Warriors of Jupiter: Becky Hampton


Kaysa Flemk-Joli

Senior valedictorian Becky Hampton works on a metal etching project.

After searching in a cluttered closet, Art and Photography teacher Sarah Knudtson walked over to senior Rebecca Hampton to pass on the treasure she just found. Excitedly, Hampton thanked Knudtson and immediately got to work on the plastic plate in front of her. The metal etching tool became a natural extension of her hand. Its tip dug into the plate’s surface with skill. The entire routine felt rehearsed yet organic.

Hampton is Jupiter High’s nominee in the Art category for the 2020 Pathfinder Awards. An accomplished artist and photographer, Hampton is also the class of 2020’s Valedictorian.

Pathfinder Awards are given annually to the top students in Palm Beach and Martin Counties who represent their schools in 18 academic and athletic categories. Winners receive college scholarships, ranging from $2500 to $4000. The Palm Beach Post has organized this program for the past 37 years, awarding money to nominees in categories including Art, Communications, Community Service, Drama, Foreign Language, Music, Science and Sports. 

The Art category is particularly competitive, especially because of the student talent at area schools like Dreyfoos and G-Star. But Hampton has an advantage with her unique artistic talent and future plans in art, math and science. 

“I’m super organized, love math, love science,” Hampton said. “I’m more into combining art with math and seeing the creativity in it.” 

Hampton has taken almost every art class offered at JHS, from AICE Photo to AP 2-D Art, while also excelling in STEAM classes. Because of her humble demeanor, one would never know she has won numerous art awards and has an HPA over 5.0.

“I think it’s my personality. I’m very artsy but also like super nerdy,” Hampton said with a laugh. “I find I’m a lot closer with my teachers than normal kids are. One summer, I told my sister I was so excited for school to start because I get seven new friends.”

Knudtson has been Hampton’s teacher for three years at JHS. Knudtson is also the sponsor of the National Art Honor Society which Hampton oversees as president.

“She really blew away the stereotype that if somebody is good at math and science than they aren’t going to be good at arts,” Knudtson said. “She’s the reason we say STEAM. instead of STEM, [adding the “A” for Art].” 

Math, science and art all boil down to creating one’s own solutions. Hampton so smoothly blends these two seemingly contradictory worlds. When you think about it, it makes sense.

“My grandma was a painter, and we have her paintings all over our house,” Hampton said. “My dad is very math, so I think that it’s more of like my genetics combined to make me a little artsy, fartsy nerd.”

Beyond high school, Hampton plans to study at the University of Florida, a leader in medicine with the UF Shands Health Hospital. She feels it’s the perfect place to blend her passion for art and science.

“I’ve always wanted to go there since I was little. I applied as a Biomedical Engineering Major…I’m interested in designing prosthetics,” Hampton said. “If I want to do pretty much anything in the medical field, I can do that. But I think engineering is like the big artsy aspect because you design things.” 

Beyond undergraduate study at UF, Hampton wants to pursue graduate school. 

“For future plans, it could either be just getting my master’s in engineering or potentially going to med school after that,” she said.

Regardless of her path of study and future career, art will always play a role. 

“I think it’s more of an inner fire pushing me,” Hampton said. “I’m so fascinated by everything.”