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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Ella Deans '21

Harvard University

“I would like to think I’ve left an impact on NA by being a supportive friend and teammate. Whether it’s working with my teammates at practice, commiserating with someone over a failed Physics test, or even being there for a student’s questions about honor, it has been important to me to take an active role in the lives of my peers, who have in turn had a tremendous impact on me.”  
Honor Council, Varsity Volleyball (Captain), Varsity Basketball (Captain), Varsity Soccer (Captain)

Three Words to Describe the Class of 2021: Caring, Resilient, Hardworking 
Favorite Refectory Meal: Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo 

Favorite Memories 
Anything to do with being in Denson advisee. I have been in Coach Denson’s advisee for all three years of Upper School, and I cannot express how lucky I feel. Not only was I privy to fun class discussions with Coach Denson in American Government and Psych, but I have also been a part of many Denson advisee Pictionary games, secret Santa gift exchanges, and lunches (excluding this year). His continuous support has meant a lot to me, especially during a year like this. 

Reflections on Learning
My best classroom experience was in Latin American history during my junior year. Coach Gibson and Señor Bryant are a dynamic duo, and I loved the classroom debates and discussions. We had the ability to choose the subject of our final exam, and I enjoyed writing an essay with a "nuanced look at MS-13," which dealt with the ways in which U.S. Foreign Policy led to the gang’s creation. Overall, their class engaged students in a way that ensured learning was fun and exciting. 

A COVID Silver Lining 
COVID taught me the need for balance. Suddenly having the pace of life slow down so exponentially opened my eyes to the importance of carving out time for the things you love, even when life goes back to "normal." For me, those things included spending time with my family, hiking in First Landing State Park, reading, and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Academics and school are important, but COVID showed me how important it is to reserve time away from all the stress of life. 

The Academy Difference 
NA has left a tremendous impact on me through its sense of community, showing me the importance of long-lasting relationships. NA is a place of trust, empathy, and learning; more importantly, we are a community where no voice goes unheard, teachers respect students like fellow adults, and everyone is committed to the betterment of themselves and those around them. Growing up knowing that those around me - students, teachers, and coaches - have my best interest at heart has been so important. 

A Quick Word About Ella 
“Ella is fascinated by the human mind, wildlife, issues related to climate change and environmental conservation, human and animal behavior, and international relations. The depth of her knowledge in many of these areas would rival graduate level understanding. She is dogged in self-initiated pursuit of opportunities to learn and explore and looks forward to college as a chance to stretch herself further as she determines her path. Ella’s future is simply and clearly luminous. She will bring an empathetic yet strong voice to important issues. She will serve and lead selflessly and pursue the understanding of complicated topics affecting our world. And she will do it all with warmth, humility, and grace.” ~ Ms. Jennifer Scott, Ella’s College Counselor 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… that I work hard in pursuit of my goals.