Student Spotlight: Jeana Fermi

Alyssa Sherry, News & Features Editor

“My main responsibility is preparing monthly reports about the Wayne Valley student population, which I present at BOE meetings. That requires reaching out to classmates and faculty on their accomplishments, concerns, and plans,” explains senior Jeana Fermi, student liaison to the Wayne Township Board of Education. “I’m really lucky because the BOE is always very receptive to my ideas/suggestions.” Fermi, who is also an editor-in-chief at Smoke Signals, has worked closely with Wayne’s BOE since the Fall of her junior year. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics for BOE review, from feedback on the hybrid learning model to the necessity of cross-cultural education and awareness in public schools. 

In college, Fermi hopes to study international relations, and she observes, “It’s interesting to view the problems that the BOE is working to solve as a microcosm of larger global issues. I’m learning a lot from the BOE’s approach to technological gaps, racial justice, and many other district challenges.” After taking online courses through the SPICE initiative—Stanford Program on International and Cultural Education—over the past year, Fermi has narrowed her scholastic focus to foreign policy, especially in East Asia and Russia. Through SPICE, she has studied various East Asian subjects, and she describes her final paper as her “most formative academic experience in high school.”

To further strengthen her international experience, Fermi studied abroad in Moscow, Russia, during the summer of 2019, after receiving the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship through the U.S. Department of State. Throughout the six weeks she spent in Moscow, Fermi received an immersive education in the Russian language; the experience also enabled her to expand her perspective of the world as a whole and better understand the international role she one day hopes to serve. “Russia was a stark contrast from everything I’m familiar with,” Fermi reflects, “but I really loved being able to unfold an untold history for myself while I was there.”

Fermi, a highly accomplished student as well as a global citizen, is a National Merit Commended Student and an AP Scholar with Distinction. As Editor-in-Chief of Smoke Signals, Fermi enjoys writing articles about current events and empowering other writers to reach their full potentials. She is also the Wayne Valley Student Dance Association (SDA) President.

Ultimately, Fermi recognizes that many students want to engage with their communities but are unsure where to begin. To these students, she advises, “Pursue and learn about things you are passionate about. Becoming involved in your community doesn’t have to be a burden, and you’ll do it best if it involves something you already find interesting.” 

Wayne Valley students and staff alike are incredibly proud of Fermi for her achievements, and we look forward to witnessing her success in future endeavors.