Ella Thierer


Photo courtesy of Thierer.

Liza Duerholz, Editor-in-Chief

Ella Thierer walks the halls of Emmaus as a hard-working student and friendly peer who always knew how to make people smile. Thierer is a very involved student in Peace Club, Gay Straight Alliance as Vice President, and National Honors Society as a Spanish tutor. Outside of academics and extracurriculars, she devotes her time to selling vintage clothing online.

After high school, Thierer will spend two years close to home getting an Associates Degree from LCCC. From there, she plans to go to a four year college once she knows what she wants to pursue as a career.

Stinger: How have you changed since freshman year?

Thierer: I would say since freshman year, I’ve kind of learned how to be unapologetically myself, because I spent a lot of time, you know, when I started high school, kind of trying to fit into standards and be what other people wanted. And over the past few years, I’ve definitely learned how to be myself and how to just be confident and unique in that.

Stinger: What were the biggest challenges you faced in high school?

Thierer: I think some of my biggest challenges were academically, just a lot of stress and anxiety, because I’m naturally an anxious person, and especially at the beginning of high school, I had a tendency to procrastinate (like we all do). So academic challenges, being overwhelmed, stuff like that. But also, I had a lot of issues at home, having an unstable family life that I had to kind of overcome and leave at home to do well at school.

Stinger: Who is your role model?

Thierer: My biggest role model is my grandmother. I only have one set of grandparents and she’s my only living grandparent left and she has always been a figure of stability, responsibility, and maturity in my life. She will drop everything to help people and to help animals too, and she’s so giving and generous even when she almost can’t be. So, I want to be a lot like her.

Stinger: Do you share that same love of animals?

Thierer: Yes, I do. Unfortunately, we’re not technically allowed to have any in my current house. We do have one cat, but yeah, I love animals. She has–oh my god–seven cats, and I love going to her house and I love feeding the stray cats around her house and stuff.

Stinger: Could you describe your high school experience in three words?

Thierer: I would say chaotic, because there was always so much going on in my life between school and my family and everything. I would say [my years in high school] were a time of growth. I guess that’s technically multiple words, but growth or growing, because like I said, I kind of learned to be myself and almost became a different person through that. And this one’s kind of simple and boring, but fun. You know, I mean, I guess I would just say it’s fun, because I got to have a lot of new experiences, meet a lot of people who I wouldn’t have met, and I really liked school and I like taking classes. This past year, like, it wasn’t as great because it was online and I genuinely love and have fun coming to school.

Stinger: Over the past four years, what has been your favorite class?

Thierer: My favorite class? I feel bad picking one. I would say AP Government. Politics. A lot of that was, and again, I feel [bad] saying this, but for that class I had one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Pum, and not only is the content interesting, but he was a great teacher and the class was always kind of the highlight of my day. And that was just on Zoom. So, I think it was really impressive that I was able to have a class that fully engaged me like that.

Stinger: What has been your favorite year of high school?

Thierer: They were all good in their own different ways. But, I think my favorite year of high school would have to be this year, because this year more than any others between the pandemic and personal changes, you know, I moved out of the district, changing friends, things with my family, again, this has been the biggest year for me to grow and become an adult and a new person.

Stinger: Do you have any regrets?

Thierer: Honestly, I wish I would have taken the classes that I really wanted to take earlier. You know, I spent a lot of high school trying to live up to academic expectations of what I should be and do. And because of that, I missed out on taking classes that I really wanted to take, and that would have been really fun for me, since I was busy filling up my schedule with, like, whatever seemed to be the most challenging, or I guess the highest level of courses just because.

Stinger: What advice do you have for underclassmen?

Thierer: For underclassmen, I think there’s two different sides to my advice. So, I guess the academic side is just: really stay on top of your work, and no matter how hard it is, you have to stay motivated. But, my personal advice is to do everything you do for yourself and not for other people. Don’t be scared of what other people think or of disappointing them and just be unapologetically you–and that’s how you’ll get through high school.