John Bourjaily: A+ Achiever

Zora Hurst

John Bourjaily ’12, a senior at Iowa City West High School, has achieved numerous feats that
on their own would deserve recognition, but combined are awe-inspiring in their diversity.

“John is an outstanding musician, athlete and scholar. He doesn’t sacrifice excellence in any
area, ” said Margaret Shullaw, former American Literature Honors teacher.

Bourjaily is a member of the Academic All-Conference, an honorary football team consisting of
students with high GPAs. This football player (and recent club Rugby enthusiast) is an Eagle
Scout, a National Merit Semifinalist and a volunteer at St. Thomas More church where he helps
to lead confirmation classes and plays worship music weekly. And on top of that, he’s an All-
State musician.

Bourjaily has played the euphonium in West High’s Wind Ensemble for all four years of high
school, string bass in Jazz Ensemble for three years (wherein he placed second last year) and a
strong string bass player in West’s Orchestra as well.

“He’s been an important part of our music program for the past four years,” said Rob Medd,
director of Wind Ensemble.

Bourjaily works to bring artistry to every aspect of his life, including academics.

“[John] has a subtle wit and beautiful writing style… these two things merge often and easily,”
said Brady Shutt, Bourjaily’s former Advanced Placement Government teacher.

Bourjaily’s hero has been the same since he was young–Robert Kennedy.

“[His] pragmatism and charisma embodied the spirit of a generation,” he said.

Bourjaily seeks to develop similar attributes in himself, and is on the right track to do so.

This senior has received the honor of an ROTC navy scholarship at Harvard, where he hopes to
be accepted.

“I want to do something meaningful, and serve my country. … I’m very practical, I want to see
that I’ve accomplished something.”

He says he owes much of his success to the educators that have helped nurture his mind along
the way.

“…West has given me great opportunities…[without West] I wouldn’t have the great teachers,
the support… I wouldn’t be able to do what I do,” he said.