Meet Jennica Ullrich '23! Jennica is a boarding student at the Upper School from Knoxville, TN. This is her third year at Rabun Gap. Jennica is an excellent student and very active in the arts. She recently earned an All Star Cast award at the SETC Festival and will be one of the leads in our upcoming cirque show, Cirque Desparadas. You can see Jennica and her fellow castmates perform in Cirque Desparadas next week from October 28-30 in the Rearden Theater! Tickets are available at www.rabungap.org/cirque.
Why did you choose to attend Rabun Gap?
Rabun Gap has a phenomenal art program different from any other high school I visited. Qualities I first noticed were the school’s commitment to the arts and it’s unique cirque program. Rabun Gap had the opportunity I was looking for along with the community I had always wanted to be a part of. The students and teachers here are welcoming and supportive. It was relieving to know the school also has a major learning support center. As someone who struggles with a learning disorder, I greatly appreciate the effort and time the faculty gives to make sure students are receiving the help they need.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you?
The arts community at Rabun Gap has been the most amazing part of my experience. Everyone is invited to be a part of the arts and faculty in the department greets everyone with open arms. They encourage students who have never laid eyes on sheet music or never touched a paint brush to try it out.
What is your favorite memory from Rabun Gap?
All of my best memories are in the advanced performance class I was a part of my sophomore year. The upperclassmen were role models and close friends, and we made time to laugh almost every class period. This class also gave me the opportunity to watch the seniors lead and set amazing examples for everyone else in the department. My absolute favorite memory is watching and acting with these amazing people.
What do you like most about your extracurriculars?
I appreciate the variety and opportunity of extracurriculars. Afternoon activities take place everyday after school, so I always have time set aside to do what I love.
What has been your favorite moment or memory of Cirque at Rabun Gap?
While learning skills on the trapeze is my favorite activity, I have loved working with others on their apparatus’. In cirque this year I have learned how to spin a friend on the Spanish web. Helping her with her performance has been so exciting.
What are you looking forward to most about this year's Cirque show, Cirque Desperadas?
The cirque show has a lot of really cool elements that I have not seen or heard of in past shows. Also, we have brought back the carnival outside the Rearden Theater before the show begins and the middle schoolers will be performing a pre-show. There will be fun snacks and carnival games for everyone to enjoy.
Which Rabun Gap teachers and/or coaches have had the biggest impact on you during your time here?
Mr. Lakey, Mrs. Heidi, and Mrs. Ager has impacted my life tremendously. Mr. Lakey casted me in Into the Woods my sophomore year and I haven’t left the theater since. He was the first to really give me the chance on stage. Mrs. Heidi, the dance teacher, has been a wonderful support system and she also pushes me to be the best performer I can be. Mrs. Ager was my chemistry teacher last year and she helped me greatly improve my academic work ethic. She is very understanding and believed in me when I didn’t. I still go to her for help.
What advice would you give another student who is interested in boarding and attending Rabun Gap?
It is okay to not know who or what you want to be and it is okay to not be ready to leave home, but take the leap. I moved to Rabun Gap halfway through my freshman year because I was originally too afraid to leave home and try something new. Now, I regret waiting to make that decision. Take the risk of leaving home; it will open your eyes to a world of people you would have never imagined meeting and introduce you to amazing cultures you haven’t even heard of.
Which interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
Performing arts is where my heart lies. I spend my extra time learning lines or doing research for the upcoming shows. I also like to bake, and the student center has a new kitchen for students which has been a lot of fun.