Superintendent’s Spotlight: Astrid Kelly


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Astrid Kelly

February 15, 2024

WVHS senior Astrid Kelly is given to understatement when it comes to what she’s got planned for the remainder of her senior year. She said she’s “just hoping to enjoy [her] last couple of months here,” but as a National Honor Society member, leader of multiple co-curricular clubs, and an active tutor who is also deep into the scholarship application process, her schedule and ambitions seem to belie that intention.

Astrid laughs when asked if she feels like she’s basically in college right now, being currently enrolled in AP English Lit, AP Government, and AP Biology.

“I’m also auditing AP Calculus BC,” she added. “Yeah, I’ve been working my butt off for a while now. You know the duck metaphor, where they look so calm moving on the surface, but underneath the water they’re paddling like crazy? That’s me! So, I’m just trying to chill for a little while, to be able to take it all in.”

Recently, Astrid found out that she is finalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program. which recognizes and honors some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Astrid also tutors on her own time through a website called Schoolhouse, which offers tutoring in a variety of subjects, and SAT prep. It was her own stellar SAT score – 1590! – that attracted the attention of the Reagan Foundation in the first place, so it’s no wonder she has focused on helping other students with their own test prep.

“Programs like [Schoolhouse] allow me to connect with kids and help them learn and grow, and that’s a really nice opportunity,” she said “I’m so glad I get to do that.”

Astrid loves connecting with students from all over the globe. She has helped students from as far abroad as India learn English and prep for their SAT.

“I mainly do SAT tutoring, but I also do a little bit of English,” said Astrid, adding that English is her favorite subject. That’s also why she is President of the WVHS Writing Club and Co-president of the WVHS Book Club. She said she has always loved books, and that it was her early love of reading that evolved into a love of writing.

“I have a very active imagination, so I’m always coming up with stories and characters, world building and all of that,” said Astrid. “It’s definitely a symbiotic relationship, reading and writing, they feed into one another.”

Astrid’s creativity extends to her role as President WVTV Remote Operations. WVTV is the district’s student-run production team, known for their excellent coverage of Warwick Valley athletics and arts events. Astrid helps direct that coverage by putting together remote teams that will meet the demands of each specific event.

“Technically, there isn’t a name for my role, but it ties into what I want to do in the future, which is producing,” said Astrid. “I’m hoping to combine my love of teaching and learning with my love of producing, to be able to produce a lot of educational content that I’d be inspired by.”

Astrid said her career ambition was inspired at a young age by watching Sesame Street and, later, other educational sources like the Heimler’s History YouTube channel.

“That one really helped me pass some of my AP exams,” Astrid laughed. “They also managed to keep me engaged.”

Astrid has been applying to schools with film programs, which she intends to use as a pathway for getting into producing roles. With all she has going on, you may wonder how Astrid manages to unwind and strike such a positive work/life balance.

“I play the bass guitar,” she enthused. “I was in Treble Choir in 10th and 11th grade, but I never felt like getting into a [school ensemble] was necessarily my thing. I knew I definitely wanted to do something in a band, though, something to go along with being able to sing.”

Some of her musical influences include Victoria DeAngelis, of the band Maneskin, Les Claypool, of Primus, and Joe Dart, of Vulfpeck. She said she hopes her playing can help draw attention to women bass payers in a predominantly male rock and roll world, and help create “a lot more of a space for female bass players in the music industry.”

Astrid is a student who is not afraid to challenge herself, and appreciates that opportunity shows itself all the time. Being aware of, and open to, prospects is something that has served her well, and something she hopes younger students will embrace.

“I’d tell younger students that opportunity lies pretty much everywhere, and you just have to be able to look for it, be able to reach out and take it,” said Astrid. “And it’s more than just going for whatever you think might make the most money or get approval from others. The most important things is being able to enjoy yourself as you pursue the things that you love.”


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