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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Virginia Ames Tillar '21

Virginia Tech

“Norfolk Academy has allowed me to truly discover who I am as a person. Whether it has been during my intense study of the humanities or pursuing my love for the stage during a performance, I have discovered that NA truly emphasizes the whole person, allowing you to reflect upon what it is that sparks your passion and brings you joy.” 

Batten Leadership Program Literacy Fellow, Fall Play, Winter Musical, Spring Play, French Club, Latin Club (Vice President), Aftercare 

Three Adjectives to Describe the Class of 2021: Thoughtful, Diverse, Cohesive 

Most Meaningful Activity 
Participating in our theatrical productions has been a joy throughout my Upper School career. During my senior year, I decided to work for the Aftercare program, which has provided a sense of responsibility, and further nourished my love for working with children. 

Beyond the Classroom 
During my sophomore and junior years, I was in Mr. Oberdorfer’s advisee, which meant that the two of us would sit together in the refectory every other day. We would chat about everyday life, and I gained a lot of life knowledge during those 30-minute time chunks! I’ve genuinely enjoyed every second I’ve spent with Mr. O. 

Reflections on Learning 
The past few years, I’ve added English courses to my schedule, which has allowed my days to line up with entire afternoons engaged in the wonderful world of literature. From Literacy Fellows to Shakespearean Literature to Lyrical Poetry to Creative Writing – the list goes on! I will remember my Upper School English classes fondly, and in a positive light, for years to come. 

Inspirational Teacher-Coach 
There isn’t enough space to express my gratitude for all of my teachers at NA. Mr. Peccie, Dr. Kidd, and Mr. Manning are responsible for awakening my passion for English literature. Dr. Affronti provided awareness that test scores do not always reflect one’s passion for a subject. My math teachers – Mr. Borum, Mr. Jarvis, Mr. Merklin, Mrs. Hallberg, and Ms. McCallum – helped better my comprehension of this challenging subject. 

A Quick Word About Virginia Ames 
“In my 30-year career as an English teacher, I find myself sending Virginia Ames out into the world with as much enthusiasm as I have ever felt for a student. Virginia Ames is a strong student, but my affection for her is fueled by her sincere and genuine passion for literature and the exploration of the human condition. One of my most vivid memories of Virginia Ames is her portrayal of Abigail Williams in The Crucible, a haunting depiction of the corruption of innocence – a performance that still gives me chills. It has been a privilege to teach Virginia Ames, who is one of the most endearing and wholesome students I have ever been around.” ~ Mr. Richard Peccie, Virginia Ames’ English Teacher 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… never being afraid to stay true to who I am.