BV’s Penny will focus on helping others
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Jaclyn Penny sees herself someday as a psychologist at a rehabilitation center or as a school psychologist — maybe even at Buckeye Valley.
But for now senior year is in full swing, and as Jaclyn said it’s exciting, but “it goes by fast. Definitely reality setting in.”
Especially now that the Buckeye Valley senior decided over the holiday break to attend Wittenberg University. She wanted a smaller college where she can interact more with teachers.
She also is pleased that Wittenberg, while a Lutheran school, offers a Catholic mass, so she can stay in her faith.
Jaclyn plans to focus on psychology in her studies there.
“I’ve always been interested in how the mind works. I like talking to and helping people,” she said, noting that her friends come to her for advice.
She admitted that as recently as freshman year, she considered a career as a lawyer.
“But I took a business class and it was awful,” she said. “I’m a people person.”
BV English teacher Zac Landefeld said, “Jackie is a great young lady… very sincere, diligent, and willing to learn and improve from feedback. She’ll have a very positive impact in whatever line of work she pursues, not only because she is bright, but more importantly, because she knows how to interact with people in a way that leaves them feeling better for having been around her.”
But for now, Jacyln said, school is both crazy and sad. Crazy while busy, sad in that it will be ending soon.
“But then I’m ready to expand, meet new people,” she said.
Jaclyn is taking French 4 this year and has had Deborah Fowler for French since she was a freshman.
“She is a conscientious student and takes great care with her work,” said Fowler. “Succeeding in French 4 demands motivation and self-direction, and Jackie shines in this respect. She has achieved a high level of speaking French as well as understanding spoken French.
“Jackie’s leadership ability and desire to serve are evident everywhere in our school. She works hard on projects, is dependable, and is a positive influence on her peers. She is kind to others, while encouraging them to do their best. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Most importantly, Jackie is a person of high integrity, whose behavior and attitude are exemplary.”
Jaclyn is busy in numerous school activities. She is senior class president and involved in Teen Institute, student council, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and in varsity soccer.
Business teacher and NHS advisor Chris Pileski has had Jaclyn in two classes.
“I must say, she’s probably one of the most conscientious students I’ve ever taught. I’ve seen her put her peers’ concerns before her own numerous times,” Pileski said. “I’ve also had the privilege to mentor Jaclyn in our National Honor Society chapter here at BV. So far this year, Jaclyn and her chapter have raised over $1,000 for charities. This past quarter Jackie participated in the People In Need food packing day, once again, thinking of her fellow man, before herself.”
“Jackie is a tremendous young lady. As a student in my classes of health and physical education, she has always worked extremely hard,” said teacher Charles Harle. “She is well respected by her classmates. As the FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students) advisor, I have had the privilege to witness her compassionate, caring, friendly personality. Jackie “models” her faith in all that she does. Jackie is a leader in school and will be very successful in whatever she does in the future.”
Jaclyn has loved playing soccer and does not think she can stop so looks forward to playing either club or intramural in college. During her last year playing the sport at Buckeye Valley the team had a winning season with the “best year ever in the history of the school.”
Playing soccer was a stress reliever for Jaclyn.
“I’ve been playing with the same girls since second grade, some since middle school,” she said.
Senior night at soccer was hard she said as she went through an array of emotions. She said it was nice as she was able to go home after school, but sad to leave her teammates.
“I’m happy and proud of the season,” she said.
Even though soccer is over, Jaclyn is still busy as senior class president.
“I remember when I was a little kid and saw shows talking about being senior class president. I always thought that would be cool, but never thought I would be one,” she said reflecting. “It’s not that I feel like I’m the top of everyone, but that I can represent them.”
She said the experience has helped make her a leader and given her more confidence.
“It’s helped me to talk to people more,” she said.
Among her duties as class president, Jaclyn will select the class T-shirt, class announcements and give the welcome speech at graduation.
In other volunteer activities, Jaclyn has helped with the community senior breakfast all four years, worked for PIN at the clearinghouse the last two years, helped with the food pantry at Buckeye Valley East Elementary, shopped with the sheriff this year and helped out at the humane society.
There has also been the road clean-ups with Teen Institute and Kick for the Cure with soccer as well as selling suckers to help another team purchase team jerseys, in addition to numerous bake sales for other fundraisers, including one for a neighbor whose house burned down.
Then there are her classes which include honors French IV, psychology, advanced placement calculus, senior English, accounting and honors physics.
Jaclyn is looking forward to the senior class trip to Cedar Point and going to France with her mother on spring break. Last summer, the French class went but she decided she would rather go with her mom this year.
For the future, Jaclyn has always wanted to go to Africa and is hoping to do so through Wittenberg.
“I would like to go and help with AIDS research or help build houses,” she said. “I just sometimes feel so selfish with all America has; I just want to help give them the life they should have.”
She added that the Peace Corps is not outside the realm of future possibilities as well.
“Since sophomore year, I have thought of doing this. My parents are happy that I want to do something like this,” she said, adding, “but they are a little nervous, too.”
Yet while hoping to get out into the world to help others, Jaclyn sees herself eventually settling in Ohio to be close to family.
She offers the following advice to others about high school.
“Definitely try every club once. Find one that’s right for you. Meet new people. Gain new skills,” she said. “Don’t worry about silly things that do not matter. Just relax and enjoy it.”
Jaclyn is the daughter of John and Yvonne Penny of Delaware.