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After flipping through high school, Bertrand designs her future

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After flipping through high school, Bertrand designs her future

Lea Kopke, Editor

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When I asked Jaclyn Bertrand about what she believed her greatest high school achievement was, she was proud to tell me that during her senior year, she was able to join her first club.

“I never really got to be involved in everything because gymnastics took up so much of my time. This year I decided that I wanted to do a club, so I joined Spanish Club. So that’s an achievement on its own; that I found the time to do that.”

This unexpectedly simple answer is indicative of the lifestyle that Bertrand has lived throughout her school experience. She began gymnastics as a 1st grader, and first joined the Air Force Gymnastics Team in 3rd grade. Since then, Bertrand has accelerated to the level 9 competition team and has just finished her final season at Air Force.

“I did way better than last year. I got a couple personal records on my events, so it was really fun! That’s what I do gymnastics for: I do it to do well, but I also do it to have fun and support my teammates.”

In addition to struggling with balancing schoolwork with gymnastics, Bertrand had some trouble in finding her place at Bay Port after transferring into the district from St. John’s.

“It was so crazy, because I graduated St. John’s with a class of 43 kids. It was the second biggest graduating class they’d had in awhile. Almost all those kids transferred to Notre Dame or moved away, so there was around six of us that came to Bay Port, and I’m not really friends with most of them. It was really, really crazy and different and that’s why I kind of retreated more into myself.”

Despite this, Bertrand navigated the school with the help of her friend Kelsey Brauer, who she has known since childhood, and some of her older sister’s friends.

“I found my way through pretty easily. It was easier since I . . . had her friends, who knew who I was, and if they saw me sitting alone at lunch, they would come sit by me.”

According to Brauer, Bertrand’s kind and warm personality also aided her in finding her place at Bay Port.

[Jackie is] comical and caring. Whenever we are together she is always cracking jokes, she has me laughing all the time. She is also very caring. I can talk to her about anything and I know that she’s listening and that she truly cares about what I’m saying.”

While in high school, Bertrand was also able to find her voice with the help of teachers at Bay Port.

“I feel like Speech and Creative Writing, those classes that I’ve liked, have really helped and now I just feel like I can say anything because I don’t care as much about what others think.”

In the coming year, Bertrand will be trying out for the UW-Stout Gymnastics Team. While at Stout, she will be pursuing a degree in interior design. In order to be considered for acceptance into this program, she had to submit a lengthy portfolio.

“[The administrators] sent us a list of requirements that we need. We needed an essay of why we wanted to [pursue interior design], and then we had to submit around ten pieces of different kinds of artwork because it is a bachelor/fine arts major, so I had to submit some photos that I took, some drawings that I did; things like that.”

Brauer has seen Bertrand mature in her artistic and social skills throughout high school, and believes these assets will help her to pursue interior designing in the future.

“I have seen her become very independent, responsible, and a hard worker. I have also witnessed her creativity. We have worked on school projects together and she has an eye for what makes the project look pretty. She always seems to have an idea on how to make something creative.”

While the future remains largely uncertain, Bertrand hopes to become an interior designer, and to continue being a part of a gym.

“[I’d like to] maybe coach a couple [recreational] classes here and there. I haven’t really thought that far ahead.”

Bertrand’s high school experience, while unlike that of so many others due to her involvement with gymnastics, is one that she is glad to have had. As she prepares to head off and begin her college experience, Bertrand has several final words for the underclassmen of the school.

“Don’t worry about what others might think of you because their thoughts won’t matter in four years anyways. Also, as much as school is important, it’s also important to know when to take a break and just have fun because, as cliche as this may sound, high school is going to be over before you know it and you’re going to miss it a ton.”

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