5/26/2020 2:17:00 PM Jonas Guffey Crunches The Numbers Lincoln Charter student sets sights on career in statistical analysis
Jonas Guffey looks sharp as a tack in his tuxedo. Guffey is among the top students in the class of 2020 at the Lincoln Charter School Lincolnton Campus.
(Photos Courtesy Jonas Guffey)
(Top) Guffey enjoyed being his school’s homecoming king.
(Bottom) Guffey sports his state championship shirt from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. He also has a collection of some 150 rubber ducks.
Thomas Lark Staff Writer
LINCOLNTON––You might say that for Jonas Guffey, all that number-crunching has really paid off.
Among the top students in the Lincoln Charter School Lincolnton Campus’s class of 2020, according to chief administrator Jonathan Bryant, Guffey hopes to one day have a career in data and statistical analysis. He told The Herald more about this, his time at Lincoln Charter and his family, Sunday.
Guffey turned 18 last month.
“Yeah, I got to have a ‘quar-eighteenth,’” he observed wryly, citing the now mercifully relaxed State-mandated virus-related restrictions that pulled kids out of the public schools, more than two months ago.
Born in Concord, he is the son of Jason and Shiloh Guffey and the second-oldest of their 10 children. The young graduate has an older sister, Emily, a member of the class of 2019, and his younger siblings are Adrianna, 16, Preston, 15, Lydia, 13, Adam, 12, Mary Alice, 10, Micah, 7, Benny, 4, and Wesley, 1.
The Guffeys have lived in 13 states.
“But we ended up moving to Lincoln County in the summer of 2015, before I started the eighth grade, and we have been here ever since,” Jonas Guffey recalled. “We lived in Iron Station from my eighth to ninth-grade years and then moved to the West Lincoln area. From 10th grade on, I have been attending Lincoln Charter and loving it. We had to move around a lot in my youth for my dad’s job (construction).”
He also talked about his classes at LCS. Whilst he has enjoyed them all, his three favorites were Spanish III with Isabel Melby, arts-and-crafts design with Alaina Chapman and AP (advanced-placement) American history with Ryan Smith.
Guffey has had a busy career at Lincoln Charter. He was his campus’s homecoming king this school year. He participated in multiple sports and clubs, including the student leadership team, the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bible Believers, Conspiracy Corner and the yearbook staff.
“As far as sports go,” he said, “I have run varsity cross-country every year of high school, winning back-to-back state titles with our Lincoln Charter School cross-country team these last two years. I have also run outdoor track all four years––or almost four, I guess. Freshman year, I tried swimming in the winter. But then, I decided to run indoor track since the 10th grade.
“Outside of school,” he continued, “I am very active in my church (the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I am an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. I also enjoy sketching, and I love cooking. But I would say my favorite pastime is researching, writing and playing with statistics and data. I have spent far too many hours of my life with countless Google spreadsheets, filled with numbers, statistics and data that I have researched or repurposed, with information ranging from Lincoln County’s historically most effective high school state championship seasons and its likelihood of winning a title every year––since 2000, there is an annual average of 1.3 state championships won by a Lincoln County school––to the power and performance projection rankings of my schoolmates, based on their physical activity, personalities and other categories in preparation for events like powder-puff or other intramural games.”
Guffey reiterated his desired plans of going into a field involving statistics and data analytics.
“My dream job would be working in advanced analytics for an athletic franchise in the NBA, NFL or Major League Baseball,” he said, adding that he plans to delay college. “I will actually not be attending college this fall. Instead, I will be leaving to serve a two-year proselytizing mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After I serve my mission, I hope to attend North Carolina State or Brigham Young University.”
Addressing the class of 2020, Guffey added, “While we’ve missed a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding our senior year, I think Aerosmith says it best in their song, ‘Dream On’: ‘You got to lose to know how to win.’ That was also my senior quote. I am proud to be an Eagle!”