By Izzy Pankey
It all begins with a nomination. A fellow student or a proud administrator nominates a student for the honor of Mister or Miss JHS. The votes for the students are counted and the finalists are chosen. The top 10 students spend a few weeks going through interviews and another round of voting. At the end of it all, a ceremony is held to honor the students who have been nominated, and recognize the two students who represent Jenks High School at its very best. Introducing Mister and Miss JHS, Grant Stucky and Priya George.
Miss JHS, Priya George, 12, is one of the funniest, and humble girls you could ever meet at Jenks High School. Priya is a member of the International Scholars Program and Mock Trial, Treasurer of Drug Free Youth, President of National Honor Society, and speaker at TEDx. She was nominated for Miss JHS by being a Senior of the Month.
“It was surreal,” George explains about her reaction to winning the award, “I remember hearing my name and my eyes just widened and I looked over to Ashley Lewellen who was sitting right next to me and just thinking “Is this real? Is this actually happening?” At the same time, I was also kind of waiting for Mr. Beiler to be like “Sike, uh we switched it up” or something like that. Overall, it’s going to be a memory I hold close for the rest of my life.”
George’s favorite thing to be involved in at JHS is National Honor society. For the 2020-2021 school year, she served as president of the club and was able to use her time to serve the community during the pandemic. Her favorite activity they participated in was partnering with Pre-Med society to collect and donate over 1400 masks to healthcare workers, as well as pass out gifts to the nurses who helped vaccinate our teachers.
“[National Honor Society] has allowed me to be a part of a group of people who are driven about their academics and equally hold community service to the same degree of importance.” George states.
Another one of George’s passions is public health, a career she plans to pursue after highschool. Through Jenks, she was given the opportunity to pursue research into insulin affordability and the process or how it is prescribed to patients. George volunteers at Ascension St. John’s Hospital where she has gotten to experience exposure to patients who may be suffering from diseases such as COPD or Chronic Kidney Failure, but whose addictions to drugs or alcohol have had a major impediment on their recovery . Through these experiences, George wants to use her occupation in public health and contribute to the solution of these issues through technology, which is why she wants to also learn coding after high school.
George’s biggest accomplishment aside from Miss JHS is gaining the title of Valedictorian.
“My courses have always been so much fun,” George explains, “with the environment created with my peers and teacher, so becoming valedictorian just serves as a reminder of those memorable moments.”
As a freshman, George says she didn’t even imagine the next four years. She preferred to focus on the present and let the future come as it did. Each year, George became more herself and allowed herself to shape into who she is now. George’s highschool experiences always make for an interesting story and have taught her many lessons.
“I think after walking into building five with gasoline all over me or slime that won’t get off my hands,” George tells about her highschool experiences, “experiences otherwise known as hitting rock bottom on the embarrassment spectrum. I started to not care what others thought and just lived my life for my enjoyment.”
The next student who won the honor, Mister JHS, Grant Stucky, 12, who, while staying busy the past four years, has stayed incredibly personable and kind to everyone around him. Stucky has been focusing on his swim career, involving himself in International Scholars Program, and Mock Trial.
Stucky has been swimming for the last eight years. He uses swim to make friends and connections all over the state. He competes in both club and high school swim meets, training year round and generally twice a day during the competition season.
“I like the challenge of continuously improving. It is a sport that doesn’t lie.” Stucky explains, “If you work hard and keep working you will see results. There are always new levels to achieve and keep working toward.”
Next year, Stucky plans to continue his swim career at Claremont University in California, swimming for the Claremont – Mudd – Scripps. He plans to study philosophy, economics, politics, and chemistry. Stucky will be able to utilize the skills he has learned through ISP and even Mock Trial in his future college plans.
While Stucky was grateful for the honor of the Mister JHS award, he was shocked and surprised that he won the award.
“ I have just always thought so highly of [the other nominees,] I just didn’t expect that any one of them wouldn’t win and I would.” Stucky says.
Stucky’s parents and teachers throughout the years have helped him achieve all that he has today. His parents have supported him throughout all of his endeavors and provided him continuous encouragement. His teachers have pushed him throughout the years to want to learn more and even learn new things.
Looking back on his freshman year, Stucky imagined the next four years to be filled with tons of studying and busy swim days. But, as time went on and Stucky became more comfortable with his course load and was able to utilize the skills and the learning opportunities that the school had available, Stucky was able to spend more time with his friends and getting to know everyone around him.
“I am inspired by the Jenks class of 2021,” Stucky tells. “We are a class of overcomers. We have developed some amazing skills through the challenges of 2020 and I can’t wait to see what each of us does to make the world a better place. We are an amazing group of people that will do amazing things.”
Congratulations to Mister and Miss JHS, you have represented the class of 2021 well.