Stonewall Jackson senior receives full-ride to JMU

Nayeli Juarez, 18, of Mount Jackson, works on an English paper on a laptop recently at Stonewall Jackson High School. Juarez will attend James Madison University on a full scholarship this fall. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG – Like her fellow seniors at Stonewall Jackson High School, Nayeli Juarez is ready to take on life after high school.

Still, she said, graduating is bittersweet.

“Having to be in school for the last 13 years and having to transition into something different is going to be a bit challenging, but it’s for the best and I’m ready for that new experience,” said Juarez, 18, of Mount Jackson.

She said she has been known as a leader at Stonewall Jackson. Her peers will come up to her and ask her questions about scheduling and what senior year is like.

“I feel like a mother of the school,” she said.

She has been an officer in various clubs within the school, including Interact Club, World Languages, the National Honor Society and in student government.

Juarez plans to attend James Madison University on a full-ride scholarship in the fall. She will major in occupational therapy.

In order to prepare for a career in this field, Juarez said she was dual-enrolled at Triplett Tech where she took a health care course.

She also volunteers at a nursing home in New Market once a month after school.

Juarez said she is a first-generation American. Her parents came to the United States from Mexico for work opportunities and finally settled in Mount Jackson. She said when she first began school she needed to take three years of English as a second language.

After graduating from James Madison University, she said she may come back to the area because she prefers small town life and the relationships that can be developed in a small town.

Stonewall Jackson High School’s graduation will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the school’s new gym. At the ceremony, the assistant principal and valedictorian will each give a speech.

Principal Mike Dorman said approximately 101 students will graduate, with 28 percent going to a four-year college, 46 percent going to a two-year school, 4 percent entering the military and 9 percent seeking vocational training.

An awards and scholarship ceremony was held May 27 in the school’s old gym.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or