Meet Our Community

Kayla '20


Kayla Surajnoth '20
Day Student
Waterbury, CT

Three-season varsity athlete (volleyball, basketball, softball); a member of Invest in Girls (IIG) for one year, part of Westover African Latina Student Association (WALSA) member

Why Westover?

“Ever since I was in elementary school, Westover was always my dream high school. The environment here is just so comfortable.”

What activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“What makes being on three varsity sports teams rewarding is knowing that I have set an example for girls younger than I am. I also can build a leadership role on the teams, even if I am an underclassman.

“What makes being in WALSA rewarding is that we are able to introduce the Westover community to different kinds of life experiences and different cultures. We also get to host events, like the COLORES Festival in the fall, and take part in fun activities that reflect WALSA’s diversity programs in different ways.”

Favorite Westover Memory?

“My favorite memory was coming into school one morning and seeing that tons of balloons had been left all over the floor and stairs in Red Hall as a senior prank.”

Favorite Class?

“Spanish III class with Senor Sorrels.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

“Value every moment that you have as a freshman.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Family.”

Scott '18


Scott McClearn
Boarder
Summit, NJ

Member of Invest In Girls (IIG), three years; Technical Theatre Crew member, working on a number of Westover drama productions; Member of the JV Softball team; Manager of the JV Volleyball team (four years); Member of the Westover African Latina Student Association (WALSA)

Why Westover?

“When I was deciding where to go for high school, Westover became an obvious fit because my mother and both her sisters attended. They all had so many rich memories of Westover, and I wanted that for myself as well.”

What other activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“As a member of the Westover African Latina Student Association (WALSA), I have had a chance to learn how people from different backgrounds live and what they experience each day. It has given me a better understanding of others."

“Last summer I went on the community service trip to Jackson County, Kentucky, where I experienced working not just for the enrichment of myself, but for the betterment of others.”

What’s your favorite Westover memory?

“Coming back after the summer and getting to see all my friends and meeting the new girls. And, as a senior, getting to take part in our tradition of Dirge, and experiencing a different side of that tradition with my friends.”

What’s your favorite class?

“I have two: ‘How Are We to Live’ and ‘Dante’s Vision,’ two English classes that were both taught by Mr. Hungerford.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

“Don’t be afraid to get to know students in all grades. Everyone at Westover is excited to get to know the new freshmen and some of your strongest friendships will be with students in a different grade.”

One word to describe Westover?

“Heartfelt."

Zin '18

Zin Koo '18
Boarder
Shanghai, China and Malaysia

Received the Ann Huidekoper Brown Art Award in Ceramics in 2017; Received a Regional Scholastic Art Award Honorable Mention in Ceramics in 2018; Received a Halo Award Nomination for Best Costume Design for her work on Into the Woods in 2017; Has received High Honors and Honors during many of her terms at Westover.

Why Westover?

“Westover is an all-girl school that is very small with a lot of warmth. It has allowed me to become a better scholar, both academically and socially.”

What other activities are you involved in at Westover?

“I participate in a lot of Westover Arts programs, both the Studio Arts and the Performing Arts. I have taken a number of Dance classes and have taken piano lessons. I have been part of the Technical Theatre program since my sophomore year; it is a unique experience because you work with so many different people. I also really like the Studio Arts program here. It is very flexible. For example, this year I am doing independent work in ceramics.”

“As an international student, I have had an opportunity to learn and gain a better understanding of American culture while at Westover. And Westover’s teachers really make an effort to help international students, both in their academic studies and in their daily life. We are able to get help from teachers in our classes by going to conference.”

What’s your favorite Westover memory?

“When we gather together and take part in all of the School’s traditions. The traditions make Westover unique.”

What’s your favorite class?

“Ceramics is one of my favorite classes, because when I do ceramics I can put aside all of the academic schoolwork and just focus on the artwork. But my English classes are really fun, too. In those classes, we have interesting discussions where everyone shares their ideas.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

“Take the opportunity that you have here to try to experience different things. Sometimes, when you do, you will find surprising outcomes.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Warm and Caring.”

Emily '20


Emily Benoit '20
Day Student
Monroe, CT

Signature Program: Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program, two years; Drama Program, Third Head of Drama, have participated in five productions so far; Glee Club; Gospel Choir; Has earned High Honors with Distinction throughout her time at Westover.

Why Westover?

“Westover really called to me when I was searching for a high school – not only are the academics rigorous and interesting, but the community is wonderful and caring, acting as a support system full of some of the best people. Everyone at Westover was incredibly inviting and kind during and after my admissions process.”

What activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“I am very involved in the School’s Drama Program, having taken part in four productions thus far, and looking forward to another this spring term. I was honored by my peers at the end of last year by being elected the Third Head of Drama, which really has inspired me to work harder throughout the process of working on a production and to step out of my comfort zone to help my peers in any way I can. I love working with the other actors on the day-to-day process, and working as an entire cast and crew to make something beautiful. Westover’s Drama Department has helped me learn that the most important people in a production are not necessarily those who are in the lead roles, but the people that support others in doing their best.”

“I am in my second year of the WISE program, currently taking part in Advanced Placement Computer Science. Although I initially hesitated in joining the program, the inviting classes freshman year helped me discover my enjoyment for coding, and learning to code, which I am exploring this year in class. I took Robotics in the winter last year, and Introduction to Computer Programing in the spring, both of which opened my eyes to what the WISE program could be for me, and inspired me to continue with it.”

Favorite Westover Memory:

“One of my favorite Westover memories was finishing last year’s spring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was the only freshman in the cast, which made me very nervous and I felt that I wouldn’t be able to perform on par with the rest of the cast. However, the rest of the cast lifted me up, and told me they were proud of me and what I had done (not what I hadn’t), which made me so much happier with the entire experience.”

Favorite Class:

“My favorite class has been AP Computer Science that teaches us Java in preparation for an AP test in the spring. The class environment is refreshing and fun, even as we seriously focus on the topic at hand. I really enjoy both the topic and the way it is taught, which makes for a great combination.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“Take chances and be open to change. The best things come when you open yourself up and don’t let your expectations cloud your ability to experience or enjoy things.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Community."

Amodini '18

Amodini Katoch '18
Day Student
Sandy Hook, CT

Third Head of Chapel; Class Representative to Student Senate (former); Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program, four years; Invest in Girls (IIG), three years; Two-month Summer Academic Exchange with St. Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School in Perth, Australia; Three-week Spring Break Academic Exchange with the Shangde Experimental School in Shanghai, China; Glee Club; Swimming Team; Fitness and Weight Training; Bollywood Club; Has earned High Honors and Honors during her time at Westover

Why Westover?

“I felt Westover was a safe environment for me to express myself.”

When you take part in a Westover activity, how is it rewarding for you?

“I am Third Head of Chapel and it is rewarding to participate in something that has been a tradition in our School for many years.”

Favorite Westover Memory?

“My favorite memory was when I saw student elections for the first time during the spring term of my freshmen year.”

Favorite Class?

“Advanced Placement Biology.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

“Be prepared to work hard.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

"Challenging."

Past Profiles