Jiang writing her Fantaisie Impromptu


Angelina Liu

Coppell senior valedictorian Mira Jiang reads one of her favorite books, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Jiang is an novelist, musician and dancer as well as philanthropist.

By Shrayes Gunna, Coppell High School

Immersed in her own world, Coppell High School Class of 2022 valedictorian Mira Jiang crafts her newest novel in one of her two rooms. Its blue walls dotted with Winnie the Pooh decals from her home’s previous owner house the stories that she writes at an antique folding desk.

Though Jiang is an only child, she is never really alone, accompanied by her imagination or the array of stuffed animals in her second room alongside a plain white desk prepared to listen to her newest ideas. Jiang’s love for storytelling was born out of the fantastical worlds of Rick Riordan and Jane Austen that captivated her at a young age and led her to publication.

Jiang is now in the process of querying her second novel, a chronicle of a prince destined for evil until he is put in between his kingdom and power-hungry brother, after publishing her first in 2019.   

“I love exploring the idea of having had this expectation on you your whole life, how can you defy it,” Jiang said. “In a way [I see a little bit of myself in it].  I was never told I was going to go evil, but I think there is, especially with immigrant parents, an expectation they place on their children, and sometimes you have to defy that to become your own person.”

Coppell High School senior valedictorian Mira Jiang holds her personal journal where she writes down new book ideas. Jiang is a novelist, musician and dancer as well as a philanthropist. (Angelina Liu)

Inspired by complex themes in literary classics, Jiang has written poetry, essays and short stories that can be found in various literary magazines from “The Rising Phoenix Review” to “Every Day Fiction.” Beyond writing, Jiang also founded the Bluebonnett Classroom, to amplify her tool of choice, English.

“Mira is one of those rare students who has both this extreme academic focus on so many things, but then she also has this innate artistic, creative side to her,” AP English III teacher Tracy Henson said. “She is a powerhouse on both fronts. As a writer, she would pump out the most beautiful essays, hitting all of the standards. A few days later, she would [show me her pieces from outside of class], and there was just as much skill, talent and artistry to her writing in the creative genre as in the academic genre. She just loves language, and she loves words, the beauty and power behind words, which is such a rare thing in students.”

When Jiang leaves the comfort of either of her two rooms (“only child perks,” she jokes), storytelling follows her by nature through several pursuits in the fine arts. At age 5, Jiang implored her parents to enroll her in ballet lessons after watching the Barbie movie. Her classical training has since propelled her into dancing with the Coppell Lariettes, band and color guard.

“Sometimes I feel  butterflies before [a performance] starts,” Jiang said. “But the moment the music hits and it’s familiar, it’s an amazing feeling. I just remember that you’re never really alone. You just feel the energy from the crowd and your teammates.”

Jiang not only communicates deliberately choreographed stories, but for 13 years, she has also played the piano on international stages. Though Jiang did not enjoy it at the start, she now loves playing through pieces, such as Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu, as each has its own little story.

CHS English teacher Benjamin Stroud credits her success to her commitment to growth.

“Mira was the only one [of my first 30 students at CHS] that did not question even when she had some low moments in writing,” Stroud said. “She took every bit of critique, and she honed in her ability, even when she was a solid writer from the beginning.”

She just loves language, and she loves words, the beauty and power behind words, which is such a rare thing in students.

— Coppell High School AP English III teacher Tracy Henson

And sat at her dinner table on the day many of the nation’s top universities released acceptance letters, Jiang conquered yet another stage. She opened the acceptance letters one by one, prompting screaming from everyone in the room. First was Harvard University. Then Brown University. And then Yale University, Duke University and Stanford University.

“These colleges have connections and opportunities that are not necessarily available here,” Jiang said. “They can bring in visiting authors. They have world-famous professors who are top-notch in their fields. To be able to work and learn in that boundary of knowledge really expands horizons.”

After visiting Harvard, Yale and Stanford, Jiang has committed to attend Harvard University, where she plans on double majoring in neuroscience and English on a premedical track.

With each page you turn of Jiang’s life story, you’re met with a cascade of new stories told in her many forms, something that won’t vanish with the next stage in her life: college.

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on May 5, 2022.