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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

AJ Keels '21

Virginia Tech

“Norfolk Academy has prepared me well for my future. This school has empowered me to reflect on myself, and see where and how I can be better. I think this is an important tool to carry forward in life.” 

Batten Leadership Program EDI Fellow, Varsity Football (Captain), NA-TV (Captain) 

What I’ll Miss Most About NA: How Welcoming Everyone is Every Day 

Most Meaningful Activity 
Being a member of the NA-TV team has been fun over the years. I enjoy being around sports and all things media related, so this was the perfect fit. 

Reflections on Learning 
My favorite classroom experience was being the only junior in my English class with Mr. Peccie. Being in this class allowed me to build meaningful relationships with the seniors. Having Mr. Peccie as our teacher also made this class rewarding and fun. 

Inspirational Teacher-Coach 
Mr. Patterson has allowed me to talk with him about my hobbies. We do not just talk about class. I enjoy films, broadcasting, and video editing. Being able to build a relationship with a teacher who shares these same interests has been enjoyable. 

A Word of Advice to his Fellow Bulldogs 
Take advantage of your time here. The world we live in can be scary and unpredictable. Our teachers and coaches are preparing us to succeed. Don’t try to grow up too fast. 

A Quick Word About AJ 

“AJ is an outstanding student who has matured and grown into a real leader, both in terms of modeling best practices for other students, and in terms of representing our school through his interactions with other schools’ athletic teams and coaches. He is thoughtful and respectful, encouraging other students to think and engage in class discussions. AJ is not someone who focuses on himself, rather he enjoys making experiences the best they can be for others, always seeking to find ways for himself to improve. He accepts guidance, thinks ahead, and is always prepared for the unexpected. He will definitely make an impact within his college community, and within every college course he takes.” ~ Mr. Ed Patterson, AJ’s Film Teacher 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… my forever lasting family here at Norfolk Academy.