Senior Spotlight: Julia Gordan

By Tori Kitchens

Senior Julia Gordan has been part of the Oak Hall (OHS) community from the very beginning of her schooling experience. Known for her academic prowess, she has excelled in most areas including STEM and Global Affairs. 

As an AP scholar with many hobbies, Gordan has committed a lot of her spare time to the benefit of others within the school. Her involvement in clubs like Future Medical Professionals Club (FMPC), National Honor Society, and Environmental Club has helped her reach her goal of leaving a positive impact at OHS. Gordan has continued to follow her passions in OHS clubs by stepping into leadership positions in each of these clubs her senior year.

Wanting to pursue a career in medicine and global health, she has taken the role of president of FMPC. “FMPC introduced me to the concept of using medicine to serve the community – whether it be through blood drives or public health – and redefined my perspective towards STEM,” Gordan acknowledged. “My unending passion and academic success in STEM classes furthered my curiosity for the biological sciences and were key in encouraging me to explore extracurriculars related to STEM.”

Gordan wanted to further her participation in National Honor Society this year by becoming Vice President. “Alongside wanting [to] organize the annual NHS food drive, I became the NHS Vice President as I wanted to invest myself more into service as a whole and make it a priority in my extracurriculars,” Gordan stated.

Looking back at her time at OHS, Gordan credits teachers like Mrs. Christine Gutierrez (math) and Ms. Kristin Wilson (science) for further building her love of STEM and helping others alongside her own competitive spirit. “I began to enjoy the challenge and craved advanced classes not just for the competition but for challenge of comprehending college-level material. Gordan will continue this competitive edge as she will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall and will study biological sciences and global health.

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Enjoy the ride, but always keep working hard.
B – Best meal? Anything from Brazil.
C – Teacher’s best words of advice? Just any type of encouragement I heard last year.
D – Favorite dessert? This dessert called brigadeiro from Brazil.
E – Most entertaining class? AP Bio last year.
F – Favorite high school moment? Walks with Christina (Sarantos) in the morning. 
G – Goals for your senior year? Have fun and get into a good college. 
H – Hoping to attend which college? MIT or UChicago. (Filmed before committing to UChicago)
I – Interesting thing you do? Horseback riding. 
J – Favorite joke? Why’d the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Keep an agenda and just do the work.
L – Least favorite subject? History. 
M – Music you listen to? Chill pop, Steve Lacy.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
O – What sport would you like to try that you haven’t already? Volleyball. 
P – Preparations for a big test include? Listening to music, zoning out, and WebAssign.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? How am I helping the world?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Playing with my dog when I get home.
S – What would your senior superlative be? Probably “Most Likely to get a Nobel Peace Prize”.
T – Favorite TV show? The Office or Modern FamilyModern Family!!
U – Most underrated pet? Cats. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? Paris is pretty cool. 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? I think it means being supportive and always trying to be the best version of yourself for everyone else. 
X – How many x-rays have you had? Oh God, probably like 20 at this point. 20. 
Y – Your impact to younger students? I hope I can just be an inspiration to the younger kids and try and teach them to be nice to other people. 
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Capricorn.

Black History Month: How and Why we Celebrate

By Brody Beaupre

February 1 marks the first day of Black History Month nationwide. “Negro History Week” was first founded in 1926 by Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, it evolved into Black History Month. This month was officially christened by President Gerald Ford in 1976. By celebrating this month, it has helped bring forth awareness to all the inequalities and discrimination Black people faced and continue to face in life and in history. Black History Month was put in place to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” Ford noted. The presidents have also given every Black History Month a theme. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance” because “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings,” according to the ASALH. These themes help us to make sure we know what we celebrate and why we celebrate it. 

How Oak Hall is celebrating Black History Month

Oak Hall is so thankful to have guest speaker Clint Clarke speak to the Upper School students on Feb. 2. about his personal life and his work at Walt Disney World. Clarke is the Senior Audio System Designer, Legacy Award Winner, and does Disney Live Entertainment. He has done so much work for Walt Disney World (Orlando), Disneyland Paris (France), The Disney Cruise Lines, and Shanghai Disney (China). He also has done lots of work for the Florida Gators both when he was a student and now with his company, Triple C Productions. Outside of all his amazing work in the audio world, he is also an all around great guy. He is always doing what he can to help others and is a bright spot in so many people’s lives (mine included). I am so excited for him to share his personal experiences and his insight/information on Black History Month. (Also shout out to Ms. Spencer and the Black Student Union for making this happen).