Do not underestimate Jillian Ehrenzeller. She might seem quiet and reserved on CHC’s campus, but she is a powerhouse in the classroom and is an incredible, accomplished equestrian.
Jillian has been such a warm and welcoming presence at CHC. She began her Dolphin journey in Kindergarten and speaks fondly of Mrs. Armstrong, Jillian’s former teacher. “Mrs. Armstrong has a hug for me every time I see her.” She smiles big as she fondly recalls her Lower School days.
Academically, Jillian has soared through the Upper School Science and Math classes. She wishes we offered even more science, stating that she would take ALL of them. Most of her classes in the Upper School have been Honors or AP, and she has scored very high marks. She pushes herself to be the best student she can be, and it shows. Jillian truly enjoys learning, so I had to inquire about her favorite class. With enthusiasm, she responds, “Ms. Pinkin’s Anatomy!” She specifically enjoyed the experience at the Cadaver Lab and how much it impacted her future career choices. Jillian regrets, due to scheduling conflicts, she could not take another class taught by Ms. Pinkin. The respect is mutual; Ms. Pinkin writes, “Jillian was an absolute rock star in Honors Anatomy & Physiology! Somehow she was able to manage her riding and competition schedule with the rigors of junior year with a smile on her face. I don't know how she did it but I truly respected her work ethic.”
Jillian also raves about Mr. McGraw, having taken several of his classes. She feels very prepared for her upcoming exam in AP Comparative Government & Politics, thanks to Mr. McGraw’s teaching and leadership.
Extracurricularly, Jillian participates exclusively in equestrian activities. She has amassed quite a collection of 1st place and Grand Champion ribbons, competing out of town and locally on many weekends in the warmer months. She laments she was not able to participate in many sports offerings at CHC because of her commitment to horseback riding, but she has no regrets. Jillian plans to bring her horse to college and continue following her passion.
So, where has she commited? After entertaining admissions offers from UVA, JMU Honors College, and the University of Georgia, she made the decision to attend the University of South Carolina. She felt like this was the right fit for her. In explaining why, Jillian says that she can bring her horse, the people were exceedingly friendly and laid back, and the climate is warmer. She smiles when letting me know that the warmer climate was really a driving factor, as she can have more months to enjoy equestrian competitions.
“My mother is not especially happy with me going so far away”, Jillian says. However, Jillian really feels like she is ready to move away and carve her life’s path. She plans to major in Biology, a nod to her love for science and her teachers who taught her so well.
When asked what she will miss about Virginia Beach and Cape Henry, she does not hesitate. “My friends. We are all going to colleges far away. It will be tough to get together.”
The bonds formed at Cape Henry are lifelong, so hopefully she will have many future road trips to anticipate and plan. What else will she miss? Her parents cooking! The Ehrenzeller family is close knit, and it shows when she speaks fondly of family activities. She thanks her parents for always supporting her.
Advice she gives to her younger Dolphin peers is four-fold. STUDY a lot during your Upper School years, especially Junior year. DON’T FREAK OUT in Mrs. Self’s class, just keep up with the work. When taking AP courses, get a extra study guide. It really helps. Finally, HAVE FUN!
Jillian, we will miss you!