WRA Voices

Welcome to WRA Voices!

What is it like to attend WRA? What makes it different than other schools? No one knows better than the students themselves. In WRA Voices, Anna '15, Joey '15, Sophie '15, Caitlin '16 and Kristina '16 share their perspectives on anything and everything WRA. Read on!

Give My Regrets to Broadway

Catherine is so excited to have
been cast in this year's fall

I, Catherine Berry, one of the five second graders who could not embody enough talent to secure a spot in my elementary school's children's choir, thought that I would try my luck at auditions for the upcoming school musical, The Addams Family. Nervous chitter chatter filled the theater as rookies and old timers filtered into the auditorium chairs. Talking turned into group singing and eventually matured into partner auditions.  Two by two, singers of all levels tried their hand at the audition piece. Bless my partner that had to put up with my inability to stay on key, hold a rhythm, control a tempo, or read music for that matter.  I thought that with nine additional years under my belt and many extra shower solos, I must be a little better than my old elementary self. To say the least, you'll be seeing me in the audience! At the end of the day, I realized singing was not something you magically picked up over time, go figure! But, I did it. I summed up more courage than talent and gave it my all.  What I am getting to is, go for it. Skip study hours for an evening and try out for at least one theatrical production. That is the great thing about dear ol' Reserve; even those who are more into athletics or academics still have the chance to try out for our school’s shows.  With three shows every year ranging from monster-esque musicals to powerful plays and even a spirited Shakespeare sonnet, there is a little something for everyone. Any Reserve student can tell you, we don't have the sports “jocks”, theater “geeks” or academic “nerds” because we all mesh into the same group of green blazer-wearing fools. So put it on your Reserve Bucket List to try out and if you do not get in, they could always use help backstage.

Posted by Catherine Elizabeth Berry in WRA Arts, WRA Theatre, WRA Clubs & Organizations, WRA Student Life on Monday September 8 at 02:39PM
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Before It's Over

As the excitement of starting school begins to fade away, the reality of senior year sets in. The life of a WRA student seems busy enough before adding all the tasks of senior year. Leading campus, taking AP classes, captaining sports teams, and applying for college all must be done at the same time. This time of year tends to be the most stressful for seniors, but I think it is also the most exciting.

Students and faculty alike are ready for the new year!

The fall brings our diverse Reserve community back together in one place. The multitude of events that take place this season will both entertain and consume us. The trick is finding time for everything among all the chaos. Focusing on schoolwork and college applications is extremely important, but setting apart extra time to soak in senior year is also vital. Without doing so, we would all go crazy and miss some amazing opportunities. All students need to enjoy themselves and their time at WRA, especially before they realize that it is too late. The last thing I want to do is look back and know that I missed out on making the most of my high school experience. All the long nights of studying and essay writing come with going to school at WRA, but so does all the fun of a boarding school. We all like to think that we are content with our situations, but the fact of the matter is that we probably have not taken full advantage of all the opportunities placed before us. Sports events, the musical, plays, dance performances, the talent show, weekend activities: all of these things are available to WRA students. But how often are the seats packed at an important game or a performance?

Seniors, and freshmen, too: I encourage you to do everything you can while at WRA, because before you know it, it will be over.
Posted by Joseph Anthony Mylott in WRA Student Life on Saturday September 6 at 10:36PM
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The New Year

You do not feel like you are back at Reserve until the Back to School Bash takes place. And it happened this past Saturday. After almost three months of a peaceful and placid summer, WRA students returned.

Sophie and friends wait in line 
the rocket car.

The green was full of people playing frisbee, hitting the volleyball and running around. The line of foursquare looped around the street, and the roar of victory sounded incredibly real. People were dancing on the patio, listening to music and putting WRA stickers on their faces to show their Reserve pride. Dining hall staff prepared great food and dessert for us to enjoy on the sunny summer day. Mr. Peterson was helping out, and Dr. Newman brought out his dog to say hello to everyone. Seeing all the enthusiastic faculty members, WRA students and Pioneer Women who help to make Reserve life the most fun, I knew I was back, back in the community that is so tight that it feels like a warm and welcoming family. Seeing my old friends was like reuniting with my sisters. Some people might have a test this week, and some might have a lot of work to do (as Reserve wants us to perform the best in all aspects of our high school careers); the workload, however, did not matter at all at the Back to School Bash. The laughing sound was almost like its own song.

I am a senior this year, so this was my third Back to School Bash. The Rocket Car never fails to entertain me! Even though the wait time in the line was 40 minutes, it was worth it. Everyone was excited to get on the Rocket Car and tour around Hudson without a care. The wind was blowing my hair and I could smell the grass. Summer in Hudson does not last long enough, but when it is here, it is amazing.aculty members, WRA students and Pioneer Women who help to make Reserve life the most fun, I knew I was back, back in the community that is so tight that it feels like a warm and welcoming family. Seeing my old friends was like reuniting with my sisters. Some people might have a test this week, and some might have a lot of work to do (as Reserve wants us to perform the best in all aspects of our high school careers); the workload, however, did not matter at all at the Back to School Bash. The laughing sound was almost like its own song.

The Back to School Bash truly gave us the best way to start a new year at WRA, whether it is the first or last. Here is to the best new year!

Posted by YiHan Shen in WRA Student Life on Saturday August 30 at 01:30PM
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A Place to Call Home

Caitlin feels at home on the soccer team.

Each year, as students return to campus for preseason, an atmosphere of invigoration and excitement flows through the community. Preseason itself is a very unique time; without the pressures of classes, old and new students come together on the field, in the locker room, at meals, during activities, and all throughout campus. This year is my third on the girl’s soccer team. Although each season has been better than the last, my freshman season, in particular, sticks with me. As someone who seldom played sports prior to my time at WRA, I struggled to keep up with the experienced players on the team. Although the varsity players had the option of continuing workouts at their own pace, they made the decision to run with me, lending help and encouragement to me throughout the workouts. 

The varsity girls didn’t choose to do the easy thing, but they did choose compassion and love. In this way, they demonstrated the Reserve tradition of integrity, compassion, and excellence, which is passed from class to class. Their actions embodied the character and love shown on a daily basis by all members of the Reserve community. Although the people on the team have changed, the spirit, love, and respect remains constant. 

 In a team talk, Mr. DiBiase, our coach, stated, "The difference between our team at WRA and other teams is not in the practice; it’s in the soul. You all spend so much time together that you can trust not only in yourself, but in each other.” At all levels of the soccer program, teammates are respected and celebrated. That’s what I love most about Reserve: the bonds formed on the fields or in the dining hall or in the classroom all create a safe space. The amazing and unique thing about life here at Reserve is the emphasis on little things: opening doors for each other; helping with homework; supporting each other in sporting events, in plays, and in the classroom. Although these isolated actions might seem minuscule, the collective actions of everyone, on and off the field, make Reserve my home. 

Posted by Caitlin Rene Fogg in WRA Athletics, WRA Student Life on Wednesday August 20
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Our Playlist / Recently Played

Before coming to WRA, I was really worried that I wasn’t going to be able to dance here, at least not every day as I had been used to at home. However, my worries were wiped away quickly when I found out that WRA had just hired a new dance teacher the previous year and that the dance program was much better than it had been in the past. Although I was still slightly worried it wouldn’t be the same as I was used to, I was hopeful that it could still be a wonderful experience, and it definitely has been.

Anna loves dance at WRA!

The dance program here focuses on modern, ballet, and jazz, but we also sometimes try other things like pointe, hip hop, or tap. It really forces me to step outside of my balletic comfort zone and realize how much I love all forms of dance. Mrs. Barth, the dance instructor, always finds a way to make class fun and different even for beginners who have never danced before.

Every year, Mrs. Barth designs two amazing performances, one of which was this past Saturday. This performance, called “Our Playlist/ Recently Played,” focused on modern music, which made it really fun! I love setting milestones to strive for every year with the performances, and so many students and parents coming out to see the show makes it very exciting. The dance program is definitely one of my favorite things about WRA because it is such a great escape from all the stress of school and a fun class to always look forward to.

Posted by Anna Karen Ballard in WRA Arts on Tuesday May 13 at 02:24PM
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After a great season last year with an impressive record of 16-9, the baseball team looks to improve even more this year. Being a three-year member of the varsity team now, I have seen a lot of growth within the team, both physically and mentally. We have come to play better as a team and better understand the game.  These improvements should prove vital to this season’s success.

Joey and his team love baseball.

Some kids can’t wait for the next school dance, others can’t wait for the next play or musical, still others can’t wait for the weekend at the end of each and every week. Nearly every member of the baseball team will say that he cannot wait for baseball season to arrive.  Our team draws some of the most loyal and dedicated athletes.  Whereas those who love other sports might only like the game because of their talent in that sport, all of the baseball players love the game regardless of their talent level. A quote from the world of baseball is, “How can you not get romantic about baseball?” The kids who are around baseball at WRA feel this way about the game, which is what’s necessary to keep a small sports program running strong.

Here at WRA, most programs, like baseball, continue to thrive based on the demonstrated interest of different groups of students year after year. We do not recruit star athletes to come to our school; we find well-rounded students-athletes who enjoy doing many different things in their free time. This is what makes our community so diverse and special. No one area of the school receives more attention that it deserves. WRA’s committed and balanced students allow it to remain an amazing school with so many different options for people with all sorts of interests.

Posted by smaseelall in WRA Athletics on Saturday April 26 at 11:50AM
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Off with a Bang!

Entering Western Reserve Academy, I wasn’t quite sure what I what to pursue outside of the classroom. I tried out various clubs and publications, most of which I continued through my four years, but none have given me joy so much as the theatre.

Four seniors will perform in their last WRA play
this weekend.

This love started the winter of my freshmen year. I decided to try out for the upcoming winter play, Inherit the Wind. I was not expecting much as a freshmen, so when I received a role it made me all the happier. Although it was a small and modest part, I made the best of my experience with the stage and my fellow actors. That play opened me up to many different personalities and allowed me to become friends with people I never would have otherwise interacted.

The theater allowed me to continue making those bonds as I progressed through high school. Each year I have had a role in one of our plays. An art dealer, a servant, and now an old drunk actor: I have played them all. Though I very much love the spotlight shining down upon me on stage, the different casts which I have been a part of have been what have truly made my acting experience at WRA so memorable.

I always tell people that my favorite part of participating in a play is the curtain call. Seeing the months of hard work in an audience cheering and clapping makes it all worthwhile. However, when the show is said and done, the applause ends but my friends remain.

I am currently in the process of rehearsing the last play I will do at WRA. Saying it aloud still shocks me. Each night our small cast of nine goes to the theatre to practice, and I leave each night with smiles and the joy of getting to spend the past hour or two with some of the most amazing people I know. This cast of Noises Off, which runs this weekend, is close to my heart, as is the cast of every play I have done. I am so grateful for having the chance to meet such amazing and talented people through the theatre program here. The three other seniors in this play and I will be sure to go off with a bang.

Posted by Alexander Dean Fellows in WRA Arts, WRA Theatre on Wednesday April 23 at 04:31PM
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A New Leaf

As spring is actually becoming a reality, WRA life is being ushered into many new things: spring ECHOs (part of the Saturday Academy program), spring sports, and spring activities. Even though it is my third year here, this spring is certainly proving to be a season of firsts for me.

Anna's ECHO class visited One
Red Door in downtown Hudson.

Recently, my spring ECHO, entitled “The Business of Restaurants,” began. I don’t necessarily want to own a restaurant, but restaurants have always seemed like a risky business to me; I’ve been looking forward to learning about this business all year! Our first venture was to downtown Hudson to meet with the owners of One Red Door, Flip Side, and 3 Palms. We learned many interesting specifics of these restaurants, like where their names came from, why the restaurants are numbered, and how the owners got into the restaurant business, but we also learned some of the specifics of opening a restaurant. It was so interesting to hear about the business from the insiders who truly have a talent as they continue to run three extremely successful restaurants in Hudson and expand their brand. It’s certainly proving to be a very interesting and unconventional ECHO, but most of all, it’s extremely fun!

In addition to my ECHO, I experienced another first: my first track meet! You’d think that by junior year I would have settled into one spring sport, but this year I’ve really taken a chance and branched out from what I know. While the track meet was certainly accompanied by tons and tons of nerves, there was also so much support from the team that it was impossible not to enjoy myself. When trying something new and difficult, it’s wonderful to have a great support system, and the track team definitely fills the bill.

I expected that by junior year I would have completely settled into WRA, and perhaps, even have become a little bored with the same old-same old, but that has definitely not been the case. No matter what, there are new things to try! A new ECHO, class, team, play, or dance are always options available and encouraged to all. By the time you leave WRA, you’ll have tried more new things than ever before, all by the side of your friends.

Posted by Anna Karen Ballard in Saturday Academy, WRA Athletics, WRA Academics on Tuesday April 15 at 10:51AM
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Spring Has Sprung and the Year is Almost Done

 Everybody loves springtime at WRA!

Old Reserve’s lawns wide sweep is finally looking a little greener. Strip off the snowshoes, jackets and scarves because as of this week, Ohio’s winter is finally over. In pleasant contrast to the mounds of snow that littered the campus for the majority of the gray winter, the campus is swarming with warm smiles and a wide color spectrum of spring clothes. Ohio’s aggressive winter left students cramped inside school buildings twiddling our thumbs, but now with daily highs reaching an average of fifty degrees, students are throwing off the layers and enjoying their walks between school buildings. Students filled the stands at last week's Longstreth Relays and are taking more walks downtown for a scoop of ice cream at Hershe'ys or a well-deserved sandwhich at Daves. Sports teams are eager to head outside and play after dwelling in the Murdough Athletic center for the last couple of months. Spring at Reserve allows for frisbee in the front fields, picnics for lunch, class outside and patio games after dinner. Flowers lining Brick Row aren’t the only things blossoming; a lively spirit is blooming and infecting all students and faculty. Maybe it's the thought that this school year is coming to an end, but along with the snow, the stresses from the past school year are slowing melting away. The difference in temperature has allowed for a change in attitude around campus. With a relaxed atmosphere wafting through classrooms, everyone seems even friendlier than usual. Stressful weeks leading up to our final examinations don’t seem so bad when it’s warm enough to study outside. There’s nothing like springtime at WRA, when the essence of what Reserve is all about becomes as clear as the blue skies overhead.  

Posted by Catherine Elizabeth Berry in WRA Student Life on Monday April 7 at 02:34PM
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Social Justice and My Role

Ms. Schnupp's English class
motivated Diane's to think about
social justice.

I had a number of options when picking my second semester English class and I found it harder than most to make a decision. I have been told that I’m a bit indecisive, but that’s beside the point. I wanted to pick a class that would be thought provoking and I found that in Ms. Schnupp’s Social Justice and Literature class. The name seemed pretty self explanatory, but with such a broad topic I has no idea what to expect. The first novel we read, In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, documented the brutality and injustices experienced under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. I was inspired by the accounts of the Mirabal Sisters and how feverishly they fought for their voices to be heard. It was without a doubt a compelling story, but I was left feeling unable to mirror their strength and determination. What was my obligation to my community? Should I even feel the need to do anything? Those questions followed me as we moved onto our next book. We read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and later watched the documentary Life and Debt. I learned the most from this novel as it was the first time I viewed myself as part of the problem. There is no denying that I enjoy a privileged lifestyle just by living in the United States. I have access to public education, good hospitals, and basic liberties. But by simply buying food imported from developing countries, I am indirectly contributing to the underpayment of farm workers amongst many other things. Fortunately for me I finally found the answer I was looking for. I am simply ignorant. My obligation to society is to become aware of the many human rights violations going on, because the more I know the more conscious of a person I become. I might not be able to change the world, but I choose to be part of the catalyst that does.

Posted by Diane Ogede in WRA Academics on Tuesday March 18
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