E.O. Smith graduating senior says Class of 2013 has shaped her as a person

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Fri., Jun. 21, 2013
Danielle Wrubel plans to study political science in the fall. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Danielle Wrubel plans to study political science in the fall. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Danielle Wrubel has been a busy woman for her four years at E.O. Smith High School. She has been a member of the band and the chorus since her freshman year. Her senior year, she was a member of the Women’s Chorus. “I also did the Eastern Regional and All-State music festivals this year,” she said.

Wrubel has participated in field hockey (four years), softball (freshman and sophomore years), crew (junior and senior years), and indoor track (senior year). She was the co-captain of the field hockey team her senior year, which earned her a leadership award. She also received an award for excellence for participation in the Model U.N. program. Her junior and senior years, she served as a tutor in the writing center at the school.

Throughout all of this activity, Wrubel has managed to maintain an excellent academic record, qualifying as an all-academic scholar athlete numerous times. “I’ve been on the honor roll pretty consistently,” she said, noting that she’d qualified for either honors or high honors for most of her semesters at E.O. Smith. Keeping up with activities and academics, “has been very difficult,” said Wrubel, noting that she had only one open period for the first semester of her senior year, and only two for the second. “I tried to get as much work done during those periods as I could,” said Wrubel. “But there have still been a lot of late nights.” But after four years of staying busy, “I was used to the workload,” she said.

Asked what motivated her to maintain such a busy schedule, Wrubel pointed to her classmates. “I think this kind of schedule is pretty typical of our class,” she said. “I think our class, as a whole, is really driven, really smart. We push each other,” said Wrubel. Wrubel describes the E.O. Smith Class of 2013 as an especially tight-knit group. “We want to be involved in a lot of things,” she said. “In many ways it doesn’t feel like work, because we want to do things together.”

That cohesiveness was only solidified by the events the students have experienced over the past year, according to Wrubel. “We’ve had a lot to deal with as a class,” she said. The school shooting in Newtown, coming just several months into the students’ senior year, “Really brought us together as a community,” said Wrubel. In addition to a vigil held by the town of Mansfield, the community at E.O. Smith held a candlelight vigil of their own. The chamber singers performed, and the superintendent and principal spoke. “It was a really nice night,” said Wrubel.

Subsequent national events, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, similarly inspired the class to come closer together, according to Wrubel. “I think we appreciated what we had as a community that much more,” she said. “There was this realization that life is hard, and we need to support each other as a community through whatever comes our way.”

As the Class of 2013 moves out into the larger world, “We understand each other, we click,” said Wrubel. As she heads off to UConn next year to study political science, Wrubel credits her school for shaping her future. “I would not be the person that I am without the people around me,” she said. And that includes the school staff. “I didn’t have a teacher I didn’t like,” said Wrubel. “In high school, you’re trying to make sense of the world around you.” Having teachers and staff around to provide guidance, support and understanding “makes a really big difference,” said Wrubel.


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