Note: The Lynden High School Class of 2021 has two valedictorians, Jenna Smith and Jeffrey Moore. This post features Smith.
Jenna Smith says her four years at Lynden High School were full of surprises and challenges, but through every turn she learned how to adapt and overcome, whether in school, work, sports or life. Those are the skills she says Lynden High instilled in her and skills she can take with her as she continues on beyond Lynden.
“I’ve learned how to make the best of every situation and work my hardest, even when it seems impossible,” she says.
Smith, one of two valedictorians for the Lydnen High School Class of 2021, says that looking back at the past four years causes her to remember the “amazing community, teachers and friends that Lynden gave me. I always felt valued at this school and was constantly surrounded by a great group of peers and mentors. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the last years of my childhood anywhere else.”
Academically, Smith says she appreciates the effort from all her teachers, pushing her to achieve. “There isn’t any one teacher I can single out because they all have helped me grow and thrive so much,” she says. Athletically, Smith was a multi-sport athlete, excelling in soccer and track. She highlights the leadership of track coach Layne Hutchins “for not only coaching me through track, but through life as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”
And he wasn’t the only one. “I was lucky to grow up in a school district where you can so vividly see how much the teachers and coaches care for and cheer on all the student throughout high school and beyond,” Smith says.
She says the track and soccer experiences are full of great memories of teammates and coaches, even if the pandemic essentially stole half of her high school track career (her junior year track season was canceled and the senior year was relegated to a lesser status). “But,” she says, “I’m so fortunate to have spent what years I did have surrounded by such an uplifting group of people and coaches.”
Smith earned both her high school diploma through Lynden and her associate degree through Whatcom Community College and will transfer those credits to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix where she plans to study business and play soccer.