Jillian McKenzie | Washington Community High School Class of 2020 senior pictures

September 26, 2019

Meet Jillian McKenzie, Class of 2020 senior from Washington Community High School! I am in awe of this girl’s talent and passion for dance.. she is simply amazing!!  There are many days when I get to pinch myself because I have the best job ever, and spending the day with her was definitely one of them!  We had the very best time together!

After high school, Jillian plans on attending St. Francis School of Nursing and wants to be a labor and delivery nurse. When she was a little girl, she wanted to be a horseback rider. This year, she is most looking forward to her senior prom because she loves getting dressed up, going out with friends.. and their is so much excitement at school leading up to the big night! Her favorite teacher throughout the years would have to be her 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Uftring who really sparked her interest in science and she was the only teacher of Jillian’s who ever had a class pet.  Jillian’s favorite school event is Community Night because the Pantherettes get to perform at the end and it’s so much fun to dance in front of the whole school.  She also the loves the bonfire afterwards.  Besides bring a Pantherette at school, Jillian spends hours practicing and competing at Miss Laura’s School of Dance. She volunteers at Allentown Union Hall, and works at Elevate in East Peoria. Advice to incoming freshman: “Make as many friends as you can because if you don’t then it will be harder for you to feel comfortable in your classes later on.”

Jillian would describe her “perfect day” as waking up with a cat in her bed (I don’t even had a cat but I really want one) Then I would eat pancakes with the entire family at the table.  After getting ready for the day, I would get my nails done with some friends followed by lunch. Of course later, we would go out for dinner and the day wouldn’t be complete without hanging out with my little nephew, and watching a movie with him because I love him with all of my heart!

Three things on my bucket list would be 1. Scuba Diving 2. Horseback riding on the beach 3. Backpacking in a different country

Something that Jillian is most proud of is a moment when she was younger and obsessed with horses and her grandma had a horse along with her neighbors. She was 7 years old and allowed to ride the horse without any leading and I remember it being the best feeling!

Here are some FUN facts and favorites of Jillian


  1. Favorite holiday tradition: “At my grandmas on my mom’s side for Christmas, we don’t give everyone gifts. The kids do Secret Santa, and the adults usually just get my grandma something. So when we open gifts, it goes down by order of age so it’s always funny to watch people’s reaction to how close they are to the beginning of the line because that means they are getting older.
  2. My hero is my grandma because she has taught me alot of what I know and how to not depend on someone else and I think that is a really big thing that people have is they think they always need someone. But she taught me that I can do just fine by myself.
  3. Favorite family trip: Cancun Mexico because we made so many memories there that we always bring up and it was just and adventure to go there
  4. Favorite childhood memory: In Mexico I was about 12 or 13 but we went snorkeling in the ocean and took this big boat out like 2 miles into the ocean. Everyone started to dive in, so I joined. Everything was fine but I hadn’t looked down in the water yet, that was until my mom told me to and I freaked out because there was a fish almost touching me so I jumped on my dad and almost drowned him and sat on the boat for the rest of the time.
  5. Favorite family recipe: Corn casserole because it’s always at family gatherings so when I eat it I guess it just reminds me of family
  6. If I could eat only one meal for the rest of my life it would be Pizza Ranch’s thin crust cheese pizza and dessert pizza
  7. The best thing about my parents is that they have prepared me for my future by raising me well and helping me plan. For college, he let me explore what I wanted to do and supported me by going on tours and found new information on different schools


  1. The most daring thing I have ever done is white water tubing
  2. If I could travel anywhere in the work, I would want to go to Ghana Africa because my grandparents went there a few times when I was younger and always came back with so many stories to tell us about the locals and what they made for them or the little kids playing in the road with chickens. I want to experience what they got to before my grandpa died.
  3. My favorite sport to watch is basketball especially during March Madness with my dad. I also like to play basketball with him and I grew up playing it and he was my coach
  4. Favorite singers/bands: like trippie redd especially when I am in my car jamming out because his songs are so catchy and easy to sing along with. I also like eden because their songs are so personal and honestly it’s what I cry to
  5. I love using face masks
  6. Current favorite fashion trend: Hair scarves, high boots, and crop tops
  7. Favorite color to wear: Black because it goes with everything
  8. What’s your usual school style? Honestly I throw on leggings and a big shirt and call it a day. I don’t try and dress up for school unless I have too.
  9. Why did you choose Shelby Photography for your senior portraits photographer? I have seen other people’s that have gotten them done here and they turned out amazing. It looks like them and not just a random person. It has their personality to their pictures.

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