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Jag Journal

Jag Journal

Senior Class President Models a True Jaguar

Submitted Photo
Mallory Russell with her mom, Chantel Russell.

Mallory Russell was born under a special star. She doesn’t know what it means but that’s what her mom always tells her. When Mallory was hesitating, her mom always gave her the little push she needed to do things. 

The senior is class president, top 3% in her class, debate president, and founder of many new traditions on campus. On Dec. 9, Mallory will compete in the congress event for the debate team at Dripping Springs. This Friday, she will also be showcased in the musical ‘Mean Girls’ in the black box at 7 p.m. to 9. 

“Ever since I was a little girl my mom always said I had a natural born ability to get the whole room to be on my side and I was a good example for guiding people,” Mallory said. 

For sophomore year, she had been class secretary and at the end of the year she ran for class president. Mallory wanted to help her class more, be a part of new traditions and be a leader for the students in her class. 

“Some people are good at football and running track or they’re really smart, my thing is leadership,” she said. “I know I have that natural born ability that most people don’t have so I wanted to use that.”

Although before she could act in her role as class president, there were many who doubted her, and occasionally this was shared to her. 

“I spent the whole summer contemplating ‘Am I going to let these people tell me that I can’t do something? Am I going to let these people bring me down?’,” she said. “There’s always going to be those people. I would take into consideration what everyone said and you just can’t do that.”

This year the senior has been able to help kickstart new traditions on campus, including ‘The Fuse’ with the student section, and morning announcements with the principal during homeroom. Last year, she was even able to be in the school’s first musical. 

 “I wish people would tell me more things that happen that I could make on the announcements, like when someone wins something in a smaller club,” Mallory said. “This is a new school, we all have the opportunity to create tradition and you really have to go out and get after it.”

During her freshman year, Mallory faced family troubles and her mom, being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 19, was still sick. At the time, the freshman had fallen into a dark place but made it her mission to do well her sophomore year. She looked for the quiet places to help, and being randomly put into debate that new year turned out to be one. 

“I didn’t expect it to be what it was and it ended up becoming a safe place for me,” she said. “Which is so ironic because debate seems so loud, but it was actually my place of calmness and my sophomore year I saw the team didn’t really have a foundation.” 

She took it within herself to create the team’s Instagram account and attend more competitions. It just spiraled from there; becoming something she loved and an everyday part of her life. 

“I really thought she’s done a good job with planning the debate banquet, different aspects of tournaments she was involved in,” former debate coach Jude John said. “She was a motivating factor behind our UIL teams; she has a drive and it’s contagious in a good way.”

But throughout elementary school, middle school, and some of high school Mallory always felt she was the shy and quiet kid. 

“Mallory was initially pretty quiet and reserved,” John said. “I couldn’t tell exactly what she wanted to do with debate, but I was impressed with the drive and dedication she had to be successful. As I’ve gotten to know her, she’s branched out more; she’s just kind of grown up.”

Despite all of Mallory’s hard work she still takes time to have fun with the people around her. John said a memorable experience he had with Mallory was when she lost a bet they made on an announcement for Taylor Swift’s new album, causing her to buy him Starbucks. 

“The bet was just us being ourselves and showing our connection we have built over the years,” Mallory said. “Mr. John and I have a great bond and he has been my role model over the years. He saw a lot of potential in me and helped me grow in many ways.”

The senior isn’t just president of debate or her class, she’s also an actress. Mallory has participated in the school’s first musical production of ‘Annie’ and will also be performing in this year’s musical, ‘Mean Girls’, as Ms. Norburry. On top of all this, she also attends weekly meeting for UIL current events and UIL social studies. 

“I do it because it keeps me busy first of all, but as my years have gone on here I’ve just grown to love the people and the environment so much,” she said. “I just want to dip my feet into everything there is because this school is so new and has so many opportunities.”

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About the Contributor
Daniella Moreno
Daniella Moreno, Editor
Dany Moreno is a junior and in her free time she reads books non-stop. She is also in the Criminal Justice Club, Book Club, Leo Club and Debate, and holds leadership positions in those clubs.
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