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Hannah Jerrie: Boyceville High School’s 2015 valedictorian

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE  — Hannah Jerrie says that no matter how many “starving artist” jokes she hears, she is still determined to make art her career.

Hannah is the valedictorian of the Boyceville High School Class of 2015.

She is the daughter of Scott and Heather Jerrie of Wheeler.

Earning the title of valedictorian of her class is something that Hannah worked toward but which also came as a pleasant surprise.

“I’ve worked towards it throughout high school, but it is still something of a surprise,” Hannah said.

“Although I do place a lot of importance on academics, I know that there are several members of my class who are extremely dedicated and hardworking individuals. I’m honored to be among them,” she said.

Memorable events in high school for Hannah centered around extracurricular activities, such as playing in the high school band and participating in drama performances.

“When I played with the high school band in freshmen year, I was still pretty green to the whole ordeal, but we all had a fun time, especially during Alumni night, when the band size nearly doubled,” Hannah said.

“I also remember playing for my brother’s graduation as being one of the highlights of my high school career,” she noted.

“In drama, every opening night has been exhilarating, while the post-closing performance cast parties were equal parts hilarious and loud,” Hannah recalled.

During her time at Boyceville High School, Hannah’s favorite classes covered a wide range, from Anatomy and Physiology to Sociology to Art.

“I’ve really enjoyed a lot of my senior year classes, such as Anatomy and Physiology taught by Mr. Stewart Skrove, and Sociology taught by Mr. Tim Engel,” Hannah said.

Senior year has its advantages in that the class sizes are smaller, so the atmosphere is more relaxed, but students are still able to learn the subject material, she said.

Art classes, particularly Advanced Art, also have been highly enjoyable for Hannah.

“Being given free rein when working from a prompt in art is one of the best ways to push your creativity,” she said.

“Although I’ve learned more than I can recall about technical subjects in school, the parts I remember most vividly will be the lessons I’ve learned about attempting to be a decent person in the coming years,” Hannah said.

During high school, Hannah has been involved in a variety of activities: Science Olympiad, Art Club, Drama, Band (marching, concert, jazz, and flute choir, also playing for church events, and during the holiday season, caroling), VAC (competitive event based around 2D, 3D and 4D art), Quiz Bowl, Student Council, and Yearbook.

“My favorite activity was Science Olympiad, due to the camaraderie present when participating in competitions,” Hannah said.

After graduation, Hannah is planning to continue doing art commissions and also to get a summer job so she can save up some money.

“Mostly I’ll be busy gearing up for college,” she said.

Hannah is planning to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for Illustration.

“I chose to pursue a degree in illustration because of the range it allows me to explore in both media and concept but it’s still liable to change as I enter the school year,” she said.

Hannah says she chose an art degree because, “I know that no matter how many starving artist jokes I get, I love to create, and I’m determined to make it my career,” she said.

In addition to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Hannah applied to the University of Michigan, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the College for Creative Studies, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

“When selecting schools, I wanted to go to a place that had a productive atmosphere and would push its students with its workload and in engaging in the surrounding community. It was a tough choice. The campuses that I visited were beautiful, and the resources in some were amazing!” Hannah said.

“But my mind was made up after I shadowed an illustration class at MCAD. The instructors and staff have been nothing but kind and helpful, and I’m definitely looking forward to the start of the next school year,” she said.