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Jessica
Stouder
Senior
Palisade
High School
GPA: 4.34

Favorite book and its author:
“Calico Palace” by Gwen Bristow
Favorite TV show:
“House”
Favorite band or musician:
Five Finger Death Punch
After-school activities:
Hiking, photography, painting, ‘The Squad’ — student enrichment
group
Parents:
Randy and Christine Stouder
Favorite teacher and why:
Mr. Wallace, because he is understanding, compassionate, fun, and
successfully teaches a difficult foreign language to his students year
after year. He also took my French class to France, and constantly
develops relationships with his students that makes him not only
a great mentor, but a wonderful teacher. Mr. Wallace makes our
class community feel like a family, because he encourages us to fail
together and laugh together. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive
atmosphere.
Personal hero and why:
Either of my parents, for drastically juxtaposing reasons. My
mom has the greatest work ethic of anyone I have ever seen, and
she works out of the goodness of her own heart. She is the most
selfless person, compromising her own desires to provide for our
demanding family. My dad is also a personal hero for me, because
I aspire to live with his philosophy. He has worked hard all his life,
and now lives with a freedom balanced with familial responsibility
and adventure. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my
parents, and I have never expressed my gratitude in a way that
encompasses how truly grateful I am for them.
Preferred college:
Oregon State University
Dream job:
Marine biologist
Highlight of your high school experience:
The highlight would have to be traveling to France with my French
class. Not only did I get to apply my language skills, I was immersed
in a foreign country that I had been dreaming of experiencing for my

whole life. Rather than explore as tourists, we were encouraged to
attempt to fit into the French culture as much as possible, eating at
favorite local restaurants and avoiding all the common areas, except
for those one simply can’t miss. The best part of the trip was learning
about the ‘melting pot’ of cultures that happens in France, as well as
experiencing it with my closest friends and classmates.
What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
I am most proud of my voyage through the International
Baccalaureate Program at Palisade. I always knew that a rigorous
academic program was where I belonged, and IB has grown me into
a more open-minded person than I ever thought possible. While I
have grown tremendously academically, I have also grown socially,
because I now have forged the closest friendships with incredible
people that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
If you were the principal of your high school for a week, what
would you do or change?
I would forge relationships with all the students. For my high school,
that wouldn’t be too difficult an endeavor, because our school is only
1,000 students strong. However, I think back upon my elementary
school days with my principal Mr. Levinson, who knew each student
by name. I felt the most welcomed at Scenic Elementary, and I
would try to implement some of their qualities at Palisade.
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who
would you choose and why?
Dick Van Dyke, hands down. I want to learn about his life, and how
even in his old age, he has kept a positive attitude and outlook on
life.
If you could live anywhere or do anything for one year, what
would you do and why?
I would live in Hawaii, on the Big Island, but not in tourist
destinations or resorts. I would get a job working on a coffee
plantation, attempting to experience the most authentic Hawaiian
culture, because the two times I have visited, the culture was the
most memorable part. I love to see where the food I eat comes
from, and the intricate process of guiding coffee from the plant to
beans is fascinating. During the times I wasn’t working, I would be
snorkeling around the whole island, studying the effects of global
warming on coral and the resultant coral bleaching.
What advice would you give to yourself as a freshman?
It’s okay to ask for the opinions of others, but don’t get caught
up in them. That advice goes hand-in-hand with the fact that it’s
better to be unique than to fly under the radar. Even now, I am only
beginning to embrace what makes me different, but I look back on
my first years in high school with regret, because I acted like a bump
on a log that never got recognized. So, to freshman year me, you’re
going to regret it if you don’t put yourself out there!
Western Slope Ford
is proud to sponsor our local students who raise the bar
and stand out in academics, the arts and athletics.

See this week’s Student of the Week video at GJSentinel.com or TheBeat943.com

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