Sibley Senior Spotlight: Jennifer Gravelle
Sibley Senior Spotlight: Jennifer Gravelle
Posted on 05/08/2015

The Senior Spotlight series features interviews with Sibley seniors who have shown a commitment to academic excellence and personal achievement. The series will highlight two seniors each week until graduation.

 Jenny Gravelle
Senior Jenny Gravelle 

SIBLEY SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER GRAVELLE
Daughter of Susan and Bruce Gravelle, from West St. Paul

Finding a way to divide her time between schoolwork and activities both at and away from school was an early priority for Jenny Gravelle. Despite a growing number of commitments and increasingly rigorous courses, Gravelle has excelled at maintaining a healthy balance.

Jenny has been on the A Honor Roll throughout her high school career and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Included in her classes were six Advanced Placement courses and a Concurrent Enrollment course in Spanish. Outside of the classroom, meanwhile, Jenny is a four-year member of choir, drama club and Key Club (Sibley’s student volunteering group), and a six-year member of Model United Nations. She has also participated for the maximum two years in both Link Crew and National Honor Society.

Included in those many years of dedication were two years as a section leader and treasurer in choir, three years as Drama Board secretary, five years of leadership positions in Model U.N. (including serving as Vice-President of the General Assembly in ninth grade), and two years as the treasurer of the Key Club. She has also participated in studio dance since preschool and has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. This year she completed her Girl Scout Gold Award after facilitating service projects to encourage intergenerational relationships. Jenny also volunteers regularly at her church, leading summer camps, Sunday school classes and singing in the choir.

Thanks to her many efforts, Jenny has been presented with a Harvard Book Award, Thrivent Volunteer award, and a Presidential Academic Scholarship from Concordia College in Moorhead.

Jenny hopes to continue with as many of her past activities as possible when she enrolls at Concordia in the fall.

“I definitely plan to participate in choir and drama at Concordia,” Gravelle said. “Music and drama are great outlets for creativity where you can meet lots of great people. I hope to be able to continue with Model UN next year as a Secretariat – a college student who helps with topical knowledge at the conference.”

When she arrives on campus, Jenny will begin her pursuit of a degree in secondary education. Before making her way to Sibley, Jenny attended Moreland Elementary School and Heritage Middle School.

District 197: How has Sibley prepared you to succeed after graduation?
Jenny: Sibley has presented me with a variety of challenges from difficult material –shout out to Physics! – to learning how to balance a busy schedule and deal with stress. Life isn’t going to get easier after high school, so learning to overcome challenges and stay calm when it seems like everything is happening at once will definitely come in handy.

Who is your favorite teacher or what is your favorite subject at Sibley?
My favorite teacher at Sibley is probably Ms. (Erica) Ramisch. Even though I never had her for an academic class, I have spent four years with her in the Drama program and have had the privilege to be her student service worker for the past two years. I will always remember how Ramisch can bring enough energy to bring up a whole room and how she is dedicated to her work and cares about all her students. In Drama Ramisch has taught me many valuable lessons, from how to project and exude confidence to how to stand to have a corset laced. Her array of knowledge and passion has made a lasting impression on me.

What’s a memory from your time at Sibley that will always stay with you?
A lasting memory I will take with me from Sibley originated in the choir room. Sophomore year in Concert Choir we were working on a difficult Mongolian piece called “Naiman Sharag.” After months of working on it, one day in choir we were running the piece and all the cords fell in place right as we came to the final verse where everyone is singing. You could just feel the music. In the music you could hear a triumphant army reaching the top of a mountain and looking around at what they conquered. And that is exactly how we felt singing this difficult piece.

What advice do you have for younger students about high school?
Take classes you think you will enjoy and take classes that will challenge you. Remember, teachers are more than willing to help you if you ever need it.

Definitely get involved in an activity that peaks your interest. Clubs and organizations are great ways to meet friends and bring some fun into the stress that commonly is associated with high school.

Finally pertaining to college, don’t sweat it! Don’t compare your college search process to others. Just because your friends know where they are going, doesn’t mean it is bad that you haven’t decided yet. Relax.

Anything else you’d like to share about your time at Sibley?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the past four years at Sibley. The teachers and classes have satisfied my academic curiosity and the variety of activities has allowed me to explore a wide variety of interests from international diplomacy in Model UN to singing in Jazz choir. Another important part of the high school experience is the friends you make. I would recommend that everyone appreciate their friends and the relationships they have. 

Read about other achievements by students in the class of 2015:

-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Kyle Gilberg
-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Michelle Friedmann
-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Jeyca Maldonado-Medina
-Kania Johnson named Henry Sibley's 2015 Athena Award Winner
-Four Henry Sibley students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program
-Eighty-four Sibley students earn AP Scholar honors 
-Courtney Dean named Naitonal Achievement Scholarship semifinalist
-Meet the School Board's new Student Representative, Adrian Rocke