by Forest Lanciloti, Kiril Zhdanov & Ava Ransbotham, Features Reporters & Features Editor
photos contributed by Jack Lovett
The man. The myth. The legislator. John “Jack” Lovett, now an Office Engineer for the City of Newton and briefly a candidate for City Council, began his political career on South Senate. Serving as Senate President in his junior and senior years, he went on to intern for the city of Newton after graduating South in 2015, then attended Northeastern University for his undergraduate and masters degrees.
Lovett said that during his time as Senate President, Senate passed a record amount of legislation: a whopping 31 policies in all, including ones on grade transparency and textbooks.
“Part of what motivated me was how Senate, for my first few years, [had] this reputation of absolutely doing nothing,” he said. “[My friends and I thought] ‘it doesn’t have to be this way.’”
Social sciences teacher Paul Estin, who taught Lovett when Lovett was a freshman, said Lovett’s passion quickly transformed Senate’s reputation.
“He was one of those students I’m never going to forget,” he said. “He led the way for all kinds of things.”
Lovett’s friend and fellow former South Senator, Peter Klapes, said that while Lovett has grown since leaving high school, he remains the same in other important ways.
“[Jack is] conscientious and so aware of the world, of people. He’s conscientious in terms of his work, in terms of how other people feel, in terms of how other people think, in terms of trying to understand other people,” he said. “He’s attentive, he sees things, he observes things. [He is] intelligent without question.”
Lovett’s emotional intelligence also stood out to his friend Sam Fishman, class of ‘17, who said he admired how being Senate President as a junior never seemed to get to Lovett’s head.
“My first impressions of him were that he was a very intelligent, outgoing and committed person,” he said. “It really seemed like, even with me, a guy who’s a freshman and inexperienced, that he was willing to work with me and become friendly with me.”
English teacher Alan Reinstein said that over the course of the three classes in which he taught Lovett, he was able to see Lovett’s confidence grow and watch him lead in the classroom as well as in Senate.
“It’s always nice when there are students who are really interested in learning beyond just getting good grades,” he said. “That [has] a positive effect on the rest of the class, and the class is only as good or as exciting as the students in it.”
Estin also said it was impressive watching Lovett grow from a nervous freshman to a capable leader.
“He got the confidence to do whatever it took and not really care about the appearances that weren’t important,” he said.
History teacher Eugene Stein taught Lovett in his AP United States History course and said Lovett excelled in the class and continued to go above and beyond as a TA.
“He taught his peers [that] if he was a senior teaching juniors, they [could do] a great job doing that as well,” he said.
Lovett said that what drove him to a job in government is the same thing that motivated him while on Senate: the opportunity to bring ideas into reality.
“Private sector is all about selling a product or service, making money, whereas in politics, the public sector, that profit motive isn’t there, so it’s more about the community,” he said.
Lovett said that sense of community is also what drove him to return to Newton.
“I love Newton South. I had the best four years of my life there,” he said. “I knew I always wanted to come back and serve the community in one way or another.”