SHERIDAN — Senior Jillian Stalker can be seen around the school wearing a piñata costume on Halloween, a yellow rain coat she bought in London, or her plaid blazer. Stalker wears “spontaneous” on her sleeve and symbols of travel on her backpack.
“I like to create things, I always have,” explained Stalker. “Whether it be playing with Legos at my house, or making videos, or cooking, or making a pie that says ‘rad’ on it.” Among Stalker’s creative ideas, is her small business “Key Chains By Jill” where Stalker sells plastic animals with hooks. She’s made many key chains, including dinosaurs, fish, elephants, birds, lions, tigers and bears. “Since I like really like creating things, and who doesn’t like making money, I created my own little business. After stumbling upon a key chain creation I had made, I decided to sell them.”
But Key Chains By Jill is not her only creative endeavor.
“I’m interested in cinematography, and the art of the moment,” Stalker said. “Capturing the idea. You can just go and find some really beautifully made documentaries that were edited really well.”
Film production and screenwriting is actually what Jill strives to study after high school, “because that’s my interest right now, so I might as well pursue it.”
Since she’s was 8, Stalker has made little videos for fun. Although, if she could be anything, her dream job would have to be an astronaut.
“It always has been my absolute, top dream job,” she said. “But I don’t have as much passion in math and science. But going to space would be an amazing experience.”
Stalker is constantly drawing little pictures on her notebooks, on her friends’ hands or on white boards around the school. One of her many drawings is a space dog, the featured dog being her very own corgi, Dottie.
Stalker describes herself as “relaxed, with witty humor that not everyone can understand.” One person who she feels can understand her humor, is English teacher Michael Clift.
“He is just very calm, and I think he has similar mannerisms as me; he’s relaxed,” Stalker said. “Not a lot of people understand my sense of humor or wittiness, but he’s one of the few people who does. I think that’s why I wanted as him as a teacher again for my senior year. I can relate with him, and he’s pretty easy going.”
Stalker said that, because of this, he’s her favorite teacher here at SHS.
Among Stalker’s favorite activities to do in school, is writing.
“I also particularly like broadcast journalism, because I get to create and make little videos, which is what I’m most passionate about,” she said.
Both her writing and broadcast journalism classes are taught by Clift. “I feel very close to Jill, even though we say very little. I love to be around her, her work speaks for her,” said Clift.
When asked where Stalker thinks she’ll be in 10 years, she answered, “Well, if I’m not on the moon or in the International Space Station, I can see myself working on individual projects for film. Filming documentaries, or writing screenplays or scripts for other people. I value time by myself. I like doing things independently. I do weird, quirky things.” Stalker has an aquarium at home, full of her closest friends, although, to her disappointment, her fish Scout passed away last week.
“It was very emotional,” she said. “I treated it like a death of a real person, which I don’t know if many people would because she was just a little fish that I probably bought for a dollar at PetCo. But I’ve had that fish since February… so, my fish have become my friends, and it’s weird to some people. But that’s what defines me.”
Stalker has a message for those reading, sharing her own take on life, “What I want to tell other people is that you’ll find the best people in life when you stay true to yourself, and even if you’re a loner or you don’t have very many friends, if you stay true to yourself, people will notice that, and people admire people who are true to themselves. You’ll find people. Just be the best version of yourself that you can be,” said Stalker. “These are the things I think about in the shower. Sometimes I rehearse things in the shower, so when they happen in real life I’m a pro at it.”
Stalker is the daughter of Barbara and Dan Stalker.
By Annie Bruso, Sheridan High School