Jett’s parents, Nancy and Alan Shastid, discovered her gift when Noel started public, half-day kindergarten in the Keller school district. While her little classmates were learning letters, she was reading chapter books. “I didn’t understand how bright she was until I had a Ph.D. tell me she is really bright,” said Nancy Shastid, Noel’s mother. Shastid home-schooled Noel, worried she would become bored if she wasn’t academically and intellectually challenged. “We did six years of curriculum in one year,” Shastid said. “We started fifth-grade math in kindergarten. She was able to go from there.” Noel started algebra at 8. “I had to hire a math tutor because she was better than me at math,” Shastid said. Testing at age 8 showed Noel is “profoundly” gifted and in the 99.9th percentile on IQ tests .
She was home-schooled until she started high school at 12. Noel briefly attended the Fort Worth school district’s Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and ended up taking classes at Tarrant County College’s Trinity River Campus in downtown Fort Worth. At 14, with a year of college credit, she transferred to Texas A&M. Jett has been studying with few breaks since arriving at College Station two years ago, with classes in fall, spring and summer semesters. So she’s ready for time off this summer. The teenager has been so busy learning advanced math, psychology and anthropology that she didn’t have time to learn how to ride a bicycle. Jett joked that she tells people: “I was completely robbed of my childhood because I don’t know how to ride a bike.” Jett said her greatest strength is playing the piano and describes herself as a poetry nerd. She has also taken part in campus groups and activities, including Young Americans for Liberty.