Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Students of the Month

Alejandro Barranco
My name is Alejandro Barranco, and I am a junior here at GD.  I live in a family of five with my mother, my father, and my sisters Adriana and Laura.  Aside from school work, I also volunteer my time at the Briarwood Retirement Home in Worcester where I play piano for the elderly. I have also volunteered my time for the past six summers at Vacation Bible Fun summer camp where I am a camp counselor with children from ages 5-10. This past summer, I also volunteered at the Groton Lakes Association to prevent pollution from entering Lost Lake and Baddacook Pond. As for school activities, I run cross-country in the fall and play recreational basketball in the winter. I am glad that my junior year is coming to an end, and as I look back on it, I am proud of what I have done to come this far. As for my future plans, I plan to attend college after my senior year and see what path I want to go down from there.

Aiden Hoey
My name is Aidan Hoey and I am now finishing my senior year at GD. I live with my mother Amy, father Tom, and sister Abby who is a sophomore at GD. During my four years at GD I was on two varsity sports teams football and lacrosse, and I also enjoyed a very prestigious recreational basketball career. Athletics has always been a part of my family as my sister is also a varsity athlete on the girls basketball team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years of high school, and I am excited to head off to college in the fall. I will be attending Elon University and plan to eventually go on to law school after that.

Jacob Llodra
My name is Jacob Llodra, and I’m currently a junior at Groton-Dunstable. Besides running on the cross country and track teams, I enjoy being a member of the National Honor Society and Environmental Club. This spring, I was fortunate enough to work with the Environmental Club and biologists from Grassroots Wildlife Conservation to trap, tag, and monitor threatened Blanding’s turtles on school property. Lately, I’ve also been working diligently with the school to implement single stream recycling to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a school. I’ve always had a passion for nature and the environment, but attending the Global Student Leaders Summit in Costa Rica last year really cemented that passion. I left the conference with a new way of thinking and a drive to make change. In the future, I plan to attend college and follow my dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

Calvin Martin
My name is Calvin Martin and I am a senior. Most of my friends and family like to call me a workaholic because I’m always working. I’m an front end assistant manager at Market Basket, and I love it there. I have met so many amazing people, and the job has definitely had a big part of making me into who I am today. I have made some of the best friends in the world there, and they are most of the reason I like working so much. In the summer I also work at Middlesex Community College as a painter and that is also a great job. Being busy all the time can be very tiring, so I enjoy the time I have off with friends as much as I can. I never really got super involved with the school, but if I could go back and change one thing it would be that. I love my school and all the people that attend, and I am very sad it is coming to an end. Next year I will be attending Salem State University. I am very excited to begin that new chapter of my life, even though I have no idea what exactly I want to study just yet, it changes every week but I’ll figure that out eventually. I am going to miss everyone next year. but I am so thankful for this school and to be in such an amazing class. I wish the best of luck to everyone next year.

Rachel Swansburg
My name is Rachel Swansburg, and I am a senior here at GD. Outside of school, I work as a dance instructor for a few local studios, teaching multiple classes a week in various styles for beginner and intermediate level students. Aside from work, I am also an apprentice and soloist ballerina with a professional ballet company, and have been studying the art for fifteen years at schools such as Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Broadway Dance Center. I am Vice President of GD’s Gay-Straight Alliance, and an active member of the Student Activities Council, both of which have provided me with exceptional opportunities to connect with and influence my school. I have also been volunteering at the Special Olympics in Worcester for the past three years, an experience that has been nothing short of extraordinary. I will be attending UMass Amherst this fall, where I plan to double major in Journalism and Business. While I am saddened by the fact that I will soon be leaving GD, I am equally excited to see what’s in store for me both in college and beyond. I wish all the best to those who will remain here next year, including my two sisters, Mary and Lily.

Lauren Weilbrenner
My name is Lauren Weilbrenner, I am a freshmen at GD. I currently live in Dunstable, Massachusetts on Lake Massapoag. My father Brian is a general contractor and my mother Erin is a nurse. My brother Josh graduated 2 years ago from Groton-Dunstable and is now in the film industry focusing on camera work. He has worked on a number of Indy films and projects. At this point I am not sure what I want to have as an occupation in the future. I think I would like to be a nurse and help people. It seems like a gratifying job. If I don't go into nursing I think I would want to be a elementary school teacher. I've always enjoyed working with children and love their sense of imagination and curiosity. I think that would be a lot of fun. But for now I plan to enjoy high school and see what will come for the future!

Sarah Woods

My name is Sarah Woods, and I am a senior at GD. I am part of the softball team and member of the Student Activities Council. Outside of school, I work in a daycare and volunteer for Veterans Advocacy Services. I will be attending Clark University this fall, and playing for their softball team next spring. I am not sure what I am going to major in yet, but probably in English or community development. I hope to have a career in a school someday. I am very sad to be leaving GD as it is an amazing school district with even more amazing teachers and students, but I am excited for college and the `new opportunities and experiences.   

The following students are being recognized for their efforts on the GDRHS Destination Imagination team.  

Jackie Coy
My name is Jackie Coy, and I’m a senior here at GD for just a few more weeks. High school has truly passed by as fast as a hummingbird’s heart rate (1,260 beats per minute), and now that I’m facing college, I suddenly realize that I don’t have all the answers like freshman-year-me thought she had. But I am more than excited to fly off to King’s College London this fall to study psychology, with my ultimate goal of working for the FBI. In my free time, I read, write, and do other English-y things. One of the activities I endeavored in this year was Destination Imagination (My team members are also found here -- Chloe, Calvin, Emily, Quinn, and Anthony) and it was the greatest decision I have ever made. Not only have I garnered important abilities such as on-your-feet problem solving and advanced teamwork skills, I have formed tight friendships with all five of my team members. I’ve come to treasure my time with them and I’ll miss them once I’m off in college -- but if they ever find themselves in London, they can crash on the floor of my dorm. If there’s any piece I can leave behind for the younger classmen, it’s too get involved and take risks -- it’s never too late to make new friends or try something new; that’s what makes life truly special. Thank you to everyone who has made the last four years some of the greatest in my eighteen years, and I wish everyone to have a warm and wonderful summer.

Anthony de Freitas
My name is Anthony de Freitas and I’ve been told that I’m pretty chill, but I don’t really see it. I am a senior at good ol’ GD and I am apart of the DI team that made it two states (woo). I’ve formed a strong bond with my team and even though we didn’t make it to globals, spending time with them is reward enough for the effort we put in. I’ve been through quite the ringer these past few years. When I first arrived as a transfer student, I was hopelessly alone, never wanting to give anyone the time of day. I was afraid of getting close to people because I was afraid they’d break my trust. That made my Sophomore and Junior years a challenge. Senior year though, things started to look up. I was able to connect with other people, finding students who shared the same interests and sense of humor as I. 

I began enjoying my self; I was having fun! But during these last few months, because of some problems at home and a very close friend of mine passing away a month ago, I began to feel lost and alone again, but I was able to get through it all thanks to the support of the kind students and staff  I’ve met, who genuinely care about my well being. They are the best friends a guy could have and I’ll always treasure them in my heart. All right, now that the sentimental stuff is out of the way, I guess I’ll talk about my plans for the future. *Ahem,  As a senior, I’ll be leaving for college in the Fall and boy am I excited (nervous). I’ll be going to Fitchburg State, where I plan to major in professional writing. Ever since I were a wee lad, I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and I hope to make a career out of the passion I have for the art. I want to wish everyone I’m leaving at GD the best of luck and I hope to see them all again one day.

Chloe Malsick
My name is Chloe Malsick, and I am a junior here at GD. Along with managing the DI team and bringing them to states, I’ve also been faced with more personal challenges this year that have tested my limits both academically and emotionally, and have ultimately made me stronger, and made me the person I am today. Thankfully, I have developed a close-knit family of friends and faculty here that have supported me endlessly, and without them I don’t know where I would be today. Although this year has been mentally draining, it has also been the most important year in my life. Looking back, it's overwhelming to think of all the things I did and the choices I've made. In October, I made a new, unexpected friend. In November, I went to Florida with my j-class crew and made memories I will never forget (although it's hard to forget- the cracks on my phone are a constant reminder...). In December, I found strength in my weakness and met people that made me realize I wasn't alone. In April, I decided to become vegan, a choice that I hope will stay with me forever. In May, I learned that it's more fun to be with friends. Even though these memories won't make sense to many, my point is that everyone has their own "things" that make each year important. Although this has been the hardest year of my life to get through, I've learned so much and gone through so much, and I can only hope it will make me a better person in the future. Overall, my junior year has taught me to be kind to everyone, but also the importance of putting my own needs first, and the strength in asking for help.

Quinn Parker
My name is Quinn Parker, a senior in High School who can not really believe that it's almost all over for me at GD. After this I plan on going to UMaine to study Forestry and Wildlife Ecology. As I write these words, the passing of time and the reality of the matter at hand become all the more real. I still find this all really hard to believe, even though I have already seen my final Drama Guild production as an actor. What makes me wish that there had been more time, or rather to do things a little differently, is the team of the amazing people that I had the privilege of working with. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the aforementioned team mates. I look forward to my future, but am also happy to know that I have a past that I can look back on and smile at.

Members of DI collaborated on the following two biographies.

Calvin Parker
Calvin is like a 5 year old stuck in a high schoolers body. He. Never. Stops. But he was always the one to make everyone laugh. Calvin has also taught us valuable life lessons. Like to never give him a hardware dolley. Calvin makes the rest of us feel old, especially when he runs around like an airplane, but his youthful nature brought energy to the team, and he is one of the most creative, energetic individuals a fellow student could ever have the privilege to work with. Even despite his bizarre obsession with grapes. Calvin had a way of always making things interesting and get the team smiling. Strange spirit journeys aside, the young man is truly a great friend.

Emily Autumn Olson
Emily was really the leader of the group. She is always quick to come up with insanely creative ideas under pressure, and she somehow manages to make them incredibly funny at the same time. Emily is easily the most important member of the team. While the rest of us were inexperienced and lazy, she was experienced (and also a bit lazy too, but we all are) and was the only one who knew actually what was going on. There is no way we could have placed in Regionals, much less gone all the way to States without her. She also really likes grapes for some reason. It’s a bit weird, actually. Emily created the DI team, it'd be nothing without her. Her talent was above everyone else's. The team would sometimes be stuck, but she always had a creative idea to move the plot along, keeping things coherent whenever we got off track. She guided us and always lifted our spirits. She made even the darkest days seem bright.  She is basically Heyzeus. (If you believe in God) Her love for improv and acting is what keeps her going strong through the tiring nights and the boring research.  

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