Regardless of whether she’s on the gym floor or in front of a canvas, Jordan Ravenel-Shuler approaches everything as an artist.
The Central Square senior is a dedicated gymnast for the Redhawks varsity squad, a Section 3 indoor track and field pole vault champion, a promising artist and occasional amateur model.
Her multi-faceted skill set was recently recognized by Assemblyman Will Barclay (R, C, I, Ref — Pulaski), who presented Ravenel-Shuler with the Spectrum News Scholar-Athlete Scholarship for $1,000 during the first Central Square varsity football game of the season earlier this month.
“I was not really expecting it,” Ravenel-Shuler said. “There are so many people that it could have been presented to but it was presented to me, so it was kind of like a wow moment.”
Ravenel-Shuler was called onto the field prior to kickoff along with Central Square gymnastics coach Jenny Trumble and members of her family — mom Jane Ravenel, dad Michael Shuler, and brother Isaiah — and presented the scholarship by Assemblyman Barclay after a brief speech.
Ravenel-Shuler is considering attending Onondaga Community College next year to study veterinary tech or potentially something in the arts or law enforcement.
“After meeting Jordan, it was clear why she was selected,” Assemblyman Barclay stated in a press release. “Her positive attitude and confident approach are clear and have helped her to focus in sports and in academics.”
Ravenel-Shuler has competed for the Central Square varsity gymnastics team since she was in seventh-grade and was introduced to the sport at a young age through her mom, who competed for East Syracuse-Minoa while she was in school.
Described as a “powerhouse,” by her varsity coach, Ravenel-Shuler utilizes her advanced physical strength and elite agility to excel in a variety of gymnastic events. But due to the amount of creative leeway provided, Ravenel-Shuler said the floor exercise is her favorite aspect of the sport.
“I love floor, that’s always been my favorite because there is more put into it and it’s the longest event,” Ravenel-Shuler said. “You really get to show yourself on the floor because you get your own music and you get to make your own routine, and it’s just yours.”
Ravenel-Shuler also volunteers to coach a youth team, comprised of aspiring gymnast ages 8-13, that meets three nights per week at Blaze Gymnastics in Cicero. She participated in youth gymnastics at Blaze and Central Square Gymnastics Center prior to joining the Redhawks varsity team.
“I kind of know what my mom feels like now (when she watches me) because I want them to be so good and I have so much love for them, and it brings me so much joy watching them grow in the sport,” Ravenel-Shuler said of her recent coaching experience.
Trumble said that Ravenel-Shuler made an instant impact on the Central Square varsity team with her strong personality and skill set, and entered looking to act as a leader even though she was still in junior high.
“She was a pit-bull and she’s not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she thinks is right, which I always saw as a positive trait and then it was just a matter of her delivery and how she could rally other people and do it in a positive way,” Trumble said. “She always had the right ideas and she would just yell at my seniors like: ‘What are you guys doing? Get to work, listen when Jenny is talking to you.’ She would just bark orders, so I loved her from the get-go and it was just a matter of reeling her in and getting her to use those leadership qualities in the way that she now does for us.”
Ravenel-Shuler also quickly asserted herself for the Redhawks varsity track and field team.
She joined the squad as a freshman and first attempted to pole vault as a sophomore, and rapidly progressed into the Section 3 Class A indoor champion as a junior. She launched herself for a personal-best of 10 feet to claim the indoor crown last February at Onondaga Community College, and then placed second in the sectional championships for outdoor track last spring.
The versatile senior has also grown into an exceptional artist and has showcased her drawings and paintings during school events. She credited a variety of art teachers during her time in the district, including her middle school studio art teacher, Ann Wright.
Ravenel-Shuler is taking several art classes as a senior and said she takes time to draw, paint, or sculpt every night that her busy schedule allows. Some of her pottery projects are on display holding her mom’s flowers around their house.
“Through (Wright) I think I started to blossom and really think about art, and really started to develop a love for it,” Ravenel-Shuler said.
“It’s really relaxing, and I get a time to slow down and just think about everything,” she added. “I’m not going through the day so quickly, I just get to slow down and paint and kind of get my mind off other things.”
Ravenel-Shuler has also started modeling for fun as a hobby recently and is a self-described animal lover. She owns a dog named Phoebe that she called “the love of her life,” and often looks after all five of her family pet dogs.
“She’s my little shining star,” Jane Ravenel said. “And she’s so very humble, she doesn’t realize the level of abilities that she has.”