Senior Spotlight: Jillian Thomas
"Happy girls are the prettiest" -Audrey Hepburn
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Ever since she was little, star senior Jillian Thomas seems to have been destined to be a leader. From working her way up to Senior Class President to being a star in Zion’s Youth Symphony and Chorus group, Thomas sets a prime example of young adult ready to enter the world.
Growing up with four older siblings, all of which who graduated from Palo Verde, Thomas has learned so much, from her love of early 2000s music to her love of Palo Verde itself.
She started off her high school journey like anyone else: a scared freshman coming from a middle school where no one else came from. To combat this, she joined a sport, which
would eventually lead her to her passion with student council.
“Joining volleyball was the best thing I could’ve done because I got so many new friends. My personality has grown from being a freshman to now because my freshman year, I was afraid of everything. Now, I’m not afraid to act like my true self.” she says.
Joining student council her sophomore year, Thomas was able to make all sorts of new friends along with her leadership skills and strong presence in the program. Then, on a streak of chance at the end of her junior year, she made the decision to run for the Senior Class President.
“I never really considered myself to be the type of person that would be able to become a president.. I didn’t think I had that much potential. But, Ms. Vacante, the main advisor last year, sort of convinced me to pursue it because she thought I had the qualities to become president.”
Her friends in student council quickly became unanimous with some of her closest family. They all work together in tandem to produce the best school experience they can, and Thomas couldn’t be more excited to be apart of it all.
“Being in the Senior Class student council is a lot of work, and it’s also a lot of fun. We have the best senior class, and planning events for them is the most fun thing ever, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything without the officers and representatives. They’re amazing!”
Senior President came with all sorts of heavy responsibilities, but a few fun ones too, including taking on the position of lead host for this year’s Mr. Panther Pageant.
“I really enjoyed working on the Mr. Panther Pageant just because it’s something where everyone from all different parts of the school can unite. It’s nothing like prom, homecoming or any assemblies. It essentially brings the whole Senior Class together.”
On top of her responsibilities as President, Jillian dedicates a huge part of her time to the Zion Youth Symphony Chorus, where she plays violin.
“Playing the violin since the age of seven has really taught me how to sit down and get something done even if I don’t want to. I don’t like practicing at all, but I love playing the violin for a big group of people. If I don’t practice, I’m not going to be able to perform to the best of my ability, so it’s taught me to work hard with anything you do.” says Thomas. It has not only taught her self-discipline, but has given her a newfound love of the arts and a huge appreciation for music.
With all extracurriculars and activities, Thomas has kept herself plenty busy, but always keeps the nostalgic status of being a senior in the back of her mind. Being a senior not only means enjoying your last year, but really thinking about what’s in store for the next chapter.
“I kind of go back and forth between ‘Oh I’m gonna miss [high school] so much’ to ‘I’m so ready to go to college.’ It’s going to be weird not seeing all these people everyday and not seeing the teachers because there’s so many teachers here that I love.”
Thomas plans on going to school in Utah, preferably BYU, and studying to become a high school history teacher. Eventually, she’d like to return to Vegas with her family.
Both her desire to go to BYU and her membership in the Zion Youth Symphony Chorus has all stemmed from one thing: the love of her faith. Being, LDS, or Mormon, to her is about spreading kindness and practicing tolerance and strength through her faith.
“I know so many good people who aren’t LDS. You don’t have to be baptized to be a good person, you know? But People aren’t afraid to ask questions when it comes to my faith, which I love. I don’t want people to be afraid, and it’s also made me become more open to other’s religions and views because I know what it feels like to be judged.” she says.
Aside from everything in her life, Thomas can be just as much of a normal teenager as everyone else. Loving the coveted In-N-Out chain, Cafe Rio, Gilmore Girls, and The Office, Thomas enjoys the little things in her free time.
“If I could be any character from any TV show, it would have to be Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls.. I just aspire to be her because she’s the funniest person. I admire her wit and charm, and how fast she is when coming up with comebacks is so funny to me.”
All in all, Jillian Thomas continues to do everything she does best. From leading the senior class to having a wonderful family to excelling in the arts, Thomas shows what a true balanced student is, and what a little dedication will get you.
“To all of the underclassmen: don’t care if people think you’re being too ‘weird’ or ‘outgoing.’ Don’t think that everyone is judging you… just have a good time.”