Each of the 360 students at Emma Willard School has a unique story. They are truly one-of-a-kind. The Emma Willard community has students from 24 states and 36 foreign countries. Some are interested in technology and robotics, others are entrepreneurs and artists, musicians, writers, and athletes, historians and social justice advocates. We love hearing their voices and think you will enjoy meeting some of our unique girls who are serving and shaping their world. This series of “One of 360” stories features these students and explores what makes them unique.
Our first One of 360 is Liz S. ‘22, whose interests in archery and bee-keeping drew our attention. Liz was born in Baltimore, then was adopted at age seven and moved to New York with her family. Hear from Liz, in her own words:
On Emma Willard School...
This is my second year at Emma; I’m in the class of 2022. My favorite class this year is European History, taught by Ms. Iannucci, which is different for me because I’m much more of a science person. I like this class because I like making different connections between opinions and cultures as well as seeing what traditions our culture has kept from that of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, etc.
I had actually decided to go to Albany Academy for high school, but my parents convinced me to just take a tour here. As soon as I walked on campus, I fell in love with the kindness of the girls, the way the classes I shadowed were taught, and the overall aesthetic of the school. As a day student, it can sometimes feel that connections with boarding students can be difficult. I got to know the boarding students better by doing crew, staying for study, and having them over to my house to sleep over periodically. I try and make it feel like my house is always available to them and this has helped grow more friendships. I cherish those relationships, knowing that I will always have reliable friends [all over the world].
This is my 8th year shooting archery and my 4th year competing in tournaments. My older cousin gave me a bow for Christmas when I was in 2nd grade, intending me to go hunting with it, but I decided hunting is not for me. I started shooting target archery (20 yards indoors) at a local range in East Greenbush, but now I travel to Connecticut every weekend for lessons with my team (Hall’s Arrow - I was recently announced captain of the team!). I wish more people knew that archery is much more of a male dominated sport, so I wish girls would become a larger part of the community!
On Apiculture (Beekeeping)...
I went to the Washington County Fair with my family one day and we stopped at a booth for the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association. They give away two scholarships each year, so I applied and won the scholarship! I took beekeeping lessons every month during the winter and I was ready to start beekeeping May of 2017. My hive is located on a field just below my house, in a nice, sunny area.
There are two complicated parts to beekeeping that I learned the first year I started. There is a mite called the varroa mite that attaches itself to bees and larva, using it as its host. These mites are unavoidable, so we tried to treat our hive. Unfortunately, the mites in that hive were too great in number and the treatment ended up harming the bees more that the mites. Our colony swarmed in the fall, leaving the rest of the young bees in the hive defenseless against the harsh New York winter. Bees form a ball around the queen during the winter at the center of the hive, so when winter came around, the young bees and the lack of bees did not provide enough warmth to keep the queen alive.
This leads into my next challenge. During February, there were a few days of about 70 degree weather and then windchill of about -20 during the night. This dramatic shift in temperature confused my hive for the past three years, therefore making it continuously difficult to winter our bees.
I would say the most interesting thing that I love about beekeeping is watching the bees interact with each other. In order to develop wax in the shape of honeycomb, they link arms. This is known as festooning.
On Emma Willard Traditions…
My favorite tradition is Revels!!! I think this is probably the most liked tradition because it’s unique for each class. Getting to revelize all the seniors then finally getting to watch them come out on stage and see their part is so exciting, especially because you have to wait so long.
On the definition of an “Emma Girl”...
An Emma girl is a girl that likes to challenge herself. This can be as small as trying a new recipe at home, to applying to a prestigious college. This pushes boundaries, therefore creating an environment that will help us Emma girls later in life.
Liz was recently selected to the USA Archery Regional Elite Development (RED) Program. Although she was honored to be chosen, Liz made the tough decision not to take part. She shares, “My family and I made the decision not to participate due to the lack of flexibility in my already hectic schedule. By participating in the team, it would take time away from my school work and other hobbies like beekeeping.” We congratulate Liz, both on the honor of being chosen for this elite program, and on having the wisdom to make her best choice regarding participation.
Liz also shared the honey from her bees at the Holiday Makers Show and Sale in December, and it was delicious!