Discovering Inner Genius
Linguist. Unleashed Explorer. Triumphant Runner.
'23 | AWARD-WINNING PAINTER, SPY IN TRAINING
"Without my college counselor, I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have now. A conversation about college led to an amazing deep dive into Russian literature and art. EHS is all about flexibility, allowing you to follow your passions…to do anything."
Following encouragement from Ms. Willcutts, Ella submitted two pieces to the Texas Art Education Association Visual Arts Scholastic Event competition and received a rare perfect score on her pastel green abstract piece. Ella enjoyed the piece, describing the process as like “decorating a cake, which was fun."
Even though she loves painting in her free time at home, she believes the work she produces in class always outshines the work at home. Something about the prompt, the direction from Ms. Willcutts, and the lack of distractions leads to better focus, and in her opinion, better work. She also credits the array of media introduced in class, and whenever an idea arises, the materials are available (or are made so shortly.)
Stemming from a childhood desire to be a CIA agent (she may or may not have signed up on the CIA website using her mother’s credentials when she was 11), Ella designed an Independent Study project in which she learned the fundamentals of conversational Russian language. In her exploration of Russian culture, she narrowed in on Constructivism, the artistic movement that uses lots of sharp shapes, inspired by the Industrial Revolution and Bolshevism, a movement that USSR propagandists ultimately adopted because it is loud and noticeable: “It just screams at you. The message is very direct, and the art style complements that.” For her final project, she created a video of Ella Marino having conversation in Russian over dinner with Ella Marino.
'24 | FIVE-TOOL ATHLETE, HYPER-FOCUSED SCRIBE, INVENTOR OF HUES
"I like the inclusiveness in the community. A space where you can learn with having certain connections and ties that you would never get anywhere else. You meet new people, and then the teachers help you grow as a person—to be successful later in college and in life in general. It's a great platform for success in life."
Townsen is a two-time junior Olympian in track, finishing in fifth place in triple jump and the top fifteen in the 100m Hurdles, Pentathalon, and 200m Hurdles. As a ninth grader, she broke the school record in the 100m hurdles (14.92) and then broke it again with 14.65 as a sophomore. If you watch Townsen Thomas participate in either of her sports—softball and track—when she gets going, she looks like a blur, moving faster than your brain allows for human beings. However, Townsen brings more than speed to the softball field. A five-tool player who can bunt, hit, slap, field, and run at a high level, she is the #1 Outfielder and the #3 Overall player in the class of 2024 according to Extra Innings Softball. She is also a two-time USA All-American Champion 2019/2020 (12U/14U). In the last two years, she has helped the Knights earn their fourth and fifth consecutive SPC championships.
In class, Townsen is famous for her notetaking. Though science—especially chemistry with gummy bears changing colors, catching fire, and exploding—easily captures her attention, Townsen employs note taking to sharpen her focus. School is her time to get away from the rest of life, and she hangs on every word, transcribing the information into consumable pieces for later studies.
Though she had never painted before, she dove into her Drawing and Painting class with Ms. Willcutts as another way to be unique: "It was cool. I like the way you can control what colors you make. Combine them to get something that YOU made, that no one else had made before. The power is yours."
'24 | CHAMPION GOLFER, STUDENT LEADER, PHOTOGRAPHER, CODER
"I love the School. The teachers have made me really want to focus more on my academic work. They are all very encouraging of doing your best."
Bradley made his mark quickly. As a freshmen, he shot a 65 (-7) at the SPC South Zone tournament, earning him a first place finish at the highest competition in that year’s Covid-restricted spring athletics season. For Bradley, who has been playing golf since he was four years old and plays year-round, it was the lowest round of his life, and it was on the biggest of stages. As a sophomore, he won the Strake Jesuit tournament and shot a season low 72 at the John Cooper tournament.
His love of golf has given him a subject in a new passion, photography. After taking Beginning Photography, he has continued to sharpen his new skills behind the camera in order to develop as a golf photographer. Bradley began a new project and is gathering photos on film with large format printing in mind.
Too, Bradley has caught the coding bug, taking Computer Science with Mr. Johnson. He sees coding as "hard, but the kind of challenge I like."
In 2021-22, Bradley served as the Sophomore Class President and has served as Class Vice-President for 2022-23.
'24 | CHAPEL READER, JOURNALIST, FIELD HOCKEY & LACROSSE PLAYER
"I like making a positive impact on people and being an advocate for God. It is honor to be the person who brings down His words in Chapel."
Morgan loves words. She loves to read and to write, and these passions drive Morgan and her time at EHS. An honors English student, Morgan relishes the details of stories--especially historical fiction--and making meaning of the past. She works on the Knight Times at school and interns off campus at the magazine SWOON, doing interviews to provide content for articles that she later edits.
For Morgan, the return to the Benitez Chapel after a year of virtual Chapel gave her the opportunity to serve, and to serve through her passion: sharing the word of God. Though she had never seen a "normal" EHS Chapel service, she made clear to the chaplains that she was available to help in any way they needed.
As a sophomore, she was a Lector and Family Chapel Leader, and Rev. Art Callaham noted that Morgan quickly became the go-to substitute reader in Chapel when planned readers were absent, and he believes that "through her participation and leadership in Chapel, Morgan follows in the best traditions of the School and the Church, using her gifts (charisms) for the building up of the community."
In addition, Morgan takes her service into the community, where she loves Animeals and any service project that has to do with animals because "animals can’t speak up for themselves and are often neglected."