Senior Spotlights: Brendan Chia, Ritika Kumar, Gibson Linnehan, Ava Sarnow

The countdown to commencement continues for the resilient and can-do Princeton Day School Class of 2021! As we did last year, this spring we are featuring a regular series of Senior Spotlights designed to celebrate each graduating student.

Please note that Senior Spotlights appear in alphabetical order and are based on voluntary submissions that our seniors are completing and providing to the Communications Office. Here is the next set of Senior Spotlights from the Panther Class of 2021:

Brendan Chia '21

Brendan Chia, Panther for 11 years

A turning point/meaningful experience:

A turning point at PDS for me was when I signed up for Chris Maher's Intro to Furniture Design class in sophomore year. I had originally signed up for this class simply to fulfill my arts credits, and I had low expectations going in because I had always been terrible in arts classes. Throughout the year, however, I started to come into the shop during my free periods and experiment with different designs at home on SketchUp. I ended up really enjoying my time in the studio, and this became a place for me to relieve stress and to spend time doing something I love. During my four years, I took furniture design classes for three years, and my senior project will be centered around the woodshop.

"If I could do it again, "

I would have focused more on living a balanced lifestyle with less stress, and I would have made more time to spend with my family and friends.

Senior Project insights:

I will be learning to make different kinds of wooden bowls.

Message for future PDS seniors:

Have at least two extracurriculars: One that will keep you healthy and one that you could do for hours without wanting to stop.

Ritika Kumar '21

Ritika Kumar, Panther for 6 years

A turning point/meaningful experience

1) Stan Cahill has taught me how to both direct and take directions, and through his mentorship I have learned to be bold and confident.

2) I loved taking Journey In Literature with q (US teacher Tom Quigley). I learned how to live meaningfully and reflect thoughtfully. I definitely highly recommend this course. Thanks q!

Favorite PDS memory:

When I had to both dress and act like a male rancher, while chewing Hubba Bubba gum during Bat Boy my freshman year.

"If I could do it again, "

I would be more goofy and less stressed out.

Senior Project insights:

I am going to create an EP where all of my songs are connected by a theme inspired by other young artists. I am super-excited for this opportunity and can't wait to show PDS what I have been working on!

Message for future PDS seniors:

1) Live in the moment. One thing that I have learned this past year is that we have no way of knowing when a pandemic will hit or what will happen tomorrow, so just live in the moment and control the NOW.

2) Also, make sure to have random conversations with people you don't know. It is so easy to just sit down and ask someone a random question. Go for it.

Gibson Linnehan '21

Gibson Linnehan, Panther for 4 years

A meaningful experience:

A meaningful experience I had at PDS was beating Lawrenceville in OT last year [in their annual ice hockey matchup, held on January 23, 2020, at the Hobey Baker rink at Princeton University].

"If I could do it again, "

If I could do it again I would have tried out for the soccer team my freshman year.

Message for future PDS seniors:

Don’t be afraid to reach out to everyone in your class even if you might never hang out with them. Getting to know people is good for everyone.

Ava Sarnow '21

Ava Sarnow, Panther for 8 years

A turning point/meaningful exerience:

Learning both Spanish and French at the same time gave me an appreciation for languages, history, and cultures, which I am excited to further pursue in college!

Favorite PDS memory:

My favorite PDS memory is from Middle School when I got to witness the Blue Team win Blue and White Day for the first time in years!

"If I could do it again, "

I would do girls' basketball!

Message for future PDS seniors:

Try everything, because you will never know if you like something until you try it!


More News