Meet NCVPS Super Student Gillian T.

The NCVPS Super Student Award is for students who have gone above and beyond the course requirements and as a result have enriched the content, class dynamic, their own learning, their classmates’ learning, and even their teacher’s learning.


NCVPS Super Student Gillian T.

Meet Gillian

“I’m at the end of my junior year, so most of my future plans — both short- and long-term — will be college oriented, starting with the rapidly approaching applications. I have pretty broad interests, but I am almost positive I want to major in a science and then go on to become a researcher. I see being involved in scientific research as a way to continue learning every day, which is important to me — I hate the idea of stagnation in my future.”–Gillian T.

“Gillian is a stellar student! She tackles each assignment with enthusiasm and sincere interest. At her core is a desire to learn and grow from everything she encounters. She’s got amazing writing skills and profoundly complex critical thinking skills. She completes each assignment with polished excellence.” –Jessica Ludders, NCVPS English II Honors Teacher

Advice for Online Students

The most important part of managing online coursework is planning! It’s very easy to fall behind on coursework if you don’t plan out when and how you will do it, especially if you know you have other obligations to manage alongside it. Online classes afford you a lot of freedom in your schooling, but that can become detrimental if you don’t know how to handle it properly. I would also advise other students to take advantage of this flexibility that having an online class gives to you. Do you have the opportunity to get some work done early and free up time in the future? Do that! Does taking a class online give you the chance to take a class you couldn’t before or devote time to a new hobby? Invest in those! Like I said before, it’s all in properly managing the benefits that you are provided by this type of learning environment.

The Internet

The Internet sites that I use the most are definitely social media (Twitter, Instagram, etc.). I think there’s value in living in the age of social media, as it is a unique way to connect with friends as well as the rest of the world. I know a lot of people are critical of it, but as long as you’re smart about your usage I truly believe it does more good than harm. I also like Spotify a lot. Who doesn’t like being able to stream music for free? It also makes playlists and suggestions for you based on what you listen to, which is nice. Netflix is always great, though I do feel like I spend more time browsing and adding movies/shows to my watch list than actually watching those shows. Finally, though I don’t know if this actually counts as a website, I’ve been on iTunes a lot, as I’ve recently gotten into podcasts and there are a lot of great ones available there.

Gadgets and Things

As a type one diabetic, my most important “gadget” is my insulin pump. It streamlines the management of my illness and has definitely made my life easier. Also, since it’s basically a robotic pancreas, I’m technically a cyborg because of it! Still, I love my phone and my laptop as well. In this day and age, they are essentials for going through everyday life.

Gillian’s Goals

My goal for this entire year was to adjust to being in a new school, and I feel that I really accomplished this by the end of this semester. I kept performing academically at the level I expect of myself, I made new friends, and I even went to some school events.

Random Gillian

In elementary school, I used to compete in Fire and Life Safety Bowl, which was a trivia competition in which all of the questions were about fire safety. I was even the MVP on my team one year.

Favorite Book

Rather than having a favorite, I have certain types of books I like. I like books that are fast paced and that deal with real world issues. This is not to say that I only read nonfiction/realistic fiction, but I like my fantasy/sci-fi/etc. to address relevant topics. As far as e-books vs. printed books, they both have their perks. I like how easy it is to travel with e-books — I could have an entire library with me on one device. Still, I like to be able to annotate in books, and the best way to do that is to have a printed copy. E-books also don’t have the same “new book” smell and feel as printed ones!

Favorite Music

Similar to books, I like categories of music more than specific artists. I’ll pretty much listen to anything that sounds pleasing or unique musically. More specifically, I grew up listening to a lot of old school RnB, so I like that a lot. I also listen to hip-hop and some pop music.

Favorite Show

This changes a lot, but recently my favorite show has been Netflix’s The Get Down. Unfortunately, it recently got canceled. As far as movies, one I always go back to is Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I love it because it’s a great “discussion movie” — no matter the number of times you’ve seen it, there’s always the potential to notice something new about the movie or come up with a new theory about what really happened.

Final Thoughts

For each of the last four summers, I’ve spent three weeks as a student in Duke TIP’s Summer Studies Program and I can confidently say that those have been the best summers of my life. I applied on a whim my first year and I’m so glad I did; being surrounded by people who are passionate about learning is a super awesome feeling, and it truly served as an opportunity for me to grow both academically and personally. I learned so much and made so many friends and memories, and would wholeheartedly recommend academic summer programs to anyone who might consider them. This summer, as I have aged out of TIP’s program, I will be going to the North Carolina Governor’s School to study natural science for five-and-a-half weeks. I’m sure I will have a comparatively great, if not even better, experience!

“This semester I took Honors English II with NCVPS. An online class hadn’t initially been a part of my plans for high school, at least not for a class as readily available as English II. It was after I suddenly had to change schools and needed an English II credit (something I had previously been allowed to skip in favor of moving straight to AP Language and Composition) that I decided that taking the class on NCVPS would be the best for me. I feel like taking this course allowed me to have some freedom with how I tackled this unexpected requirement and allowed me to play a large part in the further development of my fundamental English language skills.”–Gillian T.