Garden Spot High School
Brandon Bixler is a senior at Garden Spot High School in New Holland, PA. He challenges himself academically because of his love for new learning. Over the years, Brandon has found many friendships and organizations to serve. He has held leadership positions in FFA, Class of 2019, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Additionally, Brandon’s diligence toward his academics has also earned him membership in the National Honor Society.
After graduation, Brandon plans to attend Penn State University where he has been accepted into the Agricultural Extension and Education major. In the meantime, Brandon is committed to many youth organizations outside of school. He attends church at Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community and volunteers at Cross Jr., a local youth ministry. When asked what he liked to do in his free time, Brandon responded, “What free time?” He has definitely mastered the motto of putting others before himself. In the brief breaks he does find, he enjoys being with friends, preferably doing something outdoors.
When looking back at his high school career, Brandon seems most proud of his contributions to the FFA. His highest achievement was earning his Keystone Degree because it reflects all the hard work and leadership he invested into the organization and community. He even worked in an internship at Pequea Valley High School where he shadowed two agricultural educators as they taught a wide variety of classes. Brandon believes his ag teachers have become his greatest mentors and have inspired him to choose a similar career path. The sky is truly the limit for Brandon’s future, and anyone who is a part of it will be truly blessed.
Written by: Daniel Horning
Sophie Ghee is a zealous, eleventh-grade student at Garden Spot High School. Outside of her usual classes and daily routine, she participates in various extracurriculars such as National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Garden Spot Performing Arts, and the Health Careers Academy. She is particularly interested in the subject of science—mainly biology—and the career field of medicine, as she was introduced to it early in life by her mother working as a paramedic and her father working as an ER nurse. As of now, she plans on attending a four-year college to pursue a career in the medical field after graduation. Her life goal is to eventually join the organization, Doctors Without Borders, so she can fulfill her passion of helping others in need. She believes Garden Spot High School has helped her in many ways both to prepare her for the future and to guide her in new directions. Because of the many classes that have become available to her as she has progressed through high school with these goals in mind, she has been able to pursue her passions as well as to discover what subjects she is not interested in. She also believes school has helped her to develop skills needed for the future, such as perseverance and time-management, thanks to the rigorous Honors and AP Courses in which she participates. Quiet on the outside, yet vivacious and wise on the inside, she continues to create and share her compelling, unique, and unheard-of ideas, creating a better environment not only with those in the school, but also with anyone around her.
Written by: Alexander Nieves
Paula Gauthier is a tenth-grade student at Garden Spot High School, who lives with her three sisters, Vanapolie, Beatrice, and Alida, along with her parents. Paula greatly admires her mother because she is always taking care of her family and is always a great role model. The different values Paula has learned from her mother, such as being independent and artsy, have greatly shaped her personality today. She is very active in her school and is a part of many organizations and activities such as Chorus, Cheerleading, Coalition, and Tri-M Honors Society. She is also involved with Garden Spot Performing Arts; Annie and Aida are two musicals she has been involved in, along with being backstage helping out during fall shows. She enjoys singing and dancing in the musicals and being able to perform with her close friends. Some hobbies she enjoys doing are cooking and crafting, along with watching Netflix in her spare time. Outside of school, you will find her at home listening to music, reading a book, or cooking with her family. Paula also enjoys traveling; this past summer, she visited her family in Haiti. Of the many activities Paula enjoys doing at school, her favorite come from the vast array of extracurricular activities and programs that she can join and be a part of. Her favorite class in school is math class. After high school, she plans to further her education and attend college. Paula is very outgoing and social and enjoys making people at Garden Spot laugh and smile.
Written by: Hannah Hostetler
Sarah Shirk is a senior at Garden Spot High School, where she enjoys learning and socializing with friends. One of her favorite parts of school is attending her AP Biology class because she is very interested in life science, and she enjoys the challenge of the class. Sarah also participates in volleyball, Future Farmers of America, National Honor Society, and Elanco Health Council. One of her biggest accomplishments is being assigned to the PIAA All-State Volleyball Team. During her free time Sarah enjoys spending time with friends, reading, photography, and shopping. In addition, she enjoys spending time playing with her two golden retrievers, Jack-Jack and Liberty. Sarah is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in New Holland. If she would be able to change one piece of the world she would rid the world of poverty. The person Sarah admires the most is her mother, Stephanie Shirk, because she is very caring, hard-working, and selfless. It is obvious from the way Sarah carries herself that she has appreciated and inherited these traits. Next year, Sarah plans on attending Penn State University Main Campus to double major in communication sciences and disorders and biotechnology before moving on to earn her doctorate in audiology. Sarah is currently interning at Resonance Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, LLC in New Holland. Sarah brings light and life wherever she goes, and GS is better for her presence.
Written by: Paige Kemper
Brielle Eby is an 11th grade student at Garden Spot High School. Her favorite part of school is the social interaction–and the community that it brings. She loves meeting new friends and connecting with a wide variety of people. Brielle enjoys taking dual enrollment and AP classes in order to prepare for her future and has particularly enjoyed science and math classes throughout her high school experience. She is also involved with National Honor Society, Student Council, Chorus, the Class of 2020 club, and the Healthcare Careers Academy through the school, as well as serving as a leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Outside of school, Brielle is a competitive soccer player who also waitresses at SquireSide Café in New Holland. She attends church and youth group at the Worship Center and is hoping to become more involved with the infants and toddler ministry. Brielle is a people person, so in her free time she enjoys being outside and hanging out with friends, playing instruments, hiking, swimming, rollerblading, and playing with her dog, Toby. If she could change one thing in the world, she would eliminate poverty. After high school, Brielle plans on pursuing a college program for nursing or physician’s assistant, ultimately going into pediatrics or working for a children’s hospital. Brielle also admires Annie Hoover, her past youth group leader, a confident, strong person who loves helping others, and who has been like an older sister and role model to Brielle.
Written by: Anna Armbruster
Kylie Martin is a beautiful, young lady in her sophomore year at Garden Spot High School. Although school is difficult, Kylie enjoys attending because of the hard work that must be applied and the feeling of accomplishment as her hard work is rewarded. This reward includes succeeding in all her classes, which she claims is her greatest accomplishment. As she makes her way through the school day she looks forward to her favorite class, English. She loves reading and sinking into the authors’ words and thoughts. English, the perfect class for this, allows them to analyze and study many authors’ works. Looking to the future, even though graduation remains far off, she plans on training in culinary arts in Florida. Meanwhile, Kylie can be found in the high school Agriculture Department taking classes in Ag and Food Sciences to prepare for what lies ahead. When Kylie is not working hard at school, she enjoys her dog, a Mini Golden Doodle named Charley, reading suspense novels, and baking. She also participates in volleyball, gymnastics, and tennis throughout the school year. Kylie’s days may be busy, but her older sister, Taylor, inspires her to keep going, to give her best, and to work hard. High school and the world can be hard on a teenager, or for that matter anyone, so if Kylie could change something in the world she would ask people to accept everyone for who they are.
Written by: Hadassah Hoover
Mikaya Waite is a junior at Garden Spot High School, where she enjoys socializing and the challenges of learning. One of her favorite parts of school is attending her Spanish class. Lately, the class has started to communicate with an English-learning class in Ecuador. Mikaya immerses herself in music throughout her education by participating in marching band, chorus, and Tri-M Music Society. She has been developing leadership skills through being a section leader for mallet percussion in band. Her hard work, intellect, and dedication to school also landed her in National Honors Society at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her dog, shopping, playing piano, and hanging out with friends. She regularly goes to church services and her youth group at Petra. There, her youth group has been raising money to buy supplies for ACTION Christmas, whereby these items are given to children in need. The good people Mikaya looks up to include her pastors, older siblings, and parents. Succeeding high school, she hopes to continue her education even further through college, hoping to someday become a teacher or a physical therapist. If she would be able to change one piece of the world, she would rid the world of hatred. Mikaya adds a measure of goodwill to Garden Spot High School through her caring nature.
Written by: Erynn Mullins
Rebecca Faythe Rissler, or Becca to her friends, is a senior at Garden Spot High School. After graduating, Becca plans on taking a gap year to relax before diving into her future. Afterwards, she will look to go to college for Physical Therapy. Becca’s favorite class in high school was AP Psych; she enjoyed learning how the brain worked and “why we do what we do.”
Becca runs for both the cross country and track and field teams, here at the Spot. Her greatest accomplishment at the varsity level occurred when she medaled at the Iron Bridge Cross Country Invitational. In addition, Becca enjoys being active during her free time doing activities like biking, lifting, hiking, and basically any other outdoor activity. She is also involved in National Honor Society and in volunteering her time in the community.
Becca’s favorite part of school is the opportunity to grow, not only educationally, but also emotionally as a person as well. It has taught her many skills which she will use on her journey through life. Becca has a heart for people who might be struggling, with anything. Her wish for them is that they would feel supported by others wherever they are at, and not feel like they are struggling alone.
Becca looks to her older sisters as her role models; they have set a good example for her by going to college and doing their best. All in all, Becca’s journey through Garden Spot High school has given her the tools she needs for success, the opportunity to invest in sports, a chance to repay her community, and most importantly, the ability to make life-long friends who will always be there for her.
Written by: Madison Casey