After seven years at Oakcrest, Sophia M. ’23 prepares to graduate this spring as an Acorn. Looking back at her formative years spent at Oakcrest from sixth grade to senior year, she says that the most meaningful aspect of the school has been the community.
“The teachers are some of the most dedicated, intelligent, and kind women I've ever met, and they genuinely care for the well-being of each and every student,” Sophia explains. “The girls here are so incredibly supportive, always looking out for one another. My friends are my sisters, whether I've known them since sixth grade or just from junior year. The community of Oakcrest is so important to me because it makes going to school enjoyable. Even when I have bad or busy days, I walk through the doors smiling because I know it's another day I get to spend with some of the most amazing women and friends.”
The structure of each Oakcrest school day, which allows for daily Mass or an enrichment period, as well as a free lunch period, has made time for what Sophia said she believes is most important — prayer, friendship, and enjoyment. Having the opportunity to go to Mass she said is the “perfect opportunity to pause and spend time with God amidst a busy, hectic schedule.”
“Having a chapel at school that is open all day is something I've really tried to take advantage of as often as possible, especially within senior year and all of its chaos. It's amazing to be able to just walk down the hall to Jesus in the chapel,” she said. When she attends enrichment, Sophia said, “as I've gotten older and my life has gotten busier, it's harder to find time in my day to just sit down and read for enjoyment, but enrichment is such a perfect opportunity to do just that.”
“As cliché as it sounds, lunch is probably my favorite part of a typical day. I can't remember the last time I had lunch with friends and didn't end up crying from laughter. Whether sitting outside, around the circular tables in Walsh Hall, or in the comfy chairs in the senior loft, I love the break it offers in the day and the opportunity to bond and laugh with friends.”
In her classes, Sophia said she has not taken a single class at Oakcrest that she did not love. “Even if the material was challenging or the subject wasn't my favorite, the teachers and the lessons it taught me made everything worthwhile,” she explained.
Two of her favorites over the years were American History with Mrs. Cecilia Escobar in seventh grade and Beginning Theatre Arts with Dr. Kristin O’Malley Ricci in 10th grade.
“I had taken theatre for two years in middle school and had participated in all three shows in sixth through eighth grade, so I went into Dr. Ricci's class with a relatively general knowledge of theatrics,” Sophia says. “However, that class truly opened my eyes to the vastness and beauty of theatre. The class focused mainly on theatre history, with some technical aspects like puppetry and stage design. After the first two weeks of classes, I knew that this is what I wanted to study.”
Sophia has participated in 10 Oakcrest theatre productions throughout her years at Oakcrest, enjoying not just the experience on stage, but also the opportunity to form friendships with girls from different classes.
“From playing Wild Rabbit #3 in my sixth grade show of Velveteen Rabbit to playing Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music, I often get asked, ‘Out of all the shows you've done, which is your favorite?’ And I always give the same answer: every show is so unique in its own way and you have to cherish each one for what it is, because you're never going to be working with that specific group of girls on that specific production again. For that reason, you love each show equally yet differently.”
When not in the classroom or on the stage, Sophia is seen in activities all across the board at Oakcrest, from book club to volleyball to a summer programs counselor for musical theatre camp. She also serves as the Senior Class President, the Executive President of the Student Ambassadors club, and the head of the Aspen Sister Family. This spring she is the stage manager of the Newsies, Jr. theatre production and will play varsity golf.