Olivia Simon, Class of 2018

Olivia Simon, Class of 2018, is one of thirteen students in her class who has spent her entire educational experience—kindergarten through grade 12—at The Ellis School. During her time at Ellis, Olivia has chronicled campus life as the co-editor of the Yearbook, played on the field hockey and lacrosse teams, and performed in the Upper School musical. Next year, Olivia will trade in her green and white for blue and grey as a film major at Ithaca College in New York.
What has been special about your experience at The Ellis School?
Everything! Everything is special about Ellis. I come to school and don’t worry if I haven’t shaved my legs! There’s no judgement here and I feel like if I went to a different school, I wouldn’t be as comfortable or confident in myself. Because of Ellis, I’m willing to put myself out there and make mistakes. I’ve honestly gained such an appreciation for the mistakes I’ve made and have learned to embrace failure and move forward. That’s something this school has given me—I’m not afraid to fail and that’s helped me become a better person.

What is your favorite Ellis tradition?
Big sister/little sister in the Upper School. I gained so many friendships because of it. I still talk to my big sisters, Isabel BROOK ’16 and Charlotte FORSYTHE ’16, and am really close to my little sister, Annie Trimbur, Class of 2020. I wasn’t expecting it to be so impactful, but the tradition helped form really close friendships for me and I hope they will last.

What will you miss most about Ellis when you graduate?
All of my classmates that I’ve grown up with—I’ve seen some of them almost everyday for the past thirteen years. Also, all of my friends in different grades and the teachers, too. I’ve gotten to know so many of the teachers really well and form relationships with them outside of class. It’s been great having adult figures that I can rely on in school. When I think about it though, I really will miss the whole Ellis community. Ellis is the only place I’ve ever known, and even when my parents gave me the option to look at other schools, I knew that I wanted to stay at Ellis. It’s always felt very familiar and comfortable. I’ve built my confidence here and I’ve figured out who I am.

How do you spend your free time?
Hanging out with my friends and family. I watch a lot of Netflix movies! I love intense thrillers and storylines like The Sixth Sense, Seven, and Shawshank Redemption. I also recently binge-watched Black Mirror on Netflix and I loved that!

What do you plan to study in college? Why?
Filmmaking—I’m interested in directing and producing. I’ve always been interested in photography, so filmmaking is really just a new medium for me to explore.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Compassionate. Loyal. Dedicated.

How has your Ellis education prepared you for your next chapter?
Because of Ellis, not only do I know how to manage my time, multitask, and study—I know how to write a good email, communicate with adults, start a conversation. Ellis prepared me for more than just learning in a school setting, but for life.  

What is the last book you read?
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

If you had to thank your parents for this experience, what would you thank them for?
I would thank them for letting me go here. I’d thank my mom for taking the job so I could be here even longer. I’d thank them from not shying away from an all-girls education, and always letting me choose whether Ellis was the right place for me or not. They never pushed me in one direction and gave me the opportunity to look elsewhere for high school, but I think having that option made me realize how much I value this place and it strengthened my connection to the School even more. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for sending me here, trusting me to make good decisions, and for supporting me in everything I do now and will do in the future.

If you could describe the Class of 2018 in one word, what would it be?
Extra—we are, it’s just a fact! And while we can be very extra and dramatic, we are a family. At the end of the day, we all support each other and have put our differences aside this year. We’ve become united in our semi-dirty home, the senior lounge. It’s our home, and we’re our own little family.
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