Meet Jesse Hanks, a junior at Buford High School. Jesse moved to Buford in the fourth grade from Belmont, NC with his parents David and Melinda and older sisters. His sisters are Caroline, 22, a 2014 BHS grad who attends the University of Utah for musical theatre and Christa, 20, a 2016 BHS grad who attends the University of Cincinnati for costuming.
Jesse is highly active in the Fine Arts Department at BHS. He is in chorus, musical theatre, and the advanced dance classes during school hours. He is a member of the chamber chorus, Junior Thespians, Buford’s inaugural dance team, and the literary team as well.
If you have seen a show put on by one of the Performing Arts at BHS, chances are you have seen Jesse on stage. He’s been in numerous productions including the recent dance show “Diva” that played at the Fine Arts Center. Jesse was part of the dance team that performed at the Georgia High School Association inaugural dance team competition where Buford placed third in the 4-A/5-A Jazz division against more experienced teams. He picked up his dance skills at the Susan Chamber Performing Arts Center. He danced there from his seventh-grade year through his tenth-grade year.
To compete in the inaugural dance competition, Jesse had to forgo the opportunity to participate in All-State Chorus, which he has been a member of previously. As part of the literary team, Jesse has been a member of the boys quartet since his freshman year and since his sophomore year, he has been representing Buford as a boys soloist. He is the reigning state AAAAA champion in boys solo. Jesse will start his quest to defend his state title on March 4, 2019, at the Region 8-AAAAA Literary Competition which is being held at the Buford Community Center and later at the AAAAA State Literary Championships that will be held on March 17th at Buford High School.
As part of his love of theater, Jesse has been a member of Junior Thespians since he was in 6th grade at Buford Middle School. He’s been in numerous theatrical productions since that time. Jesse earned the honor of performing in the opening number at this year’s ThesCon which is a three-day event held in Columbus, Ga. by the non-profit educational theatre association affiliate, Georgia Thespians. The conference took place on February 7-9, 2019.
Jesse said that one of his favorite teachers out of his whole educational experience at Buford is Ms. Ashley Smith. He met Ms. Smith when he joined Junior Thespians in the 6th grade at Buford Middle School where she would do the choreography for their theatre productions. He said he has learned so much from Ms. Smith and loves her style of teaching. So when she began teaching dance classes a couple of years ago at BHS, he signed up and is in her advanced class this year and when Ms. Smith formed the first dance team that they took to the inaugural GHSA dance competition, Jesse decided to be a part of that team.
With all of the numerous performing arts he’s involved in, Jesse still makes his grades a top priority. He’s maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career. He remains undecided on his future college and career path.
Jesse still has his senior year to go at Buford so if you have not seen Jesse in a BHS performance, there’s still time. He is an open and caring person and a leader among his peers. Jesse has a passion and drive in all areas of his life which makes him stand out as an example of what attributes a true Wolf should possess.