Julia Lennon '13 is a passionate performer. Her love of music and theater has offered exciting opportunities for Julia throughout her life, and has, in many ways, defined who she is today. Julia leads both the women’s a Capella group and the improvisational troupe at GFA, and will be playing Florence in the spring production of Chess. She was the chief orchestrator behind the Concert for the Green and White in January, which donated over $40,000 to Sandy Hook Elementary.
Peter LaBerge ’13 is the Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal, a charitable print literary publication he founded at the beginning of his sophomore year. He has received more than 4,500 submissions for consideration, produced six full issues, and initiated an editorial staff of over fifty high school and college students from around the world. A two-time Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Medalist, Peter has recently been nominated for the 2013 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts designation.
Rashad Nimr ’13 has been half-Palestinian since he was born, stuttering since he was three, and openly gay since he was thirteen. He has travelled to Jordan every summer since the age of six to visit family, where he has had the opportunity to work with Save the Children in both Palestinian and Iraqi refugee camps. At GFA, Rashad has been the pitch of the all-male a cappella group, the Beachside Express. He also helped to found and lead an online, safe, supportive, social network for the LGBTQIA high schoolers of the greater Fairfield county area.
Singer-songwriter and international recording artist, Clay Garner ’13 writes songs in both English and Mandarin and records videos that attract millions of views online. He has thousands of followers on the Chinese twitter and his fans include Asian stars Wanting Qu and JJ Lin. The trilingual teenager (Mandarin, Spanish, English) balances high school with concerts and appearances on Beijing TV as a program co-host, China Radio International, Youku.com, and 56.com.
Van Barnet ’13 is very passionate about robotics and science. He founded the robotics club in 2009, and has led the team for the past three years at GFA. He has helped run the CT State Championship for FTC here at GFA this year. Van has done independent research into building a humanoid robotic arm with the same strength as a human. Van is very interested in engineering, and space, and hopes to continue to pursue this interest in college.
Helen Filanowski ’14 is a junior who is very passionate about the role of diversity in learning environments. She has been involved in LEAD (Learning and Educating About Diversity), a student club at GFA that encourages education and open communication about all aspects of diversity. An avid collector of vinyl records, she is seeking the ultimate listening experience and cares deeply about music and its relationship to communication in our digital world.
Jonathan Matte has been teaching Mathematics for 20 years, the last 13 at Greens Farms Academy. Formerly the Mathematics Department Chair, he is currently the 12th Grade Dean and Coach of the GFA Math Team and the CT State Champion Quiz Team. A former Jeopardy! contestant, Jon’s outside-of-the classroom passions lie in the world of puzzles and games, both as a competitor (in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the World Puzzle Championships, among others) and a creator (orchestrating the long-running GFA Puzzle Hunt and crafting puzzles that have made their way into GAMES Magazine).
Alison Freeland has produced stories for public radio since 1997, when a news director handed her a recorder and microphone and told her to “practice recording the people around you.” For the past ten years she has been the Director of Communications at Greens Farms Academy, but still finds time to hunt down interesting tales and fashion them into audio pieces for local public radio.
Sarah Maloney lives in California where she’s a Producer for Institution Post, a Visual Effects and Post Facility. From animation to visual effects, Sarah has worked on movies large and small, including “Monsters vs. Aliens”, “SharkTales” at Dreamworks Animation, Tim Burton’s 3D “Alice in Wonderland” at Sony, and was on the first team to do full film conversion at Prime Focus.
Nikhil Lai is a rising junior at Wesleyan University, where he is studying in the College of Social Studies (Government, History, Economics) and studying Spanish literature. At school, he is involved in the dramatic arts, musical arts, and athletics. His passion for both piano composition and performance has been enduring, and he is most interested in synthesizing the academic philosophy of social theory with his understanding of musical expression. As such, Nikhil’s personality represents a mixture of intellectualization and intuition, and this coexistence defines nearly everything Nikhil does.