TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Avery Jordan

Emma Zawacki and Natalie Mix, for being my breath of fresh air

As much as I dread going to school every day, knowing I have the privilege of spending first and sixth hour sitting next to you guys on the couch in Room 139 brings me comfort. It could be as simple as Emma texting our group chat before school, asking what our coffee orders are, or Natalie sharing a crippling Celsius addiction with me—it all reminds me of how thankful I am to have you two as friends. You both are some of the most genuine people I have ever met, and I wouldn’t trade being co-editors with you guys for the world. Thank you for blessing me with your insanely impressive work on the site and frankly, for being my go-to’s. I am at a loss for words when I try to express how grateful I am to have met you both for our last year of high school, and I cannot wait to see where your talents take you in life after graduation.

A selfie Emma took, when Nat was not ready, while we were waiting for our ice cream in the Culver’s drive-thru over the summer—when we were tan and content. (Emma Zawacki





Staff, for being unapologetically you

Kelsey, for always cracking jokes to make me laugh. Allie, for listening to all of my problems and providing advice. Sofia, for always being a ray of sunshine, even on the bad days. Eva, for constantly impressing me with your words. Addy, for simply being so adorable. Sydney, for being so openly relatable and a joy to be around. Jessie, for being the sweetest person out there. Meggie, for always putting your best foot forward. Lauren, for bringing some light humor to my mornings. Coco, for being so friendly and talented. Veronica, for inspiring me to be the best version of myself. Masyn, for always staying positive. Kyle, for continuously being funny. Jadelin, for always providing insight. Kiera, for being the cutest, purest soul. Liza, for never, ever slacking off.

My WFPers, for ensuring that the future of TCT is bright

My dearest junior writers, you guys are an amazing group of people with an unbelievable amount of talent. Reading and editing your guys’ work brings me joy and teaches me something new every day. I am so confident in the fact that you will carry on TCT’s legacy for years to come. All of your contrasting personalities contribute so much to the energy of the room, and I’m so thankful to have met each and every one of you. Thank you for your focus, dedication, and respect. Thank you for furthering my love of being an editor. 

Abby Drueke, for being my telepathic, platonic soulmate

I’ll never be able to put my feelings into words when I think about how grateful I am to have you as my best friend. Out of the billions of people on Earth, we found each other, and I couldn’t be happier. You support me in anything and everything—whether it’s having a crush or talking me through my feelings, reassuring me when I’m upset. Your presence is enough to take my mood to the next level; your laugh, your jokes, and your compliments are so incredibly valued to me. 

I love our witty iMessage texts we send each other during the school day, as we only have one class together this semester. You make going to dance practice so much more entertaining, as we’re there for hours on end. I couldn’t bear to sit at a lunch table completely alone with anybody else but you; frankly, I prefer it. And thanks for always sharing your snacks with me and for always helping me code an app in fourth hour.

We have such a spiritual connection—telepathic, if you will. We’re always thinking the same thing at the same time, and even though this occurs a multitude of times per day, we’re always just as surprised at the occurrence, nonetheless. 

Thinking about what I’m going to do without you by my side next year when we move onto college scares me—a lot. Our top colleges being a minimum of three hours away scares me a lot. But I know we will keep in touch; best friends can always make it work. I love you and our trips to go treat ourselves. I love our method of communications and our dance weekends in hotel rooms with our mothers. Thank you for being you.

Tate Greer, for being the boy version of myself

I am convinced we are the same person—except in male and female form. We have the same humor, the kind of humor where we can make anything worth laughing. So, thank you for understanding me and my jokes when nobody else does. I love our little snaps we give when we appreciate something, I love our editor-bond we share. Thank you for being a good friend whether it’s accompanying me in my walks in the hallway or ensuring I’ll get into college. Thanks for helping me when I’m oblivious to the math unit, and thank you for assisting me in writing my theses—thesi, if you will—in 3rd hour AP Lit.

Remmie Ingraham, for being ever so genuine

Remmie, you make second and third hour so much brighter. You always find a way to make me laugh, a way to make my day better. Thank you for your willingness to talk through my problems and the energy you bring to every new idea. I am thankful we became closer this year, our last year. You are so smart, and you inspire me to take bigger steps every single day. Your subtle words of encouragement are noticed, and seriously, thank you so much for being a constant friend.

Isabelle Ranger and Molly Fredrickon, for being my ride or dies

Izzy, it’s crazy to think we only met a year ago. Words cannot contain how grateful I am that you moved here from Traverse City; I don’t know what I’d do without you. You are such an easy person to grow close with—your laugh, your loyalty, and your undeniable talent you have for dance inspires me every single day. I cannot wait to see how far you go in life. Although the thought of not seeing you at the studio three times a week saddens me, I am proud to call you one of my best friends, and you are going to do incredible things, no matter where life takes you. Our memories at nationals—tanning on the beach, getting absolutely obliterated by the ocean waves, dance parties in our ten-person hotel room, pep talks before walking onstage—they’re all components that have shaped our friendship to be so strong.

Us three on the SkyWheel in South Carolina

Molly, from talking every single day for the past five years to going months without you is so hard. But I know that you are having the experience of a lifetime at Island School in the Bahamas. I know you’re going to come back as an even better person that you were before you left—if that’s even possible. Our friendship is one that I’ve considered a constant since we met, and I’m so thankful to have you as my best friend. From your dad recklessly pulling us on the tube on White Lake to sunset chasing on Lake Michigan, we have so many memories that I hold close to me. Dancing with you is such a blessing; making eye contact on stage and either breaking a laugh or shedding a tear is a fact I’ll forever cherish. I miss you so much. I know you’re not going to be able to read this until you return to Michigan on Dec. 15th, but I will be waiting for you at the airport, dying to give you the biggest hug for every month you’ve been gone. 

The Dance Team, for being my outlet

Dance has always been a place where I’ve felt at home; but this year’s team makes that home even warmer. The bond I’ve made with each and everyone of you is one I wouldn’t trade for the world; I am so, so excited for my last season with you guys and to perform with pride every time we hit the stage. No matter what, we stick together as a team, and I’m confident in saying my senior year season will be the greatest—and that’s because of you guys, my teammates. Go dance team!

Mrs. Penninga, for showering my days with positivity

Words can’t express how happy I am to finally have you as a teacher for my senior year. As an incoming freshman, you were supposed to be my Honors English 9 teacher; when somebody mentioned Mrs. Penninga, it was always a ‘She’s the best’ following it. When the Honors 9 teacher got switched, I was so bummed at not have the privilege of being in your classroom. Last year, when choosing this year’s classes, I knew I had to take AP Lit—because I knew you were the teacher. Now, today, walking into 3rd hour, without fail, you always find a way to make me smile, whether it’s complimenting my sweater or raving about my latest TCT story. Thank you for making me feel worthy and for furthering my love for English even more. 

My sister, for being my mini me

Zoe, you are such a ball of sunshine. You’re always willing to scream Taylor Swift songs in the car with me or make an ice cream run when we’re home alone and bored. You’re so pretty, so smart—so capable. As sad as I get when I think about not being a bedroom door away from you next year, I know you’re going to keep being amazing and keep excelling at horse riding and volleyball and school and all of the obnoxious TikToks you make in the kitchen. I am going to miss you so much, as you have been my best friend since birth, but I know you’ll be fine because you’re you. You know how to hold your own—something I didn’t know how to do when I was in seventh grade. I love you more than you know, truly. 

Mr. Smith, for somehow, someway, making computer science fun 

Hands down, fourth hour is my favorite class of the day. Not only because my best friend sits right next to me, but because you are the teacher as well. Whenever I am so beyond lost in the lesson—which happens frequently—I am never afraid to ask you for help. You are the kind of teacher to drop everything just to help me understand, and I am so beyond thankful for your willingness. Your toleration for Abby and I’s chaos amazes me, and I’m so happy to have you as a teacher Mr. Smith. 

Mr. George, for supporting me, nonetheless

Thank you for being the one teacher who has never doubted my capabilities—my dreams. You have given me opportunity after opportunity, and you have given me grace and confidence within that. Thank you for setting expectations high so that I strive to meet them. Thank you for giving me educational and personal support in everything; thank you for believing in me.  

And for those who have more of an impact on my life than you realize; thank you… 

Louis Craffey, for always smiling, Grace Hudkins, for being a ray of sunshine, Varun Ram, for always saying hi to me in the hallway, Sophia Galan, for being a light in the classroom, Alexa Parent, for being undeniably hilarious, Ms. Stiles, for being ever so entertaining, Sophie Erbentraut, Ali Grendel, and Ella Pointkowsky, for being my bubs. Tz-zen, for being so sweet and helpful, Claudia Folkert, for never failing to be so welcoming and nice, Tyler Weaver, for being a good friend, Vinod Rajakrishna, for allowing me to be your friend in a heartbeat, Nico Notarnicola, for being my favorite person, Brooklyn Conner, for inspiring me to be successful, Lynn Lewis, for pulling me through the college application process, Mattie Sexton and Leila Gonzalez, for struggling through trigonometry with me, Joy Song, for having the most contagious laugh, Sawyer Jordan, for always letting your soft side shine over, Grandma and Grandpa, for spoiling me with more love than I’ll ever be able to return, Jazzae Ford and Crystal Delgodo, for being my second moms and looking out for me every step of the way, Imprint Dance Company, for being my home away from home, Grandma Hanks, for being such a light in my life from hundreds of miles away, Sammie Rouvillois, for our nickname that stuck, Emily Smith, for showing such leadership on and off the dance floor, Saniya Harvey, for being my dance bestie, Linus Kaechele, for being an incredible human being whom I miss dearly, Lynlee Derrick, for teaching me more than you’ll ever realize, Abby Wright, for inspiring me to be as amazing as you, Ashlyn Korpak, for being a role model, Alyssa Zadel, Rielly Nehls, Lindsey Lunt, and Maddie Musgraves, for setting the dance team standards so high—I miss you guys, Great Grandma, Aunt Ellen, and Uncle Jim, for guiding me through life from Heaven, and Mom and Dad, for never, ever leaving my side.

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