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West Jordan Journal

South Valley School outstanding graduate: Daring to try new things

Jun 28, 2021 10:56AM ● By Jet Burnham

Jaden Jentzsch has learned gardening skills this year working in the South Valley School greenhouse. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Jaden Jentzsch has tried a lot of new things this year—like tasting a strawberry for the first time.

“Learning is important,” said the 22-year-old, who is graduating from South Valley School’s post-high program for students with disabilities. “There’s different stuff that you can learn every day. I try new things like new recipes or things I’ve never tried before.”

Jentzsch joined a new class at SVS this year after spending three years in the same one. His new teacher, Codee Flores, encourages her students to try new things each day to prepare them for life after graduation.

“It gives everyone an opportunity to branch out, to find something they might like,” Flores said.

SVS Principal Rita Bouillon is impressed with Jentzsch’s positive attitude and growth.

“I have seen his confidence grow so much over the past two years,” she said. “I believe [his teacher’s] confidence in him has transferred to him, allowing him to feel more confident in what he has to say, what he accomplishesand his willingness to try new things like food, jobs, and friendships.”

Jentzsch said trying new things is becoming easier. Flores is proud of his willingness to try new experiences even when he is nervous about them.

“We learn something new every day,” she said. “It might be something small, but for Jaden, every new thing he takes it to heart. Every new day is just an exciting adventure for him.” 

His next new adventure is applying and interviewing for a job.

Jentzsch was diagnosed with autism at a young age. He is passionate about sports and keeps track of all the high school sports stats. When he attended Herriman High School, he was the team manager for the HHS boys’ basketball team for his junior and senior years. He has remained an honorary manager for the team.