Big Walnut’s Lyle wants something different
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“Normal is boring,” said Jordan Lyle. “I always wanted something a little different.”
The Big Walnut senior does not want a desk job as she seeks out a career path in criminal justice. Jordan said she would like to become a federal agent and is considering the FBI or CIA. She also plans to minor in French or psychology — “I’d like to apply psychology in the field” — where she said she would prefer hands-on work.
“I’m keeping my options open,” she said.
Already accepted to Tiffin University, she will also apply to Capital University along with other schools that would waive the admission fee.
“Capital’s close,” she said, noting that Tiffin is a bit farther away which would allow her to spread her wings, so to speak. Both schools offer the coursework she needs for her career choice.
“My goal in life is to be that powerful woman figure,” she said. “I think my two moms have inspired me.”
Both parents are firefighters, a career that Jordan considered but then determined she wanted something with even more challenges.
“I just always liked things a little different, a little more interesting,” she said. Jordan admits though to still being “girlie” sometimes.
Her strength comes out on the soccer field where she plays goalie. Playing the sport for 13 years, she was told she was too aggressive, so she became a goalie, a position that allows her to “do whatever you need to do to get the ball.”
Jordan, a scholar athlete, also pole vaults and holds the school record at 10 feet. Improving about a foot a year for the four years she has competed, her goal this year is 11 feet 6 inches.
“I told myself when I was little that I would never pole vault, but I fell in love with it,” she said. “It’s a different sport than most, more companionable then competitive.
Knowing others in the sport at other schools, she said everyone cheers each other on.
“I think because it’s such an impossible thing to do,” she said.
Jordan is now being coached by the uncle and grandfather of a boy who holds the pole vaulting state record of 17 feet 4 inches. She said she would love to one day compete in the Olympics.
“My mom helps train me as well,” she said, adding that her mother is also athletic in softball and has even attempted pole vaulting, clearing 6 feet.
Jordan will “definitely” pole vault in college; she is hoping to play soccer as well, she said.
English teacher Angie Stooksbury said, “Jordan is one of those young ladies who has a great sense of who she is and what she stands for. She is quick to step up and get involved and lend a helping hand. I am so proud of her accomplishments.”
While sports takes up much of her time, Jordan also finds time for other activities. She volunteered for three years as a zoo aide, is currently in the Big Brother Big Sister program and did some tutoring in French with elementary students.
“It was a fun experience,” she said of the tutoring, noting that it did help her weed out teaching as a career option.
This year she is also doing Eagle First Flight, a program that helps freshmen acclimate to high school.
Christina McDonough is a social studies teacher at the high school and advisor for First Flight.
“Jordan is a great student that I have had in both global studies her freshman year and in AP Psychology her junior year. When I think of Jordan, I think of someone who is very passionate about what she does. Jordan was a very inquisitive student. It was clear she wanted to learn as much as possible in psychology. She was always very engaged and involved in the class. She was also really good at making connections between our content in the classroom and the world outside the classroom. Jordan is also someone I would consider to be a leader. She has a dynamic personality and as I said before she is very passionate about the things she gets involved with. She is enthusiastic and energetic and a positive upbeat person,” she said.
It was during her sophomore year that Jordan helped lead Peace Week, where topics such as bullying were addressed. Speeches were presented with Jordan and others behind a curtain so no one knew who was speaking. The assumption was the presenters were from other schools. Then at the end, the audience discovered that it was their classmates speaking.
Jordan’s speech was on having gay parents.
“It made me grow as a person,” she said. “It allowed me to see adversity in a different light, grow and be a strong woman.”
Jordan finds that, in her school, cliques are dissipating and the classes are coming together to do things as a united group.
“You are seeing the lines dissolve,” she said, adding that both the school and community are evolving and maturing.
She said the teachers challenge the students as well as being there for them to talk to.
“It makes school more than just school.”
Before senior year, Jordan thought how much she would miss her friends once she graduated and left, but now that senior year is here, “I’m not thinking about it so much. I’m just enjoying it so far.”
She has admitted that senior year has “hit me a little bit” and said she has an early case of mild senioritis.
While she is looking forward to going to France this summer with her French class, for now she is busy with sports and her coursework in physics, advanced placement English, French, food, drawing, government and economics.
Jordan offers the following advice to underclassmen.
“Just relax. You have four years of high school. And there is life after high school, so there is no need to get caught up in the small things. Eventually you will be going on to bigger and better things.”
Jordan is the daughter of Teresa Lyle of and Tracy Smith of Sunbury.