Wellesley Book Award Winner
The one thing Elisabeth Kramer knew from the time she was little was that she would attend Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services just like her father did. He was in the Construction/Electrical program, and she, well, it was just a matter of time before she found her place here.
Now that she has, she could not be happier.
“I’ve always loved singing and music,” she said. “Singing is like therapy for me.”
Initially Elisabeth, a junior at Westlake High School, was enrolled in the Animal Science program, but when she began to doubt if this is an avenue she wanted to pursue, she looked into the other programs offered here. She spent three days as a guest in the Sound Production program, and it was not long before she knew that was where she wanted to be.
“I was touring the TV Production and Sound Production classes and my eyes lit up,” she said.
Not long after officially joining the Sound Production program, her school counselor, Kevin McAllister, visited the classroom and asked her to fill out an application. She was not sure what it was for.
She did not have to wait long to find out. Elisabeth was the recipient of the Wellesley Book Award and received a copy of “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience,” by Hilary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
“It came as a surprise to me,” Elisabeth said of the honor. “I was very proud of myself. I came in in the second quarter and had no idea what I was doing, and I was able to get an award after being the last to come into the class.”
Wellesley’s Dean of Admissions Jennifer Desjarlais wrote regarding criteria for the award, “the Wellesley Book Award honors young women who have been top scholars in high school as well as talented performers in extracurricular areas. The Book Award Program recognizes young women who have excelled and gives them the opportunity to become better acquainted with Wellesley. Young women should be chosen for their intelligence, determination, motivation, and achievement.”
“Liz came to the Sound Production program during the 2nd marking period of this year. At first, I was a little concerned about her ability to thrive in this program, as she was the only female student and appeared to be quite reserved,” Mr. McAllister said. “Liz had very quickly quelled all my concerns about her being the only female student in a predominately male-driven industry. She dominated the program.”
“Liz is impressive on so many different levels,” he continued. “Her budding talent is undeniable, and her ability to master the science of sound production is uncanny. She will only get better over time, and as it stands, she is on track to have an amazing senior year with us.”
Mr. McAllister said he recommended her for the Wellesley award, because he was so “impressed with her ingenuity and tenacity to thrive.”
“As the award sates, it is an award which recognizes a junior female student that is of strong character and exceptional quality. Liz has most definitely contributed to the class in a significant way, and I would recommend her for all awards that acknowledges her abilities.”
Part of Elisabeth’s excitement with the Sound Production program is the opportunity to use Pro Tools, a digital audio workstation. Elisabeth plays the ukulele and piano and enjoys creating her own music. Pro Tools lets her edit her work and more.
“With Pro Tools there are a million things you can do, you can edit and watch it all come together,” she said.
She has not given up her interest in pets and veterinary medicine. She loves to horseback ride and often hangs out at her mom’s veterinary clinic. But music, she said, is her true passion.
“I’m always singing in my room,” Elisabeth said. She tends to favor country and pop music.
“She came in like a trooper,” Sound Production teacher Sean Harty said, adding that it was not an easy thing to do considering she had missed so much material relating to vocabulary, hands-on work and more.
Mr. Harty met with Elisabeth via Zoom to help her catch up and several of her classmates also helped her learn the material she had missed.
Her hard work paid off, Mr. Harty said. She had the highest grade for the juniors in her class.
“I know her parents are very proud of her,” he said.