Garden Spot High School


Eloise Taylor


Have you ever met someone who could “do it all” in the span of four years? Or experience the most out of a high school career? Let me introduce you to Eloise Taylor. 

Taylor, a senior at Garden Spot High School, has had quite the eventful few years. As founder and president of the Junior Friends of ELANCO Library, she has been hard at work planning and assisting in book sales for the community. She not only exceeds expectations outside of school but creates even more for our school. 

Taylor is both the National Honor Society Co-President and the Class of 2024 President. She’s helped with and organized countless fundraisers for the school, including hygiene and food drives, Cinderella’s Closet, and field days for the students. She also strives to help fellow students around the world, as she became a virtual SAT tutor for international students and tutored over 25 students.

In Taylor’s free time, she involves herself in books, writing, and spends “way too much time involved in celebrity gossip.” Taylor is a huge movie fan and loves to spend time with her friends at any given moment. 

Following Taylor’s career at Garden Spot, she plans to attend Dartmouth College. She hopes to major in government with a minor in English. Looking towards the future, she wants to either attend law school or become a campaign speech writer. Taylor is most excited about meeting new people in college, expanding her knowledge, and exploring new activities like skiing, though she notes, “I most definitely will break a bone.”

Taylor is an inspiring young student who has not only impacted our community but the students, friends, and family that surround her.

Written by: Alyssa Brace


Melyna Pizarro


Melyna Pizarro, grade 10, does not fit the typical stereotypes of most teenagers: She is kind, loving, empathetic, always respectful, and always willing to help others. Pizarro enjoys coming to school to see her teachers and friends, and her goal is to earn good grades. She loves to participate in sports, and she plays varsity basketball. She takes academics and athletics very seriously. 

But, as we all well know, there is more to life than just school. Outside of school, Pizarro spends time working at Garden Spot Village and volunteering with her youth group at CrossNet Ministries, both located right here in New Holland. 

Pizarro is a busy person who enjoys spending time with her friends and being active. She is most inspired by her best friend, and describes her by saying: “she has my back every day, and she is so much fun to be around!” 

Melyna is outgoing and has a heart to serve others. She says that, more than anything though, she tries to embody the trait of honesty. She brings positivity and laughter to many people, and she is an intelligent young woman who does whatever she can to help. Melyna Pizarro embodies the Spartan Way here at Garden Spot: “Doing What’s Right. Doing our best. Doing for others.”

Written by: Addison Precise


Morgan Watt


Every high school has that one student who is the pinnacle of involvement within the community. At Garden Spot, junior Morgan Watt is the jack of all trades. She is involved in varsity field hockey, Garden Spot Performing Arts, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honors Society, Health Council, and many more organizations inside and outside of school. In almost every club, she holds a leadership position. 

For Watt, being a leader amongst her teammates is something she values strongly: “Seeing my growth [in the field hockey program] has really helped and encouraged me. I think a lot of my encouragement came from my older teammates… think it’s great that [as a captain] I can be what my older teammates were to me to some of the younger teammates now.”

Watt enjoys growing in many different areas, both in field hockey and in theater. “I love GSPA. It’s like a second family to me if I had to describe it. It’s just somewhere safe I can come to every night. No matter whether I was on the crew, in the ensemble, or the lead, I always just feel the same way and feel so close with everyone here.”

GSPA’s musical, Shrek, is coming to Garden Spot’s stage April 19, 20, and 21. It is Morgan’s seventh show, and she is playing the lead female role of Fiona. She is excited to bring the quirky, laugh-out-loud funny character to life. 

“Fiona is such an oddball character. She is not the normal princess, so she doesn’t have to be perfect… I think that takes the pressure off of being this perfect figure on stage. It’s just fun to be someone crazy and different. [Fiona is] so much fun to play.”

In the future, Watt plans to go to college to become a geneticist because of her love of science. For now, as a junior, she looks forward to staying involved within the community and making memories she will never forget.

Written by: Natalija Gligorevic


Valerie Martin


Valerie Martin, 18, is a senior at Garden Spot High School. Martin is full of life and always willing to reach out and be a friend to those around her. She is involved in many programs here at Garden Spot, including Girl’s Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as the school’s morning TV news channel, KGSH. Martin has been recognized for her outstanding contributions by earning the Spartacus Award, and being named a First Team All Star and a District All Star. She’s also received her Varsity Letter.

Outside of school, Martin has a passion for the outdoors and videography. She enjoys adventure and is always up for hiking, kayaking, or fishing. She enjoys taking videos of her family and her friends, and editing them into short films of her life.

Martin attends Weaverland Church and is an active member of the youth group. With the youth group, Martin has had the opportunity to go on mission trips. “Mission trips impact my life because it allows me to see the world from a different perspective and seeing how joyful people are, even when they have nothing. It makes me grateful for what I have,” says Martin when asked about missionary work.

She currently works at Fox Meadows Creamery and is an intern at New Holland District Court where she gets to sit in on court cases and file paperwork. She also interns at Ephrata Police Department where she  accompanies the policemen during their day-to-day routines. After high school, Martin hopes to attend the police academy.

A memorable moment for Martin during her time here at Garden Spot was going to districts with the volleyball team. To her teachers and peers, she is known as a respectful, compassionate, and hard-working individual here at Garden Spot High School.

Written by: McKenna Murray


Myra Bair


Myra Bair, 17, is a senior at Garden Spot High School. Throughout her time here she has pursued a wide range of interests and discovered some life-long hobbies. For instance, she’s spent the last 10 years practicing to become a second-degree black belt in martial arts, and she’s even placed in regional tournaments. She continually demonstrates the highest level of determination and dedication to all her activities.

Myra plays doubles on the girls’ tennis team, defense on the girls’ lacrosse team, and she even wrestles in the 107-weight class for the GS wrestling team. Along with being a three-sport varsity athlete, Myra also participates in music and the arts. She plays the violin in orchestra, sings alto in chorus, and is part of the color guard in the school’s marching band. Being part of so many different organizations, Myra has connected with all different types of people. Despite her busy schedule, she always makes time for her friends. 

The student body recognized Myra’s outstanding contributions to our school by nominating her to the homecoming court this past fall. Seeing her get the recognition she deserves filled many of her friends and classmates with tremendous pride and joy. Despite all her accomplishments and accolades, Myra remains humble and kind. Her empathy and compassion for others is evident in how she treats everyone who crosses her path. 

When asked how all her commitments and activities have helped her grow as a student and as a person, Myra responded, “They have helped me become a well-rounded person and discover my various interests.” With all she has done in her high school career, who knows what all she will be able to accomplish in the future. But one thing’s for sure: the possibilities are endless for someone as hardworking, dedicated, and kind-hearted as Myra Bair.

Written by: Brandon Herman


Javier Heredia De Leon


As an exchange student from Spain, Javier Heredia De Leon is a hardworking 11th grader here at Garden Spot High School. He is really into sports and he enjoys learning and refining his English.

In Spain, Javier plays soccer in his free time. High school sports in Spain differ from the sports in the U.S. because they are not extracurricular teams that are an extension of the schools; they are more like a club.

Javier also loves spending time with his friends and getting to learn new things. After graduating high school, he plans on pursuing a career in international relations. He wants to study a broad range of subjects such as history, political science, international law and geography. 

When I asked Javier “what’s been your greatest accomplishment here so far in the US?” He responded by saying: “Getting out of my comfort zone and talking to new people.” 

He said his favorite person to spend time with here in Eastern Lancaster County is Diego Portales, a G.S. senior and the youngest son in Javier’s host family. He said Diego is always there for him whenever he needs to talk; Diego also knows how to get him to laugh or smile and Javier looks up to him very much. 

Javier enjoys getting together with the other foreign exchange students and going to sporting events at Garden Spot. 

Schools in Spain assign kids many hours of homework outside of the curricular day. Here in the States, however, Javier says he has a lot of free time and he’s trying to find ways to stay busy and connect with people. While he is not yet ready to return home, he admits he misses his family and friends and he thinks about them all the time.

Written by: Marissa Buckwalter


Kashindi Lusengya


Could you imagine moving over 7,700 miles away from all you’ve known, to a country you’ve never been to, where everyone speaks a language you do not know? Kashindi Lusengya, a senior at Garden Spot High School, can more than imagine this–she’s lived this.

As an 11-year-old, Lusengya and her family moved to New Holland, Pennsylvania from Tanzania, leaving all that they knew, to start a new life in the U.S. It was very difficult for her to leave everyone she knew, especially her grandmother, but she is glad and grateful that she’s met many new, good people. 

When asked what the change was like for her, she stated, “Everything was different. I didn’t know English. The house was different, and the people! The food, at first, tasted bad, but now the food is good.” 

Lusengya says the schooling in Africa was much different from her experiences here at GS. “The teacher was very strict and they taught us French, which I did not understand at all. If you raised your hand you had to get the question right, or they used a stick and hit your hands.” 

Even though it has been six years since she moved to the States, she still lives in fear of getting an answer wrong in school. 

Here in America, Lusengya has had opportunities to try things that she never would have been able to in Tanzania. She loves that she’s learned to read, write and speak English, and she’s also learned to drive. She’s especially looking forward to going to college. 

Coming to America has given her the chance to get involved in Willow Street’s Career and Technology Center (CTC) to build a career. Lusengya attends CTC because she wants to become a dental assistant. She hopes this pre-professional experience will make it easier to be accepted into college.

Written by: Sara Hoffman


Roxanne Avril


“I love going to school!” says Roxanne Avril, a track runner, tennis player, actress, and overall impressive senior at Garden Spot High School. Balancing her academics with all her school activities is something she says is the most fulfilling. “I admit, it can be difficult to be involved [and] keep up with my grades, but I love a good challenge.’’ 

Avril has been on the girls tennis team since her freshman year of high school. As a newcomer her freshman year, she joined tennis with a blank slate. With hard work and dedication, though, she immediately earned a place on the varsity team her sophomore year and she’s stayed there ever since. 

Her involvement in GSPA, the school’s theater group, comes from her passion for the performing arts. She’s appeared on stage, worked behind the scenes, and currently serves as a student-elected officer. Cavod Academy was her starting ground. At age ten, she performed in two shows and worked behind the scenes in one. She joined GSPA in her sophomore year. “Whether I am on the stage or behind the scenes I always love every second of it.” 

If Avril isn’t seen performing on a stage or playing singles in a tennis match, she’ll be on the bleachers supporting her fellow seniors in their own sporting events. Her favorite games to attend are football and basketball, as well as wrestling matches. 

As a proud representative of Garden Spot, she never forgets to wear her blue and gray Spartan spirit wear on game days. Her inspiring enthusiasm shines through no matter the activity or venue. 

Roxanne Avril is a determined student who always has a smile on her face. She is someone who knows how to be a true Spartan.

Written by: Johalys Bencosme