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Pi for all

BHS teacher brings new emphasis to Pi Day celebration

Jonathan Jacques and Tyson Jacques

Jonathan Jacques

Jonathan Jacques

Shannon Douglass, Staff writer

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America’s favorite kind of pie is apple, but this teacher’s favored pi starts with 3.14159.

One faculty member at Biddeford High School, math teacher Jonathan Jacques, stands out from the rest as he shares his pi day festivities like song writing and pie eating to tie together a pi themed day.

“The past six years at Sanford in all of my classes we would do something related to pi,” said Jacques. “We would listen to my songs, we would talk about different things they didn’t know or did know about it.”

Despite how knowledgeable he is about pi now, there was a time when Jacques knew little about the subject.

“There was a student probably eight or ten years ago that said, ‘Hey, it’s pi day!’ and I had no idea what it was,” said Jacques. “I looked it up and we celebrated it that day in class, and wrote a song as a class. I’ve celebrated it ever since.”

His students react well each year to the celebration and enjoy the real pie that comes along with the mathematical holiday.

“They generally like it, they get into it and sometimes students write their own songs,” Jacques said.

One of Jacques’ calculus students, senior Bailey Fontaine, thinks his teacher is even funnier thanks to his pi day videos.

“I thought his pi day videos were hilarious and that he could sing surprisingly well,” Fontaine said.

Jacques’ latest pi day video features a remake of the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen with lyrics related to the mathematical sequence of pi appropriately titled “Pi-Rational Rhapsody.” He collaborated with Tyson Jacques, his younger brother and BHS graduate of the class of 2001 for animation and video production.

“Last year I needed to bump it up and decided I needed to take it to the next level by making a video,” said Jacques. “I didn’t get as much press from that as I wanted to and then this year I got a little push from a friend of mine who sent e-mails out to the local press and papers.”

Using that outlet Jacques’ video took off and an article featuring his video was published in the Portland Press Herald.

He plans to stick by his tradition for years to come because “it’s fun, it’s different and it’s still educational.”

On Saturday, March 14, the most accurate pi day in terms of sequence for 100 years, 3/14/15, Jacques went out to celebrate with the rest of Biddeford.

“I went to Elements to celebrate, I went to Portland Pie Co. because they were offering $3.14 pizzas and then I shaved pi into my goatee,” Jacques said.

The picture of pi shaved into his goatee got 167 likes between Facebook and Twitter on the day it was posted and also sparked verbal comments from students at BHS, like senior Mallory Mourmouras from his calculus class.

“Mr. Jacques’ beard was really funny but didn’t surprise me at all, I could totally see him doing it,” Mourmouras said.

This BHS Pi Guy enjoys his self-appointed title and the joy his celebration brings to his classes and the community.

It just goes to show you can have your pi and eat it, too.

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The student news site of Biddeford High School in Biddeford, Maine
Pi for all