4.0 student in the gifted and talented program at Winburn Middle School.

In seventh-grade, she was a Duke University TIP qualifier.

In middle school, she took Algebra II and will enroll in a pre-calculus class at Henry Clay. She was accepted into the Math Science

Magnet Program at Dunbar High but chose to attend Henry Clay instead.

She also excels in history and compiled a state championship exhibit with her classmate Neha Kadambi.

The project was titled “Fight Without a War: India’s Revolutionary Road to Independence.”

Over the course of their research, they interviewed a UK history professor and Neha’s grandparents, who participated in India’s independence movement.

After winning the state title in Frankfort in May, the girls qualified for the National History Day competition in June at the University of Maryland, where they placed ninth among nearly 100 national qualifiers.

They also won the George Washington Leadership Award, which included a $500 cash prize for each of them.

Who says education doesn’t pay?

Jamie may seem reserved, but at the Ohavay Zion Synagogue she reads and writes Hebrew, and for the past two years has routinely led the congregation in a 90-minute service in Hebrew.

Jamie is also musical, playing flute, piccolo, and alto and tenor sax. She was a member of the Winburn concert and jazz bands, was named the outstanding musician in eighth grade and was selected to the Fayette County Honor Band.

She plans to play in the Henry Clay concert band and audition for the school jazz band.

Already, she has participated at Henry Clay – earning a spot on the school’s swim team. As an eighth grader, she was the city champ in the 500 freestyle and placed third in the 200 individual medley.

At the Regional meet, she placed eighth in the 500, ninth in the 200 medley and qualified for the state meet.

A member of the Lexington Dolphins, Jamie follows a grueling practice regime. Six days a week this summer, she arises at 5:50 a.m. for two-hour practices that begin at 6:30. And she actually enjoys practice.

“I like being in the pool, and practice is fun. I love it,” she said.

She also thrives on competition, but again in her low-key way, which is the key to her success as a distance swimmer. Instead of flash and dash, she can sustain speed over the long haul.

Said Di Sobel, her mother: “Just like with academics, she is determined, driven and very focused.”