AA Senior Ellie T. Delivers Chapel Talk
2018, December 3 – The twelfth annual Chapel Talk series at Amelia Academy began on November 28th with the speech of senior Ellie T.
The first day in a new school feels difficult for anyone. This has been especially true for Ellie T., who attended three schools in four years. It’s just as hard to “get used to a place and then leave,” she said. This experience was the subject of Ellie’s chapel talk, the first delivered by Amelia Academy’s class of 2019.
The chapel talk, a program launched under the direction of former headmaster James D. Grizzard in 2007, is a requirement for graduation and a milestone of each senior’s year.
Ellie arrived at Amelia Academy last year and said she found “the right place” when she entered her junior year. “Here I finally feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be,” she said.
This was not always the case. At the end of the eighth grade, Ellie was given the news from her father that she would be changing schools. Her parents decided that she would switch schools during the last nine weeks. Ellie said the change was abrupt and difficult. However, she now realizes that her parents made the necessary decision for her. “They did what was best for me,” she said. And she was grateful for the loyalty of her friend, Madison D., with whom she remains friends today.
Knowing no one at her new school, Ellie said she did the only thing she knew to do. “I started talking to people to try and find some friends.” She found another true friend and worked hard to adjust.
At the end of her tenth-grade year, Ellie found herself in the same situation again. She was being moved to a new school after “getting used to a place and finding a true friend.” Over the summer, her parents began looking for another school. Even though she felt unsettled, Ellie said she “can’t thank them [her parents] enough. . . they did what was best for me.”
Amelia Academy proved to be the right place. She made friends with whom she has “life-long connections.” Ellie is known for her success academically and as a distinguished voice in the senior class, said Rodney Taylor, Head of School. Last spring, Ellie was elected Vice-President of the Student Government Organization by her fellow students. She played varsity softball last spring and was named all-conference in the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC). Ellie also played varsity volleyball this year.
Finding the right fit at Amelia Academy has proved immensely rewarding for Ellie. It was unexpected in the beginning, but she trusted her parents’ decision. Ellie urged her fellow students to cultivate that same trust in their parents, guardians, or true friends. “When they do something you don’t agree with or make decisions you don’t like, please know that it’s in your best interest,” she said. “They care about you, and they want what’s best for you.”
Attending her chapel talk were her parents, Jennifer and Bobby T., and her friend Madison D. Also present were several friends from the AA class of 2018 – Gillian C., Allison J., and John B., all students at Longwood University.
Guests and members of the senior class attended a reception after the chapel talk program.