Tag Archives: ACP

Student Spotlight: Asher Dobrin

By Tori Kitchens

Senior Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) member and student-athlete Asher Dobrin has been part of the Oak Hall community since the beginning of his academic career. As a lifer*, Dobrin has participated in several extra curriculars, including cross country, soccer, track and field, band, and numerous clubs. “For me, the most important thing and the definition of a student-athlete is probably just being able to incorporate those two parts of my life together, and I like to blend it together and relate my academics and my athletics. I think it makes it more enjoyable,” he said. 

Dobrin began running cross country going into his sixth-grade year. Many athletes do cross country to stay in shape for another sport, and his parents wanted him to run to prepare for soccer. As he kept practicing, Dobrin became of Oak Hall’s strongest runners, and achieved a personal best time of 16:24 for a 5K. Dobrin has been a part of the state runner-up team for the past three cross country seasons. “While this is more of an on-paper accomplishment, I think it’s representative of what I am really proud of the most, which is just being a part of one of the best groups of people I could ask for,” he noted. Out of 227 runners at the state finals this year, Dobrin placed 26.

Soccer has always been one of those sports Asher could always come back to. He began playing soccer around the age of three or four on a community league team and as he reached middle school, Dobrin joined GSA, a travel soccer team. “I’ve played my whole life and [I] am not very good, but it’s nostalgic and comforting,” Dobrin joked. 

Although no one in his immediate family played an instrument, Dobrin was always interested in learning about music and seemed to gravitate toward it. “I thought it was cool and all my friends did it, so now I’m in it,” he pointed out. He began band in sixth grade, but he did not find his instrument, the bass, until eighth grade. Going into his sophomore year, Dobrin made the decision to audition for ACP. “I really wanted to challenge myself, and I put a lot of time into music in 9thgrade,” Dobrin explained. As a senior, Dobrin can play upright bass, electric bass, cello, piano, ukulele, and some guitar, but he has always preferred playing the upright bass. “I also love to dabble around on any instruments I can get my hands on,” Dobrin stated.

Dobrin wants younger student-athletes and ACP students to understand that enjoying what they are doing and not getting too stressed out are the most important things. “Always make sure you’re obviously enjoying it, but you’re putting your full effort into things because if you put more effort into it, you’re going to enjoy it more because you’ll enjoy the outcome more,” Dobrin stated. 

Hoping to attend the University of Georgia or the University of Colorado, Dobrin would like to study music composition or environmental studies. In addition, Dobrin would like to either sign with or walk on to a Division I Cross Country and Track team. 

* A “lifer” is a student that has consecutively attended Oak Hall from Pre-K, Junior Kindergarten, or Kindergarten through senior year.

A – Z with Asher Dobrin

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Do your homework.
B – Best pre-race meal? Apples.
C – Coach’s best words of advice? Run fast, turn left.
D – Favorite dessert? Ice cream.
E – Most entertaining class? Freshman year geometry with Mr. L.
F – Favorite high school moment? I don’t know yet. The lounge freshman year with the carpet!
G – Goals for your senior year? Get into college and get into musical school.
H – Hoping to attend what college? Either University of Georgia or University of Colorado.
I – Interesting thing you do outside of arts and athletics? I volunteer with conservationist agencies. 
J – Favorite joke? What’s — oh I forgot! What’s blue and not very heavy? Light blue. 
K – Key to maintaining homework? Prioritizing assignments. 
L – Least favorite music style to play? Jazz.
M – Music you listen to? Indie, funk, and rock.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
O – What other sport would you like to try? Volleyball. 
P – Preparations for a big meet or performance? I try to sleep, I drink a lot of water, and I eat sushi.
Q – Question you’d ask your future self? Am I still not sleeping enough?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Going to bed.
S – What would your senior superlative be? Best hair. 
T – Favorite TV show? I don’t watch TV. 
U – Most underrated music genre? Anarbor funk. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with mountains. 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? A lot.
X – Have you ever had an x-ray? Yes, many. 
Y – What do you want your impact to younger athletes and musicians be? Have fun!
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Cancer. 

Student Spotlight: Sofia Guico

OHS senior hopes to inspire others through music, athletics and leadership

By Tori Kitchens

Having been inspired by upperclassmen throughout high school, senior Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) member and student-athlete Sofia Guico now has the opportunity to pay it forward to younger members of the Oak Hall community. Being a lifer*, Guico has been part of multiple extracurricular activities including band, golf, Chinese Club, Honor Council, and Environmental Club. “I think the most important thing that a student-athlete should consider and work on is having a healthy balance,” Guico explained. 

The senior has played violin for most of her life but did not join the Oak Hall music program until her eighth-grade year. Abbie Ringdahl (OHS class of 2018) convinced Guico to join the prestigious program. “She told me about all [of] these amazing opportunities I’d be given if I just kind of joined and talked to the music director, so I took a leap of faith,” Guico described. Once again, Guico was inspired by upperclassmen to join ACP going into the Upper School. “I just knew I wanted to be like them, so I tried to follow their path and do everything right,” she said.

Having played golf on and off for three years, Guico joined Oak Hall’s varsity girls golf team in sixth grade. As a senior, Guico is now the co-captain. She has enjoyed watching her teammates grow throughout her seven years in the program. “It’s really nice to see how we just kind of matured over the last couple [of] years,” Guico noted. 

Since freshman year, Guico has been a representative of Oak Hall’s Honor Council (the group elected by their peers that represents the voice of the community when it comes to issues of academic integrity). “I got to see what hearings were like [freshman year] and help enforce and instill the Honor Code throughout the student body,” Guico stated. She was elected the sophomore class representative and Vice Chair in her junior year. As a senior, Guico is now the Honor Council Chair. “I was inspired by past seniors [and] past upperclassmen to run for Chair, so I did because I think there’s a lot of cool things you can do with that,” Guico mentioned. 

She hopes younger students of OHS look up to her as she did to upperclassmen when she was younger and wants to ensure they feel welcomed and part of the OHS community. In addition, she wants them to pursue their passions while finding a healthy balance between activities and schoolwork. “While there are so many things you can pursue here, it’s so difficult to really find that perfect happy medium in everything,” Guico said. 

* A “lifer” is an OHS student that began their educational adventure in kindergarten or prior, and consecutively stay through graduation.

A to Z with Sofia Guico

A – Advice you’d give your freshman self? Do what you love and pursue all the passions that you have. 
B – Your best ACP moment? The one that I did online. I had to do all that basically by myself. 
C – Career goals? I don’t know. 
D – Favorite dessert? Ice cream. 
E – Most entertaining class? Band, obviously. 
F – Favorite high school moment? Today, being with you. 
G – Goals for your senior year? To sleep a lot more than I have in the past. 
H – Hoping to attend what college? It’s a surprise! 
I – Interesting thing you do outside of arts and athletics? I really like to meditate. 
J – Favorite joke? Knock knock. [Who’s there?] Me! Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Lock yourself in your room and don’t let your phone distract you. 
L – Least favorite music style to play? Jazz.
M – Music you listen to? Jazz.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
O – What other sport would you like to try? Water Polo. 
P – Preparations for a big match or performance? For a big match, I have to eat Chic-Fil-A. For a big performance, doing my makeup really well. 
Q – Question you’d ask your future self? Did you grow?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? My free period. 
S – What would your senior superlative be? Worst driver! 
T – Favorite TV show? Manifest.
U – Most underrated music genre? Lofi jazz. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? My bed.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? To be honorable and to love what you’re doing. 
X – Have you ever had an x-ray? No. 
Y – Your impact to younger athletes and musicians? Try to find that really good balance.
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Virgo. 

Student Spotlight: Jennifer Berthy

By Tori Kitchens

Oak Hall Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) member and student-athlete, Jennifer Berthy is doing everything she can to enjoy her senior year after joining the Oak Hall community five years ago. She is the president of the Oak Hall Thespian troupe, Dance Marathon President, and the captain of the girl’s swimming, soccer, and lacrosse teams. To Berthy, being a student-athlete means her focus needs to be prioritized on her academics before participating in athletics. In addition, Berthy is a part of the ACP Theater program at Oak Hall, and she has been dedicated to the program for the past five years.

After moving to Clearwater when she was eight, Berthy joined a few athletic clubs which included swimming. When she transferred to Oak Hall, the three-sport athlete found that she was a talented competitor in swimming and became a leader on the team. In her freshman year, Berthy was given the chance to officially become a leader on her team by taking on the role of captain, which she has proudly served as for all four years. Berthy explained that having older girls on the team look up to her was a different, but enjoyable, experience.

For Berthy, joining soccer was not something she expected to do. Wanting to stay active during swimming’s offseason, she chose to spend the winter playing soccer alongside her friends. “I played soccer when I was in fifth through seventh grade. In sixth and seventh grade, I played on both [junior varsity] and varsity because varsity needed more girls in some of their games,” she explained. 

While living in Clearwater, Berthy also joined a club lacrosse team after being introduced to the sport by her middle school best friend. From 2016-2018 joined the varsity squad in her eighth-grade year, after some convincing from then-girls lacrosse coach Deanna Majeski. In contrast to her role on the swim team, “I was the youngest one there, and it was different than swimming because I wasn’t as good as the older girls,” she said. 

Jen Berthy (R) and Peyton Nembhard swing Carson Holley in “Matilda”

After doing theater for the first time in eighth grade, Berthy decided to enter high school theater by auditioning for ACP. Shocked that she had been accepted, Berthy was prepared to work hard. “I like the idea that we were tight, and it was a small community, and we were able to work well together,” she mentioned. In her time at OHS, Berthy has played the roles of a reporter and the dad in James and the Giant Peach and a Big Kid and Rudolpho in Matilda. The actress is most excited about playing the Cowardly Lion in this year’s fall production of The Wizard of Oz

As a senior, Berthy has set many goals for herself including a district championship in lacrosse and acceptance to the University of Florida, where she intends to pursue a degree in the sports industry or forensics. Berthy wants to leave behind a legacy of being a valuable supporter and role model for the younger members of the programs she is involved in. 

A-Z with Jennifer

A – Advice you’d give to your freshman-self? Don’t feel like you have to do everything.
B – Best pre-game or meet meal? Yogurt.
C – Career goals? To do something in sports. 
D – Favorite dessert? Key lime pie. 
E – Most entertaining class? My English class with Campbell last year.
F – Favorite high school moment? Our 9th grade field trip.
G – Goals for your senior year? To win districts for lacrosse. 
H – What college are you hoping to attend? UF.
I – Interesting thing you do outside of the arts and athletics? Read. 
J – Favorite joke? The one about waves waving to waves. 
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Make sure you have a schedule, and do it a couple days beforehand. 
L – Least favorite practice drill? Envelopes.
M – Music you listen to? Country, theater, and 90’s bands.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix.
O – What other sport would you like to try? Cheerleading. 
P – Preparations for a big game, meet, or performance? Sleeping, drinking orange juice, and having some fruit. 
Q – Question you would ask your future self? What do I end up majoring in?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Sleeping. 
S – What would your senior superlative be? Most rounded, well-rounded student. 
T – Favorite TV show? “Vampire Diaries”. 
U – Most underrated musical? “Mean Girls”. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? The beach. 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? Always supporting your classmates and teammates.
X – Have you ever had an x-ray? Nope!
Y – What would you like your impact to younger athletes and thespians? For them to think of me as a role model and know that they can always come to me no matter what.
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Libra. 

Senior Spotlight: Akhila Nataraj

Oak Hall’s Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) allows students to expand their creativity in their given study (art, music, or theater). In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior ACP students, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

By August Ewert-Harpold

A – What is some advice you would give your freshman self?
I would tell her to enjoy high school and not just focus on getting into college but enjoy the friendships that you’re able to make.
B – What was your best ACP moment?
My best ACP moment probably is in tenth grade when I did a 17-person ensemble, and just at the end when we all ended the last note, I looked at all 17 people and I just felt a lot of pride for what I had done.
C – What are your career goals?
I want to go to med school, so I want to enter the medical field while still practicing music and keeping that part of myself. 
D – What is your favorite dessert? 
 Probably like a lava cake or something with a nice dollop of ice cream.
E – What was your most entertaining rehearsal?
Probably in ninth grade. It was my first time accompanying someone on an ACP recital and it was just a bunch of seniors, and I was like a shy, timid, little ninth-grader and the entire rehearsal I finally saw who they really were and it was just them cursing and making joke. I had no idea what to expect but it was really fun!
F – What are your future plans for your craft?
In regard to music I would just like to develop my theory skills and start working on more compositions. 
G – What are your goals for senior year?
My goal for senior year is to have a really good basketball season and have a very successful ACP recital. 
H – Which college are you hoping to attend?
I’m applying to a couple, but my main goal right now is to try to get into the UF Honors program.
I – What is something Interesting about you that is not related to your music?
I have a 25-year-old sister (who turns 26 today) and I also have a nine-year-old brother, so I have a very stretched out family. 
J – What is your favorite joke?
I’m always a fan for a very cheesy pickup line but I think my favorite joke is when someone complains that it is too hot outside I say, “It’s because I’m there.”
K – What are some of your keys for maintaining the homework load?
Don’t procrastinate and its ok to allocate time for yourself but make sure you’re not just doing that.
L – What is your least favorite style of music?
I’ve got to say country, I’m just not a fan! 
M – What is your favorite style of music/what type of music do you listen to?
Anything but country? I’ll listen to Pop, or Contemporary, or I’ll dabbel with classical music. You know I’m a big fan of Kpop, so I’ll stand by BTS.
N – Do you prefer Netflix or Hulu?
The only thing I’ll watch on Hulu is Brooklyn 99 but right now I’m really binging Grey’s [Anatomy] on Netflix, so I think I’ve got to go with Netflix.  
O – What is one of your outside hobbies besides your music?
I really like arts and crafts, I really like sewing and crocheting and knitting, and I have a very big yarn collection that I am very proud of. 
P – What are your preparations for a big concert?
Don’t finish your arrangement the week before. 
Q – What is a question you would ask your future self?
My future self? How did you manage to stop procrastinating and start focusing on your studies? 
R – What is the most relaxing part of your day?
Probably the 10 minutes after my shower when my hair is drying, and I use that as time to go on my phone. It’s very therapeutic. 
S – What would your senior superlative be?
Most likely to spend their college tuition on food.
T – What is your favorite TV show?
The Amazing Race.
U – What do you think is the most underrated pet?
I will take this to my grave, cats are better than dogs, you can’t fight me on this.
V – What is your favorite vacation spot?
I mean I’m all about that staycation life, but probably like just going to the beach and relaxing, I guess.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle?
Being an Eagle means taking advantage of all of the opportunities presented to you and giving your 100 percent.
X – Have you ever had any X-rays?
No but I have lots of scars from mosquito bites. 
Y – What do you believe your impact is on younger musicians?
Be confident in your craft and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because everyone has been there before.
Z – What is your favorite zoo animal?
Probably a panda!

Senior Spotlight: Lucas Walters

Oak Hall’s Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) allows students to expand their creativity in their given study (art, music, or theater). In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior ACP students, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

By Aiden Wacksman

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Stop worrying about things you can’t change. I think that’s one of the things. The biggest thing that a lot of people tend to fall prey to, it’s a waste of time and energy. When you think about “How am I going to invest my time and energy?” stop investing it in things that you cannot make any sort of substantial difference to.
B – Best ACP moment? I really enjoy the critiques, just because you get a lot of really helpful advice from other artists. A lot of them don’t do the same type of art as you, so you can get some really interesting perspectives.
C – Career goals? I want to be a board licensed pharmacist. So, I’m going to go to school and intern at a pharmacy and all that good stuff.
D – Favorite dessert? I don’t know, it sounds dry to just say ice cream, but definitely ice cream.
E – Most entertaining art show? I think it would be the AP art show that we did last year. I didn’t even get to see it because I wasn’t in town at the time, but I think the quality of the art would have made it more entertaining.
F – Future plans for your craft? That’s interesting, because I’m definitely not pursuing it as a career. So, future plans. I’m a part of a group doing art things, so we’re gonna see what we can do with that. Long form video content is one thing that is in the works currently, that’s really about it.
G – Goals for your senior year? Get accepted into a college and make a large, large amount of art.
H – Hoping to attend which college? I think honestly the base case scenario would be getting accepted into UCF which I think is possible.
I – Interesting thing about you away from your artistic ability? I really enjoy programming, I don’t do it as often as I would like to, so I get a bit rusty.
J – Favorite joke? I have no idea! It’s just the funny things that come up sometimes.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Probably the biggest thing is communication with your teachers so that they understand what’s going on. Because if they don’t understand it, you’re going to start racking up bad grades, and it’s harder to change a grade when somebody actually writes it down, you know, it’s harder to get them to change it. So, if you actually communicate with your teachers and they understand what you’re doing, generally it’s going to turn out better.
L – Least favorite art style? I don’t really have a favorite or least favorite art style. Well, I definitely do have a favorite type, and that would be art that has a little bit more to it, it’s a little bit more complicated, that you’re going to have to spend more time thinking about, I think. I think the best kind of art is art that has a lot of effort put into it and you can see that’s there’s a lot of effort put into it. Well-designed, well-crafted things.
M – Music you listen to? A whole lot of everything. Really just whatever I like. There can be a lot of things that help you when you’re making art. For me I think it’s more about the tempo of the music than the actual genre, at least for when you’re making art. But really just whatever. 
N – Netflix or Hulu? I don’t have Hulu, so I guess I’m going to go with Netflix.
O – Outside hobbies? I don’t know. Losing weight maybe, that would be a good one. There’s really nothing to do outside in Florida because it’s so hot. 
P – Preparations for a big showing? I think the biggest thing is that you talk to someone about it. Whenever I talk to people about things it usually helps me to process through them. Whenever you’re going to have a big show, you’re going to be really nervous about it. Usually there’s not as much to be nervous about. Usually, it’s not a very big deal and you will figure out what you’re going to do or how you’re going to put things together just by talking about it.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? Did the side hobby of art actually end up becoming something or did it just stay a hobby?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Usually right before bed, I would say. 
S – What would your Senior Superlative be? That’s a good question. Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe class clown, but I feel like I’ve stopped talking nearly as much as I did whenever I got to the school. It’s better to listen more than it is to talk. So yeah, I’m not sure about that one.
T – Favorite TV show? I enjoy Stranger Things. That’s the last really bingeable thing I watched.
U – Most underrated pet? I feel like chihuahuas get a really bad rep for being incredibly annoying or hostile, but with dogs it’s really all about how they’re trained. It’s not [their nature] or something. It’s just [that] usually people who get chihuahuas don’t train them and just want a “handbag dog”.
V – Favorite vacation spot? Somewhere new. Somewhere I can be with the people that I like to be around. I think those are the two big things.
W – What does it mean to be an Eagle? It means having a lot of really great opportunities when it comes to arts and everything else really. 
X – Have you ever had any X-Rays? No, I don’t think I have. 
Y – Your impact on the younger artists? That’s a really good question. I think one of the biggest things (this had to be taught to me whenever I started in the ACP) is don’t be afraid to tell people things about their art that they don’t want to hear. Obviously, no one wants to hear from someone that they don’t like their art. Whenever first year people are doing the critiques, they never want to say that they don’t like something, and if they do say they don’t like something, they’re going to put a lot of emphasis on “I don’t like it” rather than “I think it’s not good.” I think the biggest, most important impact is to make sure that they are able to give out criticism and are also able to take it.
Z – Favorite Zoo animal? Monkeys.