School: Pleasant Valley High School
Parents/guardians: Ron & Stacy Litchfield
Why was student nominated? Ella began working for the school publications as a sophomore—the only sophomore in that class, which was staffed mostly by seniors. While this would likely be an intimidating situation for most underclassmen, Ella never showed that. Last year, Ella applied to be the co-editor-in-chief of our yearbook and made history as the only junior to ever earn that position. When COVID-19 hit in March and shut schools down across the country, Ella and her counterpart worked tirelessly as the only two staff members remaining on the yearbook team. She sent countless emails, made numerous phone calls, and attended dozens of Zoom meetings in order to obtain the photos and information she needed for the book. I couldn’t have been more proud to say we were our yearbook distributor’s only school who finished the yearbook on time. It was an obvious choice to ask Ella to be our lone editor-in-chief of the yearbook this year. Ella now has the seemingly impossible task of filling a yearbook with memories during a year when so many events have been cancelled. But this year, more than any, is a year for the books--and her persistence in documenting that for students is awe-inspiring. She has truly dedicated her senior year to this important cause, and her unbelievably hard work and resilience is constantly impressive.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of efforts in journalism because I believe it to be a core part of democracy. My publications class has taught me a lot about life and leadership and I feel as though it has guided me very well throughout high school. I am proud of my accomplishments and mark on this school through the opportunities that the journalism classes have given me.
What makes you happy? Every week I look forward to my publications class and Girls Learning International meetings. This work inspires me to spread awareness about issues going on outside of our school and country. Journalism is important work in spreading awareness as well as social justice clubs and I am happy to be surrounded by people who agree.
What teacher has inspired you and why? My dad, Ron Litchfield, is a special education teacher at PVHS. He has inspired me ever since I was young because of his incredible dedication to helping others. He puts tremendous amounts of effort into his work and it pushes me to work hard to help others as well.
What is your reaction to honor? I feel incredibly honored and humbled by this recognition. I have made sure that all of the activities that I am involved with have been things that I am incredibly passionate about and I feel lucky to have my passions noticed.