Welcome our new Warrior Words columnists!
As the summer ends and new school year begins, The Bulletin welcomes and presents a new group of Warrior Words columnists.
The words of Wilton High School seniors Daniel Glynn, Grace Kelleher, Christian Lovallo, Olivia Phelan and Abby Schiff will grace The Bulletin’s schools page each week beginning next week, Sept. 3. But who are they?
Involved in theater since middle school, Daniel is an avid participant in Wilton High School’s theater department and played Sir Lancelot in the school’s production of Camelot this past spring.
“After being cut from the first show I auditioned for, I began taking voice lessons, which have changed my life for the better,” said Daniel, who recently joined the C4Y Diocesan Youth Choir.
“My singing has become such a prominent part in my life that I can’t survive a couple of hours without belting out a show tune.”
His freshman year, Daniel was among a group of students who began an improvisation club at the high school with the help of English teacher Heather DeLude.
By his sophomore year, the club had evolved and replaced the school’s underclassmen show with an improvisation show, which has become “widely popular,” said Daniel.
“I find that improvisation is a great medium through which I vent my sarcasm and wit,” said Daniel, who is also secretary of the Little Theater Company — the high school’s only theater club — and a member of Peervention.
Daniel has taken German and Spanish as a high school student, and said he excels in “learning and understanding foreign languages.”
“I always try to learn new phrases in other languages, and I ... practice languages in my free time,” he said.
“I’ve always loved languages, and communicating outside of your native language is so exciting that I plan to study more in college so I can travel and immerse myself in foreign cultures.”
Daniel said he considers himself a fun person “because I always make myself and others laugh.”
“Any lull in my day has to be fixed immediately,” he said. “Who doesn’t want to laugh and be entertained? My Warrior Words columns will be full of sarcasm and will be focused upon the dramatic side of my high school experience.”
“I’m so excited to be a columnist for The Bulletin this year so I can share my perspective on the little corner of the world we call home in Wilton,” said Grace, recipient of the 2014 Challenge to Excellence Citizenship Award whose favorite school subjects are English and history.
“Most school nights, you can find me in the Clune Center or Little Theater, rehearsing for the next high school theater production,” said Grace, who performed in Wilton High School’s 2014 spring musical, Oklahoma!
“To me, the stage is like a second home. I love Wilton High School theater because I am constantly surrounded by driven people who love what they do.”
Grace’s passion for theater doesn’t stop at the high school. In her free time, she volunteers as a production assistant and head stage manager for the Wilton Children’s Theater.
She also volunteers for the Wilton-based nonprofit organization Circle of Care and is the Wilton team co-leader for the organization’s Art From the Heart branch, which redecorates pediatric cancer patients’ bedrooms.
“I am so humbled by the difficult journey these children face,” said Grace, “and working with Circle of Care has allowed me to impact these families in a meaningful way.”
When she’s not at school, rehearsing, performing or volunteering, Grace works at B Chic on Old Ridgefield Road — “which means I know more brands of jeans than anyone ever should,” she said.
Grace is also a self-proclaimed “sweet-tooth enthusiast” and has “full confidence that the combination of chocolate and raspberry can cure any ailment.”
Christian moved to Wilton from Stamford six years ago and describes himself as “a generous, organized and serious student,” who recently developed an interest in government and politics.
“Ever since I took my first government course during junior year, I have loved government and politics,” he said.
“To appease my hunger for politics, I am taking AP government my senior year.”
Christian also has an interest in writing — “especially creatively,” he said.
“I took expository writing last year and loved it,” he said. “I am actually tripling up on English courses for next year as well, two of which are honors courses.”
Christian is not only hardworking when it comes to academics, but sports as well.
“I play two sports — tennis and cross country — and last year, I went undefeated in 10 tennis matches for the junior varsity team,” he said.
Christian also works part-time at Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market and volunteers at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.
Olivia has a passion for writing and discussing global issues and current events. In 2014, she placed first in the Connecticut Kids’ Court Competition, for which she wrote a paper on the Ban the Bossy campaign and received the highest rating in her division. She was also a finalist in the 2015 competition.
When she’s not working at Peachwave Yogurt on Old Ridgefield Road as a beta product tester, or as a student alliance leader at CollegeFactual, Olivia spends her time helping others.
“I like to keep myself busy with the organizations and causes I believe in,” she said.
Last fall, Olivia and her friends spearheaded Rockaway the Storm with Books, a service project to buy books for Scholar’s Academy in Queens, N.Y., following Superstorm Sandy. This year, Olivia will be the secretary of the Wilton High School chapter of Amnesty International.
She is also a member of the Wilton High School Model Congress, Debate Team, Student Government and Math Team.
“When the spring comes around, however, my primary focus is lacrosse,” said Olivia, a goalie on Wilton High School’s girls lacrosse team, who recently committed to an early decision plan to play Division III lacrosse for Babson College in Boston Park, Mass.
“I also enjoy learning guitar, hiking in the Adirondacks and listening to the band Neutral Milk Hotel ... and I am very excited to write as a Warrior Words columnist.”
Abby said she “wears many hats — both literally and figuratively.”
“I have a collection of over a dozen animals hats — my favorite being a bright pink rabbit — and I dabble in all kinds of activities,” said Abby, whose passion for cooking led to the creation of YesToYummy.com, a food blog she has maintained since she was 14 years old.
In addition to working at a farmer’s market, baking treats for health food stores and volunteering on an organic farm, Abby has served as a student representative on the school district’s nutrition board.
Abby, who has also taught healthy eating lessons to children at Helping Hands Preschool, said food is not her only passion.
“I am also incredibly passionate about languages and cultures,” she said, “and I hope to travel to every continent one day.”
Abby said she loves to write and has been “enamored with poetry since eighth grade.”
In 2014, she participated in Wilton High School’s Poetry Out Loud finals competition and performed her pieces during Wilton Library’s annual Poetry in Motion program.
“When I’m not in the kitchen or on my yoga mat at Saraswati’s Yoga Joint, I can be found photographing, playing with my cats, or eating peanut butter with a spoon,” said Abby, who “adores” dresses, hair bows, indie music and dark chocolate; and considers purple cauliflower her “spirit vegetable.”
“I apologize in advance for any groan-worthy puns in my Warrior Words articles,” she said.