Jenna Binkley is salutatorian for the class of 2020 at Pleasant View Christian School.
“Jenna is one of the most hardworking people I know,” PVCS Valedictorian Caia Lytle said. “She always has her work done early, not just on time. I wish I was as organized and on top of everything as she is.”
Binkley plans to attend be Austin Peay State University in the fall.
“I am going to nursing school,” Binkley said. “After that, I will go on to medical school to get a degree so that I can become a nurse anesthetist.”
PVCS Director of Academics Beth Grinder said she is impressed by Binkley’s potential for making a positive difference.
“Jenna is very conscientious about being the best she can be,” Grinder said. “She strives to do everything to the best of her ability. This self-determination will take her far in life.”
Binkley shared a few highlights of her time at PVCS.
“When our school had a health science class, our teacher helped us set up a blood drive,” she said. “I helped plan one my sophomore and junior year. We were going to do one this year, but school is closed. The blood drives taught me a lot about trying to plan around schedules and how important communication is.
“Then, in my junior year I participated in Youth Leadership Cheatham County. It was a lot of fun and a very good opportunity to learn about our county and the government. Then, in my senior year, I got voted to be the Honor Society president. This meant giving a couple speeches and helping plan a couple service projects.”
Having a strong faith is part of Binkley’s life, and she said that her favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:12-14.
“It is a verse I always turn to when I am struggling,” she said. “It reminds me that God is always there in times of need. This verse has been a big help with the chaos of COVID-19 the past few months.”
But she sees a silver lining in her achievement as salutatorian.
“My biggest accomplishment is being able to make my grandma (Patricia Binkley) proud even though she is not with us anymore,” she said. “When I think of her, I think of all the love and encouragement she gave me.”
She also sees both the good and bad in the effects of the pandemic.
“One of the pros has been having more family time,” she said. “I get up every morning and cook breakfast with my parents (James Paul and Jennifer Binkley). One of the cons has been missing a quarter of my senior year that included prom and graduation.”
Binkley noted several pastimes that she enjoys.
“In my spare time, I like to read books,” she said. “Over the past few years, I have developed a passion for hunting. I also enjoy volunteering my time to help people in need.”
Sonja Laine Liles Anderson, who coached cheerleading at PVCS for nine years, remembers some fun times working with Binkley.
“She used to cheer for me,” Anderson said. “When we were at practice one time, she would do a cheer and look around. She said ‘Oh look — a squirrel,’ So I have called her Squirrel since. I love that girl.”
Binkley offered some encouragement for the upcoming class of 2021.
“Congratulations class of 2021,” she said. “Y’all are seniors now. Enjoy every moment and do not ever take being at school for granted. Enjoy prom and graduation a little bit more for those of us that did not get it.”