By TYLER MASK
Albert Einstein. Mark Twain. W.B. Yeats. Thomas Edison. Kurt Warner. What do these people have in common? Two words: late bloomers.
Mineral Wells ISD graduate Jarrod Bennett hasn’t always been at the top of his math class, but all it took was a little push to get him there.
In September 2001 Mineral Wells met Bennett, one of Mineral Wells ISD’s brightest math students to date, when his family moved here to minister in a local Nazarene church.
Growing up, Bennett never really cared much for school, but noted that math was certainly his favorite subject if he had to pick one.
In grade seven, Bennett had coach Bret Lane for math. Although Lane was only there for a year, he forever changed the course of Bennett’s life. It wasn’t a Pre-AP class or anything advanced, Bennett said, but the freedom he was given in the class to answer questions and grow fueled him into the beginning of his future. The next year, Bennett was placed in Algebra I, a high school course.
“He thought, ‘Wow, this kid is pretty good,’ so I got put into Algebra I my eighth grade year instead of my freshman year here,” Bennett said. “I really took off in that class.”
Bennett recalls students often looking to him in awe, inspired by his handle on math.
His freshman year, he doubled up his math classes, taking both Pre-AP Geometry and Pre-AP Algebra II. Bennett’s Algebra II teacher quickly learned of his dual enrollment and asked him to join the UIL Math Team. This paid out for both Bennett and the school, and through the years he garnered 22 UIL Math medals in all and set multiple records for MWHS.
Bennett’s sophomore year, he scored a three on the AP Statistics test, scoring college credit for the course. His junior year, however, Bennett blew the AP Calculus test away, scoring a perfect five.