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She excelled at four varsity sports and was named valedictorian. Meet WFAA's 2022 High School Girls Scholar Athlete of the Year

Standing 6 ft. tall, Jenna excels in multiple sports. In four years at Greenville, she played varsity basketball, softball, track and volleyball.

GREENVILLE, Texas — WFAA's 2022 High School Girls Scholar Athlete of the Year is Jenna Wade from Greenville High School.

Ask around town and it quickly becomes obvious, everyone knows or knows of Jenna Wade.

"All the middle school girls, they know who Jenna Wade is," asserted Gary Sickels, Jenna's club volleyball coach.

Standing 6 ft. tall, Jenna excels in multiple sports. In four years at Greenville, she played varsity basketball, softball, track and volleyball.

She spent all four years on the varsity volleyball team and served as captain for her senior year when she also finished with academic all-state honors.

While she says hoops is still her favorite sport, volleyball will be what she plays collegiately after receiving a scholarship to East Texas Baptist University. 

“I think she likes the competitiveness of the sports, yet she’s a good sport,” Jenna's mother, Amy Wade noted. “You can watch her on the court, whether it’s basketball, whether it’s volleyball, she’s lifting her team members up. She’s keeping the vibe. She’s keeping everybody going. In my opinion, that is a better quality than being the most skilled athlete on the court.”  

However, Jenna left her mark on Greenville in more ways than one. 

Though she doesn't brag about it -- or even bring it up unless she's asked -- Jenna is a passionate and talented artist.

"Art is an escape," said Jenna. 

She sketches and paints and has donated art to be auctioned at fundraisers.

"It's her creative side," Jenna's father, Jeff Wade added. "It allows an avenue for her to express herself." 

When it comes to art, Jenna gives the most credit to her high school art teacher Bill Shiflet.

“[Jenna's art] is always mind-blowing," Shiflet said. "She never does the expected.”   

Despite her commitments on the court and the canvas, Jenna finished her senior year as the top-ranked student in her class. 

"Absolutely mind-blowing," Jenna said. "Never in a million years did I think I would be valedictorian."

Credit: Greenville ISD

Like many high school students nowadays, Jenna's schedule became a juggling act of academics, sports, hobbies and clubs.

"There were a lot of times I was writing three-page essays on the bus, and all-nighters," admitted Jenna. 

Jenna received the Superintendent’s Scholar honor for three years and was a member of the National Honor Society.  

When asked what she hopes her legacy at Greenville High School will be, Jenna did not say a word about her athletic, academic or artistic achievements.

"To be remembered as a friend," she replied. 

Jenna's altruistic mindset is a noble one and parallels how she lives her life.

"She makes us proud every day,” Amy Wade lauded. “She’s very conscientious about others and wanting to help others. Fighting for the underdog but never wanting anyone to notice.” 

One of the secrets to Jenna's all-around success is the community around here.

"I've always had really good role models growing up," Jenna said. "Seeing the way that they changed my life, I want to be the change for somebody else's."

Role models like her high school volleyball coach Jenna Sickels and her  husband, Gary, who have known Jenna since she was 8 years old. 

"For me, on Senior Night and Graduation, I'm emotional because they do become family," added Jenna Sickels. 

"When you see them have that success, you have that pride like it's your own kid," Gary said. "I have no doubt, whatever she's going to do, she's going to be really good at it."

It's no surprise, Jenna wants to pay it forward.

“She keeps telling me she’s coming after my job,” Jenna Sickels joked. “She tells me to get ready to retire by the time she’s done with college.”

Jenna plans to major in kinesiology at ETBU with minors in education and art, in order to pursue her dream of returning to Greenville High School as a teacher and coach.

Perhaps Jenna's mom, Amy, said it best, "She's always been special."

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