For Adela Calzada ’24, Hutchison Is a Home Away from Home

Adela Calzada ’24 has attended Hutchison since pre-K, and she said it allowed her to blossom into a leader who also makes Hutchison feel like home for her peers.
Hutchison has always been a warm and welcoming place for Adela Calzada ’24, and she reflects that friendliness and joy every day. She said it’s become a part of her because she feels incredibly supported and inspired by the Hutchison community. “I just love walking into the school and seeing how much everyone cares,” she said. “It makes me feel like I want to do so many different things and be a positive person for a lot of people.” 

Adela is described by her peers and teachers as a warm, enthusiastic, refreshingly optimistic, and compassionate “friend to all.” She was recently named the Class of 2024’s May Queen, selected by the entire upper school. Every year, the honor goes to a young woman who has had a positive influence on our school community both in and out of the classroom. As Peer Council president this year and a member of Peer Council in previous years, Adela has had an impact on many of our upper school students.

“I just want to be that welcoming person for other people when they step onto the campus,” she said. “When they walk through the doors, I want to be a friendly face, help them realize they can fit in here, and that it isn’t as scary as they thought.”

In her role as Peer Council president, she spearheaded programming designed to welcome all incoming students to the upper school and served as a mentor to many of our new girls. Her goal was to build bridges of communication, understanding, and respect so that every girl felt like she belonged and could be her authentic self. She also works to bring upper school girls closer together and promote healthy relationships among the student body.

An example of what Adela would say to a new student:
Your teachers want the best for you. Your classmates want the best for you. Everyone’s here to help you succeed. Hutchison gives you many opportunities to find what makes you happy and find your place, whether that be on the lacrosse field or on the stage. All the girls want you to succeed and build you up.

At Hutchison, Adela found one of the things that made her happy at a young age, and it continues to bring her joy. When she was in pre-K, she started taking ballet with Hutchison dance teacher Louisa Koeppel. Today, she is captain of the varsity dance team and a competitive dancer for Performing Arts of Germantown.

“Ms. Koeppel cultivated my love for dance and built a strong foundation. She has been one of my biggest supporters,” Adela said. “Dance makes me a better, more determined person… I love being on the stage and bringing positivity and joy to others. I love performing a fun jazz routine for everyone because I love making people smile.” 

As part of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship’s myExperience art and design cohort, Adela continued to explore her love of dance. On her cohort’s trip to Boston last May, she was able to see the Boston Ballet perform “The Sleeping Beauty.” As part of her culminating senior project, she choreographed and filmed an original dance that captured her passion for the art form and love of Hutchison. She titled it “Home,” because Hutchison is like home and has empowered her to find her voice as an artist and leader. She even incorporated choreography and video clips from dances from when she was younger and filmed sections of the dance in various locations on the Hutchison campus that are meaningful to her.

“My project shows my love of dance while also highlighting a place that has had a huge impact on me and made me the person I am,” she said. 

Adela received an award of distinction from the Institute for Responsible Citizenship for her project.

Hutchison also helped her thrive by teaching her how to succeed academically. Adela has ADHD, and she used to struggle to stay organized and interested in learning in the classroom. She credits Hollis Ligon, middle school assistant head, for helping her learn important organizational skills. “I learned how to care about my schoolwork and balance that with my extracurriculars. Now I feel like someone who’s thriving with all of it. I’m going to thrive in college too because of the foundation Hutchison has given me,” she said.

Adela plans to attend Texas Christian University in the fall and study communications and Spanish. She also plans to continue dancing and hone her filmmaking and editing skills. “Hutchison gave me the confidence to go to college and feel like I can do anything,” she said. “The most important lesson I learned at Hutchison is to always be myself. Hutchison instilled the courage to walk into a room, talk to a ton of different people, be a positive person for others, and not change myself for anyone else."

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