Meet our Upper School students: Jackie, Rohan and Abi

March 21, 2019
By Bill Spedding

Name: Jackie P.

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 5th grade

What is your favorite Keystone memory? It was near the end of 5th grade when Mr. Howk and some of the students in my older brother’s grade made a Rube Goldberg machine to celebrate breaking ground for the Shadfan Science Building. It was so different than what I had experienced in my previous schools and made me realize just how cool and different Keystone was.

Hidden Talent: I can aim really well- whether firing a gun or throwing a paper airplane at a friend. It has served me well in volleyball and softball.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I would want people to remember me for my creative writing. Since I have always been one of the youngest in my grade, I was afraid that they wouldn’t take me as seriously. I worked hard to make my writing and my voice really stand out from the crowd.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Jackie: It has been wonderful to watch Jackie grow up on the stage, through her creative writing and on the volleyball court with her wicked serve. She has a boisterous warmth, an infectious energy and even though she doesn’t always see all of her strengths within herself, we all do. She is soon off to great things and Keystone has been a better place for her years here.

Name: Rohan S.

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 1st grade

What is your favorite Keystone memory? One of my favorite events is Field Day where we get to compete against the other grades in Spirit War. Especially memorable was junior year because we won and it created even more pride in my class.

Hidden Talent: I have the odd talent of being able to shake hands with both hands. Anyone can shake right hand to right hand, but I can just as easily shake their right hand with my left, sometimes without them even knowing it. I haven’t busted this out in a formal setting yet, but it makes for a good gag with friends.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? To be a part of a grade that had a lasting influence on Keystone way after we have left. As a grade, I hope we are remembered as a group who helped create stronger dialog with administration which have led to campus improvements.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Rohan: Rohan is a great tennis player, a fine class leader and a skilled, creative bass player in Talk. I have enjoyed talking music with him over the past few months and appreciate his taste in music (besides Maroon 5- come on man! ). He has a great sense of humor and brings out the best in his classmates through strong communication and consensus building.

Name: Abi C.

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 8th grade

What is your favorite Keystone memory? Probably the night during the Macbeth production when my band and I got to perform a 30-minute set, then I rushed in for make-up/costume and had a great time on the stage. It was meaningful to me to see so many of my peers take time from their night to come support us all.

Hidden Talent: I can wiggle my ears. I can wiggle my forehead. But what makes it special is when I can wiggle them simultaneously and my classmates can’t.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I hope that I helped increase the passion and love for the arts at Keystone. Theater is going strong, but it has been wonderful to play such a great role in increasing the presence of music in the Upper School. I am especially appreciative of my bandmates for embracing such a strong female presence within our art.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Abi: Abi has been a strong presence at Keystone since her arrival. She is a fierce advocate for herself and her sense of justice while also being a good listener. She is immensely talented on stage and is equally adept singing her own songs as she is bringing the vengeful fury of a Lady Macbeth.

Meet our Upper School students: Brooke and Ani

February 28, 2019
By Bill Spedding

Name: Brooke

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 9th

What is your favorite Keystone memory? My favorite memories are with the softball team. Whether it is doing one of our cheers during the games, hanging out during the long bus rides, or enjoying each other’s company at Sonic as a team afterwards, it is a great way to make friends, especially with different grade levels. There are a lot of good vibes on the team this year and towards the program.

Hidden Talent: Guitar Hero. They come over to my house and challenge me thinking that they can win. They cannot.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I hope that my contribution to the Keystone yearbook helps them look back fondly at their years at Keystone and does justice to their experiences. Also, being a founding member of Wellness Council has been meaningful as I see its increasing impact on the school.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Brooke: I am so glad that Brooke came to Keystone and wow has she shined here. She has a sharp wit, is a dedicated student leader and a great friend. She has a top-notch brain which comes through in her writing and all of her schoolwork. She is definitely going places!

 

Name: Ani

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 3rd through 7th, returned 10th-12th

What is your favorite Keystone memory? Playing sports with my friends during lunch times. Here we could let our worries about school go away and just have pure fun.

Hidden Talent: I’ve been playing violin since 5th or 6th grade.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? Working with my grade to make the senior experience even better, such as updates to the Slounge. I also hope, along with others, to be held up as example of someone who produces good work, has fun doing so and is a good friend. Showing that one can have an accomplished and balanced life is important to me.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Ani: Ani returned to us after a few years away and instantly made important contributions to his class and school. A devoted Science Fair student, Ani has won awards and served as a mentor to keep that proud Keystone tradition thriving. It keeps him busy, but not away from cheering on his friends’ accomplishments or being 1 of 2 senior leaders on the Cobras baseball team. He will be sorely missed next year.

Meet our Upper School students: Gowri and Jacob

February 15, 2019
By Bill Spedding

Name: Gowri

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: Kinder

What is your favorite Keystone memory? I love nature and working outside. Often during my free period I have an opportunity to sit in the sun and study, but frequently teachers stop by to ask how I am doing or what I am reading these days. Moments like these signify the community I feel at Keystone and how student/teacher relationships are developed over your childhood.

Hidden Talent: I sing, dance, practice taekwondo, play piano and violin and am an avid Crossfitter; all when I am not continuing Indian dance at my mother’s urging. Most of these aren’t secrets, but are a testament to my short attention span and how I feel I must always be doing something.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I hope that my participation with my friends in Talk (a 5-member high school rock band) helped to strengthen the music program and brought more music to the Upper School.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Gowri: Gowri is so multi-faceted and talented and like her brother before her, a friend to all animals. While I am sure there are times the frenetic pace of her life might stress her out, she has a stoicism and keeps plugging away at her full to-do list. She achieves at a high level in all of her activities but is kind to others along the way.

 

Name: Jacob

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since:Kinder

What is your favorite Keystone memory? Senior year West Texas trip. I am usually gone the entire summer working at Chautauqua children’s school in Western New York, so it is great to see all of my friends again after a few months away. There are lots of great hikes, but also a good amount of time to hang-out and bond as an entire class.

Hidden Talent:I could join the circus at any time. I can juggle, I can make 6 different balloon animals (dog, snake, dinosaur, giraffe, cat, mouse); I can even do the trapeze. I have tried to train my cats -- can that count as lion taming?

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I try to be very social with my teachers, so they get to really know me and me, them. I have played a big role in Model UN and am very proud of our Best Delegation awards. I also helped create our own MUNKey conference for other schools here at Keystone and hope I have set the foundation for even more growth and accomplishment for the program down the road.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Jacob: Jacob is super high energy. With his classmates, with his questions, with his humor- Jacob is always set at 110% and you never know how he is going to make you laugh next. All that said, he is very studious, thoughtful to his classmates and is always looking to boost their spirits.

Meet our Upper School students: Carlo and Mary

February 01, 2019
By Bill Spedding

Name: Carlo

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 7th grade

What is your favorite Keystone memory? It is hard to whittle it down to one, but the 10th grade Yosemite Trip was a highlight. This was when I really felt that the whole grade came together and I bonded with a lot of folks who I hadn’t connected to as deeply before. They are some of my best friends now.

Hidden Talent: I played clarinet for a few years and have been able to read music since a very young age. I was also into performative yo-yo tricks for a while in 4th-6th grade and got pretty good at them.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I am not sure if anyone 10-15 years from now will know or remember me, but for those current younger students and teachers who will be here for a while, I guess it would be my contributions to theater, soccer and basketball. Some used to joke that I was like Troy Bolton from High School Musical. I hope folks see that there is no stigma about being part of both of those activities and being a “jock” and in theater works hand in hand.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Carlo: One of my fondest memories of Carlo was from his 10th grade year’s production of Romeo and Juliet. He literally flew across the stage and up the balcony so powerfully and gracefully that audible gasps could be heard in the audience. Here was a single moment in time which captured his athleticism and powerful stage presence. Carlo is also an elected officer in his class, a respected captain on the basketball court and a hard-working student.

 

Name: Mary

Grade: Senior

Been at Keystone since: 3rd grade

What is your favorite Keystone memory? For Upper School I would say the softball team vs. baseball team game last year was a blast. I love the teamwork that softball brings out and it was fun to play with the guys and the coaches from both teams.

Hidden Talent: I can juggle pretty well, even items of different weights. I can also tie a cherry stem with just my mouth.

What do you hope your legacy will be at Keystone? I really hope that I instill the teamwork, skill and fun competitiveness that the softball team brings to Keystone. Traditions like the team sleepover and the close-knit relationship between the grades that the team creates are important to me. I hope that that level of care and concern that teammates show to one another would be a characteristic of all student relationships on campus.

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Short reflections on what I appreciate about Mary: Mary is wise beyond her years and has a high EQ. She has been instrumental in important conversations about student health over the years and is a wonderful advocate for those who don’t always feel that their voice is being heard. Her work in Lit Mag sets a high example of creativity and leadership and it is always a joy to see her smile as she leads her classmates in cheering on softball or other athletics teams.

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