Valedictorian: Rogers High School

by Rachel Finkbeiner

Staff Intern

Jenny Day maintained a perfect record of all A’s at Rogers High School while finding time for her love of art and to make an impact on her school and community.

Photo by Bruce Strand Jenny Day enjoys arts projects, like this pole she helped decorate, but her career goal is biology research.
Photo by Bruce Strand
Jenny Day enjoys arts projects, like this pole she helped decorate, but her career goal is biology research.

The 2014 valedictorian was co-president of Rogers’ chapter of National Art Honor’s Society. Beyond creating a greater appreciation of art and visiting museums, the group tries to create art inside the school.

This year, the group transformed one of the school’s blank white pillars into an underwater escape. They also decorated soup bowls that were auctioned off to raise money to fight hunger.

“She’s never afraid to try something new. She is hardworking and creative,” said Su Sebghati, her art teacher. “She’s had a great impact on this school.”

Day, who recently got second place in the congressional district for her drawing of the stone arch bridge in Minneapolis, enjoys painting in her free time, but she took relatively few art courses.

Her class load included seven of the eight Advanced Placement classes available.

Biology is her favorite.

“I found everything just interesting and complex,” Day said. “There’s so much we don’t know about biology and how the human body works.”

Day earned a 4.142 GPA to rank first among 325 students. That’s an honor that wasn’t planned, although she recalled friends her freshman year telling her that she would end up valedictorian.

“It just kind of worked out that way,” Day said. “I knew I wanted to get all A’s. So valedictorian just kind of came around for me that way.”

Her activities included National Honor Society, where she enjoyed dressing as a Jedi for the Halloween food drive; LEOS, a community service program; the Link freshman orientation program; and Knowledge Bowl competition.

She has also worked eight to 20 hours a week at Malmborg’s Garden Center and Greenhouse during high school.

These activities didn’t leave much time for studying, but Day didn’t need much time to study.

“I’m one of those people that other people hate because I just absorb it,” Day said. She views this as a gift to be shared, and she has tutored and aided her classmates.

For her valedictory address, Day will share multiple views on what it means to be the Rogers Class of 2014. She put out a poll on Facebook asking classmates what to include.

“It’s not my speech, it’s not for me to talk about myself; it’s for my class,” Day said. “So I thought the more people that had input in it, the better it would turn out.”

Day will attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison — where her parents, David and Renee, met — to study molecular biology. She hopes for a career in biology research.

For personal favorites, Day mentioned being a bit of a nerd and enjoying movies such as “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” and the Marvel series; kickball on Tuesdays with her friends; and the artist Van Gogh, especially his painting “Starry Night. “

Day will bring her art along to Madison. After a trip to New York and a tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she was inspired to paint city scenes. She’ll decorate her dorm room with them, along with paintings of flowers from the greenhouse where she works.