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09 June 2009 @ 02:33 am
Jared speaks at University Interscholastic League Academic State Meet  
I first saw this posted by Embla at the Supernatural.tv forum.

From the Leaguer Online

May 25-26
Academic State Meet

Feature speaker, mother shine at Academic State Meet
Academics - Journalism
By Jeanne Acton
Monday, 01 June 2009

If you missed the UIL Academic State Meet this year, you missed something special.

If you asked the teenage girls, that something special was 27-year-old Jared Padalecki, star of Supernatural and former regular on Gilmore Girls. He was our feature speaker this year.

Rather than attempt to describe his looks in detail. After all, I am pushing 40 and don’t want you to think I’m a cougar, so I’ll simply state the facts. He is tall. He is lean and muscular, and he is tanned.

Not surprisingly, he’s been selected to two or three “sexiest celebrity” lists.


The girls and several of the advisers and a couple of the judges went all jello over him.

In fact, he was so intimidating that I wasn’t sure if any student was going to snap out of the star-struck state to ask a question. Luckily, Jared is an easy-going guy, and he quickly put the crowd at ease.

After a few moments of awkward silence, a girl raised her hand, asked a question, and Jared answered it in the most non-threatening, self-deprecating manner imaginable.

And so another hand shot up, and then another, and soon, the students found their groove and lost their inhibitions and got around to the task at hand.

As impressed as I was with Jared, I was more impressed with something else that day. I don’t mean to belittle him, and I hope I don’t appear ungrateful. He did a fantastic job, and I am pretty sure he made the trip to Austin for the students — even those who didn’t place — well worthwhile. But what I found to be truly special was watching Jared’s mother during his interview.

While the girls in the room followed Jared’s every twitch, twist and turn, I watched his mother, Sherri Padalecki, the award-winning journalism adviser from ****** High School, beaming with pride as he answered the questions politely, candidly and openly.

Jared made two things abundantly clear during the interview. He wasn’t a party boy living the wild life in Hollywood, and he wasn’t going to be seduced by fame and fortune. He is still a Texas guy who understands the importance of family and friends, and he spent a good deal of the interview talking about just that very thing.

And as Jared kept returning to this mantra during the interview, I watched Sherri. She glowed. She really glowed.

I can’t say I expected such a down-to-earth, no-nonsense guy when Sherri confirmed that Jared agreed to do the interview. Frankly, I half expected an egotistic, name-dropping, Hollywood stud.

But instead, the students were treated to a sweet, family-oriented guy who just happened to be one of TV’s sexiest stars.

When the interview was done, everyone in room knew that Jared was much more than a Hollywood stud.

Of course, I suspect Sherri knew that already.

I am sure she was already well-aware of the type of person her son was. After all, she and her husband are the ones who raised him. They gave him a solid foundation and strong convictions long before he became a TV star and teen heartthrob.

And that’s something Jared hasn’t forgotten. He didn’t drop a lot of names during his interview. He told the contestants to follow their passions and never forget where they came from. He really shined at state, not because he was some hunky star (which he is), but because he is a sincere, respectful, humble young man, the kind of son any mother would be proud of whether he’s a celebrity or a candy-store clerk.

I jokingly called Sherri, “Proud Mama” at the State Meet, and today I call her that again. But I am not kidding this time. I’m sincere and in awe.

The award mentioned that Mrs. Padalecki won was the 2007 UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. Here is her blurb from The Leaguer

Sherri Padalecki
San Antonio ******* High School
An award-winning ILPC newspaper adviser, Sherri Padalecki, also has coached UIL journalism for 19 years at ******* High School. She has produced numerous regional and state qualifiers, five state champions in journalism and has had a student receive a scholarship from the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation. She has acted as Academic Coordinator and District Chair four times, coordinated seven district and four regional journalism competitions and hosted numerous district and invitational meets to prepare students for UIL academic competition.

“Academic competition motivates students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and run with it, take risks, expand upon the knowledge and solve problems,” Padalecki said. “UIL academics provides another dimension to not only build character but also foster an interest and build depth in educational pursuits en route to becoming lifelong leaders.”

At the 1996-1997 UIL One Act Play competition, Jared won Honorable Mention All-Star Cast for his part in "My Heart’s In the Highlands". The play itself won second place.

Dean's girl: SN-Jared (smile)agt_spooky on June 9th, 2009 10:52 am (UTC)
I absolutely loved that article about Jared and Sherri! So sweet!
Dairwendan Mirthmakerdairwendan on June 10th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
I know! Of course if I had a kid like Jared (or Jensen) I'd be showing him off all over too! *LOL*

I love that he agreed to speak. It's not that it was a huge chore or anything necessarily, but still I'm sure he did it especially cause his mom asked him to!
khek: dj awwkhek on June 9th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
Awww. I bet that article means more to the Padalecki family than any Hollywood interview!

Dairwendan Mirthmaker: Orli13dairwendan on June 10th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
I know!!!!!! Any boy who can make his Mama proud has succeeded in life! I love that he was in HER arena too! I mean from her blurb, she's very involved in UIL activities and probably a lot of other teachers, judges and academic coaches there know her, so he was really "Sherri Padalecki's son" rather than her being "Jared Padalecki's mom" if you know what I mean. And this isn't the same as his being in a con Q&A with a bunch of fans, I mean these kids were there for a completely different reason and he was just asked to be the speaker, and STILL he won them all over!

I love that he had an audience full of student journalists! I wish I knew what questions they asked!