Isla Mitchell

Isla Mitchell
Elementary School: N/A
College: Middlebury College
Major: International Politics and Economics
Career Aspiration: Economist/Public Policy

Favorite subject at CRLS
World History

Why is it your favorite subject?
I am intrigued by the way in which states function across the globe in a modern and historical context. I am interested in exploring the root of social, political, and economic conflicts that divide and define the population. My favorite part of history classes at CRLS is the way in which we engage in the content. I love diving into primary sources and analyzing different perspectives to gain a greater understanding of a historical event. All of the history teachers I have had at CRLS have been absolutely amazing.

Favorite CRLS Staff Person
Dr. Lam, Ms. Otty, Mr. Snyder

What makes that staff person so special?

Dr. Lam: A cult-favorite. I took AP Comparative Government with Dr. Lam Junior fall and AP World History this spring. Dr. Lam’s classes are never boring. The ceaseless sarcasm and fast pace is always engaging. I was always amazed by the amount of content that Dr. Lam managed to cover within a class period. I not only learned essential skills for school, such as note taking and  how to craft an argument, but also how to think broadly and critically consider different perspectives. 

Ms. Otty: I took Modern Global Conflicts with Ms. Otty this past Spring. Ms.Otty fueled my interest in global studies. I loved learning about the social, political, and economics effects of international events that are often overlooked in core curriculum classes. Ms. Otty never ceased to amaze with the vast knowledge she held. She had a detailed response to any question relating historical or current events, and would always deliver it with an understated wit. She never failed to hold a class where there were not a few giggles from the peanut gallery. Although I was already impartial to studying modern global conflicts, I can admit the best part of the class was truly Ms. Otty’s energy. She posed the perfect balance between serious and humorous. My greatest high school regret is that I did not take one of Ms. Otty’s classes sooner.

Mr. Snyder: I had Mr. Snyder as my English teacher in the spring of Junior year.  He was one of the kindest teacher’s I had. Although I took his class mostly online, he extended himself to make connections with every student in the class. My favorite part of his class were the discussions. Mr. Snyder's class was not only about analyzing text and writing formulaic essays, but about dissecting difficult questions. He challenged us to think beyond our own experience.

Extracurricular activities, clubs, school-related activities
Crew, History Club, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF Club, Best Buddies,  Freshmen Mentoring, National Honors Society

What were some of the out-of-school time (O.S.T) programs that you participated in anytime between grades 6-12?
Working at Food for Free through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program.

How did being enrolled in any O.S.T. program(s) contribute to your success both in and out of high school? 

What did you like most about CRLS? Why?
I loved the opportunity at CRLS. CRLS has an abundance of amazing teachers that are eager to teach a wide range of interesting classes. There are so many opportunities to get involved with  the community, whether it be through engaging in class or participating in clubs and sports. The teachers at CRLS are eager to make connections and help their students succeed.

What is something people unfamiliar with CRLS should know about the school? Why?
CRLS students are incredible. Everyday, I am impressed by my classmates as I listen to their accomplishments in and outside of the classroom. Over my four years, I have developed a great appreciation for those who surround me in class, in the hallways, and outside at lunch. CRLS students are driven to challenge those around them and take action. Also, the roasted vegetables at lunch are bomb, especially the broccoli.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen about CRLS?
My first piece of advice, and the most obvious, would be to challenge yourself to try new things. Join sports teams or clubs, take classes across all disciplines, and immerse yourself in the CRLS community. Participating in extracurriculars will help you find a group of people with shared interests, who uplift you, and challenge you. 

I would also advise incoming freshmen at CRLS to not get too wrapped up in the stress of the future. The goal of high school should not be simply to graduate or attend college, but rather to grow and learn. Take classes that truly interest you and complete assignments with the intent of understanding. Take time to appreciate your teachers and resources available to you. Learn for the sake of learning. 

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