February Bobcat of the month
Spotlighting an outstanding and involved student at Battlefield High School
By Emily Payne and Isabelle Barrett
Gisselle Contreras is a well rounded sophomore at Battlefield High School involved in numerous clubs including Key Club, Christian Student Association, Yearbook, Tri-Music Honor Society, Teaching Tolerance Club, International Club, and the Battlefield Marching Band, where she is the drum major. Not only is she active in all of these clubs, but she is just as passionate. When asked to describe herself, Gisselle excitedly states, “I am 4’11” and my favorite color is yellow. It is so bright and happy. I love being involved at my school and [my favorite thing in the world is] seeing people smile. It is beautiful seeing people be happy, it just makes me so happy!”
Christian Student Association (CSA) is one of the many clubs that Contreras is involved in. Chris Lem, the club’s sponsor, describes the club, saying, “It is a combination of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, EDGE Club, and Young Life. We do morning prayer every monday, athletic outreach, guest speakers, games, food, music, service projects, and social activities off campus.” Not only does Gisselle attend every meeting she can, but she is also the sophomore representative. “Giselle was our first sophomore to step up to take a leadership role. She has designed PowerPoints for our group to follow in the afternoon. She has helped out with the McLean Bible Church-Prince William Campus Turkey Outreach and the Salvation Army Ringing of the Bells service projects,” says Lem. Gisselle has certainly stepped up gracefully to the role and made a positive impact on the community.
Fellow CSA member, sophomore Sarah Gates comments on Gisselle’s impact on the club, saying, “Gisselle has made CSA a great club through her leadership and organization, as well as her creative input for everything like fundraisers and meeting activities. As the sophomore officer, she has created great lessons for CSA. She has amazing overall leadership skills, and I believe this is because of the positive impact she has on everyone around her. Gisselle understands the importance of not only acknowledging the people you lead, but also understanding them and making sure they feel included.” Gisselle has helped revamp the club to make it more inclusive and fun. She leads with a positive attitude and is always ready to help others.
Key Club, a community service group, is another organization Gisselle devotes her time to. Although it is the largest club at Battlefield, she still manages to stand out from the pack with her bright spirit and positive attitude that she brings to every service opportunity. Friend and fellow club member sophomore Sarah Gates says, “Gisselle has made incredible contributions to her community because of her desire to lead a better world. She is passionate and understanding, and such determination makes her a wonderful leader and an incredible friend.” Key Club is a great and accessible way for students to give back to those in need.
Gisselle continues to push herself and dedicate her time to helping others. Contreras describes herself as being “always excited to meet new people, help people and try new things.”
Balancing school, clubs, and community service can be daunting and stressful at times, but Gisselle handles it all with grace and poise.
Our Student Spotlight series is a partnership between Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines and Battlefield High School’s journalism classes to publish students’ writing and artwork. We are enthusiastic about bringing students’ literary and artistic creations to the community and we look forward to more submissions!
About the authors:
Isabelle Barrett is a senior at Battlefield High School in Haymarket. She is the editor in chief of the yearbook, president of the Peer Diversity and Photography Clubs, photo editor for the literature magazine, and the webmaster of Key Club. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in media and communications.
Emily Payne is a junior at Battlefield High School and has been in the journalism program for three years. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the school’s yearbook, The Lynx. Payne is also involved in National Honor Society, Key Club, National English Honor Society, Peer Diversity,
and Photography club. Outside of school, Emily is member of Stage Door Dance Studio’s senior company.