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Celebrating Our 2018 Graduating Seniors

We will be posting a new graduating senior profile each day leading up to May 25, the last day for seniors.
 

Jenna Lynn Tognola

Hereford High School
(Hereford Middle, George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology)

Tell us about a teacher, assignment, field trip, or extracurricular activity that had a significant impact on you during your years as a BCPS student?

One day I overheard complaints from students who felt they were unprepared for their exams, and I instantly sympathized with those individuals. As a freshman, I was also inundated with the intensity of high school, but had nowhere to turn for help. It suddenly occurred to me that there was no place at my high school where students could seek assistance outside of the classroom.

As an upperclassman, I wanted to use my experiences to help them through such tough aspects of high school. This immediately caused me to meet with my guidance counselor to design a tutoring service for these students. Initially, I outlined a plan that focused on foundational skills such as study habits and organization, which were my primary areas of growth as a freshman.

After planning, my first session arrived. I was prepared to share with these students some tips for organization, but I could sense that the topic was not resonating with them. In fact, after seeking feedback from my counselor, we decided that the students needed more assistance academically. Regardless of my previous planning and original expectations, I had to bend and grow as a tutor in order to teach specific academic subjects and meet the needs of students at my school. This was intimidating at first because I did not know what topics students would bring to me, but ultimately allowed me to better assist a wider range of students in my high school.

My willingness to be flexible was paramount in my journey to support students who were struggling and to make an impact in their lives. At first, I lacked the confidence in my capability to remember specific material from certain subjects, but as I began to help more and more students, those worries went away because students came back after our sessions and shared with me their successes in their classes, it gave me a sense of purpose and a burst of assurance in my abilities.

Just as important, this experience has allowed me to understand the positive impact that I can have in my school. I have developed a greater sense of community with my peers and realized the value of my own actions unto others. This has had a significant impact on me during my years as a BCPS student because it was amazing to see the improvement in my students. It was truly a transformative experience.

During your years as a BCPS student, what did you accomplish that you are most proud of? 

Through high school, I played on the junior varsity lacrosse team, led our school’s For Our Troops club, and participated in four honor societies.

What’s next for you? What are your college or employment plans after graduation?

After I graduate high school, I will be attending University of Maryland, College Park. At University of Maryland, I will be majoring in dietetics.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I see myself practicing as a registered dietitian, and I hope to be educating individuals on proper food choices in order to optimize their health and prevent and reverse diseases.


“I have known Jenna Tognola for three years as her counselor. She is an incredibly awesome young woman. She has helped over 25 young people through her work in our school counseling office. She came to me as a junior and asked to provide tutoring services for students in need. I asked what her comfort level of expertise was and she replied she would help anyone. I raised my eyebrows and thought to myself, really? So we began our experiment in October and concluded in early June. Jenna met each and every person where they were and helped them to build skills to be better, and it didn’t matter in what academic area they struggled nor if it was in basic skills like how to take notes, preparing a binder, or studying for a test. And she met with students individually and in small groups with equal dexterity. I am beyond impressed with her maturity, the manner in which she makes students feel like they can do it, and her patience and understanding while still getting someone to do work and reach a bit further. She is truly one of our finest young people, of all time, to come from Hereford High School.”

Ellen Fitzkee, school counseling chair

<< more graduating seniors >>

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Team BCPS Newsletter
Baltimore County Public Schools
6901 Charles Street
Towson, Maryland 21204
443-809-4554

Report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

Darryl L. Williams, Ed.D.
Superintendent

E-mail Dr. Williams

Follow @BCPS_Sup

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©2019 Baltimore County Public Schools. All rights reserved.