Meet Six Members of the Class of 2022

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Below are the full magazine profiles of six seniors in Waterford's Class of 2022, sharing meaningful thoughts on their experiences, excellence and what has shaped them most while at Waterford.  

Audrie J.

Audrie Jenn How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

My time at Waterford has profoundly shaped who I am today. Waterford has shaped my perspective on life and has crafted me to be an ambitious learner, curious thinker, and an empathetic and kind person. Waterford has taught me many valuable life skills and instilled in me a lifelong love of learning. I have been at Waterford since I was 5 years old, and I can proudly say I wouldn’t want to go to any other school. 

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience?

I have loved how safe as a community I feel every day at school. I love that I get to go to school with the friends I grew up with, some of who I have known since Nursery 3’s or fifth grade. Every year at Waterford, I know almost everybody in my grade. I am so lucky to be in this close-knit community filled with talented, kind, and caring individuals. I will also cherish the memories of being on the Waterford tennis team in high school. I am honored to have been on that team with my amazing teammates and coaches. 

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why?

Ms. Beinert has motivated and supported me to excel and achieve excellence in all aspects of my life, not just in learning Chinese! She taught me the importance of hard work and has always cared about my well-being outside and inside of the classroom. She inspires me to learn more outside of class and has always made learning fun for me and my classmates. She teaches with pure love for her students and pushes me to be a better student and person. 

What does excellence mean to you?

Excellence to me doesn’t mean being superior to others by having a 4.0 for example, but for me means to put in the effort. Striving for excellence means striving to do your best every day and never giving up. Excellence doesn’t mean attaining perfection but means trying your hardest and getting back up after the hardest failures. It means to be relentless and stubborn in attaining your goals, no matter how hard that goal is. 

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

Value the learning process over trying to get straight A’s in each class. Waterford’s goal is to provide students with meaningful input and output; they want students to enjoy the learning process and develop curious minds that are eager to learn and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Don’t be afraid to fail! Failure can lead you to success is necessary to get you one step forward. I know it’s hard, but try not to compare yourself to others around you. Especially at Waterford, I know the learning environment is tough, but try to remember that everyone is on the same page. Waterford is a caring environment and wants you to succeed and persevere through your struggles. Remember that there are teachers and classmates that are happy and willing to help you. Please remember to take care of your mental health and not stress too much about grades. What matters most is that you’re happy. 


Esme S.

Esme Smith How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

Waterford has taught me how to work hard while also learning how to ask for help in achieving my goals. It's also given me the opportunity to pursue my interests while also exploring lots of new subjects, clubs, and teams. 

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience? 

I love that Waterford has created a community that feels like my home away from home. 

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why?

Mrs. Morris has not only become one of my favorite teachers at Waterford but a wonderful friend and mentor as well. She's helped increase my confidence and given me an example of compassionate leadership that I hope to replicate. 

What does excellence mean to you?

Excellence is about doing your best to improve and maintain friendships, practicing empathy and compassion, pursuing your interests, and helping others do the same! 

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

My advice to younger Waterford students would be to take advantage of all of the experiences and opportunities that Waterford offers. There's no other place where you can try so many new things while being supported by a variety of inspiring adults and friends. 

 

Christine P.

Christine Peng How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

My experience at Waterford has shaped me into a grateful person. Before I came to Waterford, I have always taken others' kindness towards me for granted. I learned to appreciate and value others' efforts in caring about my feelings and including me in the community.

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience?

What I loved most about Waterford is the academic environment here. Every day, I can always learn something new from my classmates in English class discussions. Moreover, I appreciate how my classmates treat homework: homework is not drudging work, but an opportunity to explore themselves and to create.

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why?

My host parents Mr. Hercules and Mrs. Hercules had the most impact on my education. Since I started to live with them two years ago, they have always beening sharing their interesting life experiences with me. I am thrilled and humbled by the human power shown through their stories. Their stories kindled my passion for knowing and celebrating the amazing common people in our life.

What does excellence mean to you?

Excellence means to help yourself develop in a T-shaped model. Students not only need to be generalists but also should find their interests and diving into those areas.

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

Try to explore your passion by using the resources provided by the school. If you can't find what you truly love at school, then create opportunities for yourselves.

 

Kasper N.

Kasper Nilsson How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

I have been at Waterford since Nursery-3's and I have learned how to be curious about the world around me. This skill has applied to my academics and other areas of my life and has set me up to be successful. I know that when I leave for college I will have the tools to tackle all of life's challenges.

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience?

I have loved the wide range of courses that I have had the opportunity to experience at Waterford. I have been able to find new interests that I would have never been able to realize without a Waterford education. I have ignited passions in ornithology and biotechnology, both niche topics that I was able to experience through my studies at Waterford.

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why?

There are two main faculty that have had lasting impacts on my education. Dr. Malatesta showed me the vast complexity and possibilities of the biological field and he inspired me to pursue a career in Biology. In addition, Mrs. Woller helped me to develop a love for math which I never knew I had. As a Freshman, she helped me through my struggles in Algebra 2 honors, and as a Junior, she taught me Calculus and fostered a love of math in me.

What does excellence mean to you?

Excellence to me is realizing that I will never be perfect, yet I still believe in a purpose which I am striving towards. I don't try to shy away from mistakes, rather I accept them and learn from them.

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

My advice to younger students is to slow down and enjoy their time at Waterford. When I was younger, I couldn't wait to be a Senior and to enjoy all of the many privileges it has to offer. While I am very grateful for all the wonderful things that come with being a Senior, I wish I could go back and enjoy a lower school game of kickball or a middle school Latin class just one more time. 

 

Arissa J.

Arissa Jenn How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

Throughout my 14 years at Waterford, I’ve learned the importance of feeling at home in a community. Waterford has shaped me to embrace curiosity and make the most with what I have. 

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience?

I love how much the teachers truly care about their students. I feel very lucky to walk onto a beautiful campus and safe environment every day. 

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why?

Ms. Beinert because she makes everyone feel special. She wants to see each of us flourish, but more importantly, provides the emotional support that we need. 

What does excellence mean to you?

To me, excellence means trying your very best even if things don’t work out. It is the willingness to learn from your mistakes and understand that you are not already great, but could do so much

better. 

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

Don’t be afraid of trying new things. It might seem scary to open new doors at first, but why not decide after trying? Enjoy your time at Waterford as much as you can before it's too late. Even if your life feels difficult now, you have a right to enjoy all of these things, everyday.

 

Skyler R.

Skyler Rudd How has your time at Waterford shaped you?

I came to Waterford in 10th grade and it was a hard year to start at a new school. Covid hit and we all had to finish school online. It was a tough experience, but the friends I made at Waterford that year and the friends that have stuck by my side ever since have made me feel happier every time I get to see them. 

What have you loved most about your Waterford experience? 

I’ve loved that my Waterford experience has brought out talents and passions I didn’t know I had, specifically with music and photography. Through Jazz Band, I've been able to explore multiple instruments and I’ve developed a passion for composing and producing my own songs. When I get stressed out or anxious about my studies, or just life in general, I turn to music as a way to release that stress and anxiety. 

Which faculty member(s) have had the most impact on your education and why? 

Mr. Patteson has had the greatest impact on my education and on my time at Waterford. The classes I've had with him and the techniques and principles I’ve learned from him have made me excited to take photos and pursue photography on my own. Mr. Patteson taught me to see life through a lens of possibility, rather than assumptions and limitations.

What does excellence mean to you? 

For me, excellence means being 100% truthful with myself (I know when I’m putting forth my best effort and when I’m slacking). I don’t think anyone can be truly excellent if they’re not living with integrity. Sometimes excellence requires us to take a breath and step back from what we’re doing in order to view the bigger picture, and especially to view our place in the bigger picture and how we can contribute for good.

What advice do you have for the younger students at Waterford?

I'd say to try classes you wouldn't normally take and take challenges that might put you outside of your comfort zone. During my Sophomore year, everytime I walked into my Jazz Band class I was terrified, and even now in my Senior year at Waterford I still feel this way. But over the past 3 years I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I've been able to improve. I am now able to come to Jazz Band everyday and have fun making awesome music with my bandmates.