Class of 2020 Salutatorian: An Interview With Jenna Boguslavsky


By Jimmy He, Senior Editor

As the school year wraps up, we’d like to congratulate Jenna Boguslavsky on achieving the prestigious title of salutatorian for the class of 2020.

During her time at Hills, Jenna took part in a variety of clubs and activities including Leo Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Math League, Science League, Quiz Bowl, and fencing. In her senior fencing season, Jenna placed eleventh in the epee state individuals, with the Hills team being named First-Team All League. 

Jenna was also a volunteer in Mikie Sherrill’s Campaign for Congress, where she made calls from phone banks and did door-to-door canvassing. 

“I was surprised by how diligent and involved the whole process was,” Jenna said, “like I never really realized how much goes into campaigning on a local level until I was the one doing the work.”

Volunteering for her campaign inspired Jenna to join the Passaic County Young Democrats as the organization’s youngest member, where they have monthly meetings to discuss current issues and hear local politicians speak about their experiences.

Some of Jenna’s work experience include working at Premier MD, a private medical practice that prescribes medical marijuana and performs acupuncture, where she did front-desk secretarial work as well as hands-on work including taking patient vitals.

We interviewed Jenna about some of her high school experiences as well as her plans for the future.


Q: What would you say was the hardest part of high school? What, if anything, do you think you would’ve wished you’d known earlier or could’ve improved on?

Jenna: I think the hardest part of high school was staying on top of everything, especially when there is no immediate deadline. I never really took anyone seriously when they told me to start early, whether I was looking for a summer program or writing my college applications. I definitely could’ve avoided a lot of stress and tears if I didn’t keep putting my work off until later and then freaking out when the deadline was almost up..


Q: What was your favorite class you’ve taken at Hills and how has it come to shape you? Who was your favorite teacher? Why? How did they influence you?

Jenna: There are definitely a lot of teachers and classes that come to mind. Mr. Green is one of my favorite teachers because of how much he invests in his students. He truly cares about us and our success, even when it has nothing to do with calculus. I’m also grateful to Dr. O’Leary for offering me a lot of guidance when I was first getting involved with politics.


Q: Since you’re an athlete, how has playing a sport affected your high school experience? Was it difficult to balance a sport and school work?

Jenna: Playing a sport absolutely forces you to weigh your priorities and manage your time better. It was tough sometimes when I would come home late from a meet and then still have other obligations or homework for all of my classes. I definitely wrote a few 3am lab reports that Mrs. Sherger wouldn’t approve of. It was well worth it though; I met some of my closest friends through fencing.


Q: What do you think about the virtual circumstances of senior year and graduation? Do you think it takes away from the experience you guys would usually get giving speeches at grad or are you more relieved that you no longer have to do it in person?

Jenna: It is a little disappointing to miss out on something I’ve looked forward to for so long, but a virtual graduation is the best option we have to keep everyone safe, which is what’s most important. I think that if you spend too long dwelling on things you can’t change, you’ll miss out on a lot of good experiences, and at the end of the day, I just want to enjoy the last month of my senior year.


Q: What college are you planning to go to and what are you studying? Why did you choose the said field and what do you hope to gain out of studying it?

Jenna: I’m going to Duke! I’m not sure what I’ll major in, but I’m definitely considering a pre-law track. I’m looking forward to studying psychology and public policy too, though, and taking a few ethics classes.


Q: What people do you think have had the biggest influence in your success and how you are as a person? Who are your biggest supporters?

Jenna: My biggest supporter would have to be my older brother. We’ve grown really close over the past four years, and he’s someone I know will always support me. I make fun of him a lot, but the truth is, he’s always there for me when I need him (unless it’s to do the dishes).


Q: What advice/words of encouragement would you give to underclassmen?

Jenna: Go after what you want. If you want something done, don’t just sit around and complain about it. Seek out opportunities, make connections, and put yourself out there. Even if it doesn’t work out, you won’t regret taking a chance as much as you will missing an opportunity.


We’d like to congratulate Jenna on her hard work and accomplishments and wish her the best of luck in college and beyond!