Looks Bright: Ory 8th grader driven to succeed

Published 12:08 am Saturday, December 5, 2015

LAPLACE — Jenna Necaise is an A student with designs on a career in the medical field.

So perhaps the eighth grader’s greatest lesson came with a recent B.

The 13-year-old John L. Ory Elementary student has earned all As since first grade, except for last year, when she made a B.

Natalie Klibert

Natalie Klibert

“That was my first B and hopefully my last,” she said. “Being on honor roll makes me feel blessed, but it had kind of gotten normal. Whenever I got the B, it made me push harder. Now I appreciate the gift of intelligence.”

Necaise, who lives in LaPlace, wants to be a neurosurgeon; however, she is still deciding on which school she wants to attend after high school.

John L. Ory social studies teacher Natalie Klibert, who has worked with Necaise in the classroom and through school clubs, said the young teenager is hard on herself and thorough in her academic pursuits.

“She wants to make sure she has the right answers, and she is very extensive in the way she asks questions,” Klibert said. “What makes her special is the fact that she tries every day, whether she is having a good day or a bad day. She always has her hand up and she is always volunteering in class. She gets at the heart of the truth. She is a true historian.”

Klibert said Necaise’s work with Beta Club, Student Council, sports and service learning projects exemplify her passion to improve the community and the wellbeing of others.

“I know that she puts her studies first, but then she is able to balance all of the other extracurricular actives without letting her academics slip,” Klibert said. “She also likes to have fun, as well as doing her academics and extracurriculars. I enjoy that about her.”

Necaise said she enjoys her time in the school Book Club because she likes reading. The group includes a bunch of her friends and a few of her favorite teachers. Members are reading the Harry Potter series this year and have set Jan. 3 as the deadline to finish the fourth book.

Necaise is also an active member of the Student Council, having served last school year as president and this year as secretary/treasurer.

Sports are also a focus for Necaise, who plays soccer, softball and performed in dancing for 11 years. However, volleyball is her favorite.

Necaise plays on the school volleyball team and the Southern Swing traveling team during the winter.

“It’s turned into a passion,” she said. “I play outside hitter or middle. Whenever you go to club, you practice at each specific skill, whether it be hitting, setting or passing. The people, who hit, like spike it, are outside hitters or middles. They are normally the taller people.”

Necaise found out she liked the sport through a P.E. teacher and has gone with it since then.

“My favorite part is after every point that you score or you give to the other team, you come in as a team in a circle and do a chant,” she said. “That’s my favorite part. You feel like you are really at the game.”

— By Raquel Derganz Baker