The Class of 2019 Graduation was on June 28, but we had one more Senior Spotlight come in at the 11th hour that we want to share with you!
Senior Spotlight students were selected in collaboration with the Ichabod Crane High School faculty and administration, but the entire Class of 2019 is an incredible group of young adults. We are so proud of each and every one of them.
Class of 2019 Senior Spotlight on Julianne LaGrassa
What was the best thing about being a senior?
The best part of being a senior is how special everything becomes. What used to be a typical event at school becomes a big deal because it’s potentially the last time you’ll ever experience it. As a senior, you’ve already gone through the awkwardness of school dances and now you can jump in and forget about that apprehension, just to live in the moment. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst your fellow seniors that makes all the last times some of the best times.
What was the worst or most challenging thing about being a senior?
For me, the most challenging part of senior year was my college process. Going into musical theater, I had to go through rigorous prescreen, audition, and application processes that left me incredibly emotionally and physically raw. Because my major is a subjective art, I had to do my best to meet all the standards expected of me with my music and my academics. Facing rejection from these institutions knowing that it is based on me and my talent, as well as my academics and application, took a toll on me. Ultimately, this experience has made me a much stronger and resilient person, and I now feel more than prepared to go on in the music industry.
The finish line is so close in senior year of high school. Did senioritis ever kick in at any point?
Senioritis hit me like a truck this year. The amount of work I had increased, while my motivation decreased. For me, this feeling was because I knew where I was going in the fall and was just so excited to start my future that school became super difficult to stay focused on. I had to remind myself that I needed to finish the year strong, but almost everyone I know lost motivation during the second semester. It is inevitable, but we had to do our best to stay motivated!!
Now that you’ve reached that finish line, what advice would you give to incoming Ichabod freshman?
My biggest piece of advice for incoming freshman is don’t worry so much about the little things. If you got one bad grade or got in an insignificant argument with a friend, ask yourself if this incident will still matter in 10 years. Many of the issues we encounter in high school are menial and will not be important in the long run, so live and let die!! Be kind to yourself and live your life for you.
In your time at Ichabod, who were those staff members (teachers or otherwise) who made a lasting positive impact on you?
First and foremost, Mrs. Gail Nadeem Helfer is my inspiration and the reason I am the person I am today. Without her, I would have never discovered my love for the theater or known the true extent of what the arts can do for a person.
Mr. Bulan also impacted me deeply with his guidance through my journey as a musician. He taught me so much that I will cherish forever and I have had many incredible opportunities because of him.
Mrs. Knight was my homeroom teacher for all 4 years of high school and my math teacher for 3, and our banter and her quick wit will never be forgotten. She believed in me when no one else did, and has taught me to believe in myself too.
Last but not least, Mr. Sanger proved to me over our past two years in class together that I am capable of so much. He coached me in Track when I am the worst runner ever, no exaggeration I promise, and never doubted me, even when I doubted myself. In Modern America Through Film, he helped to open up an analytical side of me through film discussions and truly opened my eyes to the complexities of film and characters.
All of these people are mentors and friends who I will never forget, and I thank them deeply for making me the person I am today.
For the first time in a while, you’re not coming back to Ichabod in September. What does the fall look like for you?
In the fall I will be attending the American Musical and Dramatic Arts College and Conservatory (AMDA) studying Musical Theater in New York City. My dreams are coming true, and I want everyone reading this to know that if you work hard, yours can too.