Top scholar Jenna Jansen is Central’s valedictorian

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Top scholar Jenna Jansen is Central’s valedictorian
Jenna Jansen is the top graduate for Central’s Class of 2019. She will speak at commencement Sunday at 2 p.m.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

The valedictorian for the Central Class of 2019 is Jenna Jansen, daughter of Jim and Joleen Jansen, rural Elkader. Jenna has attended Central since kindergarten, following in the footsteps of her two older siblings, Jessica and Jacob. Her family lives near Moto Mill on an acreage they share with their dog, Jill, and eight chickens.

It has been a Register tradition to feature Central’s top graduate. Here are answers Jenna gave to our questions.

What does it mean to you to have achieved the distinction of being named the top graduate of the Class of 2019?

It is a pretty special and rewarding feeling. My sister and brother are awesome academic role models. From them, I learned, success comes through motivation and hard work. I made it a plan to work as hard as I could throughout high school by putting the necessary work to achieve my goals.

What are your outside interests/hobbies?

I really enjoy being outdoors doing things like running, hunting, and fishing. Otherwise, when I have free time, I like to do anything art related like painting, drawing, and sculpting.
How do you balance studying with everything else?

When I can, I try to keep school work at school. I try to wisely use my study halls, and free class time. This way, when I get done with practice or work, I don’t often have to think about homework I haven’t finished.
What have been your most/least favorite classes and why?

My favorite classes have been Independent Art, and AP Literature and Composition. Both of these classes allowed me to explore different ideas and concepts about both myself and the world around me. More than any other class, I think taking these classes enabled me to grow as a student. My least favorite class would have to be calculus. To be honest, I prefer geometry over any other kind of math, and many aspects of calculus went right over my head.

How do you think you’ve benefited from attending a small school?

Attending a small school like Central provided an opportunity for us to grow strong, personal relationships with our friends and teachers. We’re so close that we know almost everyone’s middle name and birthday. It’s neat because when one person or team is successful, the entire school celebrates and is proud. Over the course of my time at Central, I’ve been witness to lots of success. I think this is beneficial because, it makes us generally good people. The world always needs more of these types of souls.

What are your plans after your Central graduation?

I plan of University of Northern Iowa to obtain my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts. Someday I hope to become an art therapist.
What advice do you have for other Central students?

Some advice I would offer to other Central students would be to first take care of yourself. Every now and then, it’s okay to put off homework for a night, and the next morning, grab coffee and finish up what you didn’t get done. What I’ve learned from past experience is, make it a point to be kind to everyone. However, “everyone” includes yourself. Go out and be kind.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for being so supportive throughout high school. There is no way I would be where I am without them. Through putting others first and caring about the world around them, they always exemplified how to be the best version of yourself. It’s safe to say I got pretty lucky.

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