Words from the Wise: A Look at Ledyard Alumni

The end of the 2016-17 school year is fast approaching, and with that, Ledyard High School will bid farewell to yet another graduating class that will emerge from the highs and lows of adolescence as adults and new alumni.

While alumni are out of sight, they certainly aren’t out of mind. The class of 2016 was a big deal— and this is what they’re up to, what advice they have for students, and specific messages they have for certain teachers.

Photo provided by Leah Sheltry

Leah Sheltry

@Lasell College in Newton, MA; studying East Asian history, textiles, physics, English, and Communications; majoring in Fashion Communications (which promotes fashion through journalism, advertising, photography, and basic communication).

Advice: To juniors who may be looking at colleges and seniors who are deciding on colleges, I think it’s important to remember that you don’t have to love college. I think there’s a lot of pressure on students to love their roommate, love the campus, love their professors, love dorm life, but it’s okay if you just like (and sometimes hate) those things.

A Heartfelt Message to a Teacher: I know she’s sometimes a substitute teacher now, but I always remember sitting in Spanish class as a freshman and sophomore and Señora Froh saying, “Let the test help you take the test.” It’s a nice, little thing I like to repeat to myself before taking an exam in college.

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Photo provided by Ty Ebdon

Ty Ebdon (In the green)

@Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, MA; studying Marine Engineering.

Advice: Have fun in high school, study up, get into a good school, and get ready for life.

A Heartfelt Message to a Teacher: Mr. Cartier— Thanks for being a great woods teacher and a person I could look to for advice on anything. You made high school a lot more fun the three years I had you. Hope all is well with the family. Thank you!

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Photo by Steve McLaughlin Photography

Megan Brawner

@Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT; studying international business, competing in cross country and track, and part of the Hospitality & Tourism Club and the Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Advice: My advice to current students would be to enjoy each moment and appreciate the journey that college is. I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I had my first semester and I am so glad I looked into my university’s clubs and programs. It is important to stay social and meet new people because it will make you feel more welcome as you walk around campus daily. For those hoping to continue their sport at the collegiate level: Always believe in yourself. Remember that you belong there even on the days you struggle. You won’t always have a perfect day, but as Hannah Montana once said, “Nobody’s perfect.”

A Heartfelt Message to Teachers: There are so many people to thank for their endless support even after high school, but for this piece I would like to give a special shoutout to Mr. Palmieri, Mrs. Russak and Mr. Buonocore. They have always had faith in me even when I struggled and I will always be grateful for that!

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Photo by Noah Hysong

Noah Hysong

@Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI; studying engineering.

Advice: I would tell the seniors that picking the right college isn’t about statistics or money, it’s about where you’re most comfortable.

A (Heartfelt) Message to Teachers:

To Mr. VanFrachen— You were right…about everything.

To Mr. Estabrooks— It is all about the process.

Photo provided by Chris Hughes 

Chris Hughes

@the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, MA;  juggling Zeta Psi, Air Force ROTC, being an EMT for MIT’s EMS program, and doing extensive research in the Space Systems Laboratory.

Advice: Try everything and be resilient. Colleges look for kids who do a little bit of everything (academics, sports, volunteering, various clubs, etc.). But while they look for this variety, they look to see if you are putting your full effort in being in all those activities and specifically excelling in some. Believe it or not though, what is key for big name colleges is if you still have free time to have a healthy social life on top of the work load.

A Heartfelt Message to a Teacher: All the teachers at Ledyard High School have helped me become a better learner in some way, but I’d specifically like to thank Dr. Wang for being one of the best teachers I will ever have. I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes I took with you and all the lunches and mornings before school when I came in to take down chairs. I have learned a lot from you and your classes. Being your student has made me a better leader and the type of student I am today.

Photo provided by Olivia Triplett

Olivia Triplett

@Northeastern University in Boston, MA; studying biology with a minor in public speaking, giving tours of the university as a Husky Ambassador, singing in the award winning a cappella group Pitch, Please!, spending free time at Pfizer immunotoxicology labs as an intern, and going on alternate spring break trips like to Ecuador to build an athletic complex for the local community.

Advice: I would have to say, keep your head up. Things might not be like how you imagine them to be when you go to college, but just sit tight. Nothing great ever came without a little waiting, whether it be a friend, or a grade, or an internship. Everyone in college is going through exactly what you are going through and everyone understands to some degree. You might not love where you are immediately and that’s fine!

A Heartfelt Message to Teachers:

To Mr. Bednarz,
Thank you for always teaching me to be humble, and telling me to always send thank you cards for people who do things for me. That has opened so many doors for me. You taught me how to have fun while doing what I love and that is something I will take with me forever.

Ms. Park,
Thank you for teaching me how to be independent. You are such a big role model for me and I  think often about how I can take the skills you taught me, in writing and in life, and apply them to what I’m doing. Thank you for helping me learn to be me.

To Mrs. O’Brien,
Thank you for teaching me the importance of passion, and showing me how far a smile can take you. I will always remember the things you’ve taught me.

Carina Wang, Editor-in-Chief

Junior Carina Wang is the Editor-in-Chief of The Colonel. She participates in PALESTRA. Outside of school, she can be found volunteering her time at humanitarian nonprofits or her doctor’s office, running a study inspiration Tumblr blog, or avidly refreshing PowerSchool.


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