The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Theater Award Winner Takes Talents to Colby
Ella Abisi '21

Ella Grace Abisi ’21 (USA) will study English Literature and Theater at Colby College, which she applied to ED1 after visiting many liberal arts colleges, universities, and conservatories. Her ultimate goal is to become an actor and a writer. 

Bilingual in English and Italian, Ella took four Advanced Placement (AP) classes—US History, Art History, Language and Composition, and Literature and Composition—and earned an AP Scholar award for her solid performance on all four exams.

After winning a slew of awards for theater, international understanding, citizenship, character, and vision during her Middle School and High School years, Ella capped her brilliant career at TASIS by delivering a speech at her class’s Senior Banquet and earning two prestigious Graduation Awards at the 2021 Commencement Ceremony: the Kay Hamblin Award for Excellence in Theater and the Headmaster’s Award.

The theater award came as no surprise, as Ella took on significant roles in 11 major theater productions over the course of her eight years at TASIS: The Wizard of Oz in grade 5, My Son Pinocchio, Jr. in grade 6, Seussical Junior in grade 7, Peter Pan JR. in grade 8, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Annie Get Your Gun in grade 9, antigone/CAESAR and The Pirates of Penzance in grade 10, A Christmas Carol in grade 11, and Much Ado About Nothing and Singin' in the Rain in grade 12.

Shortly after her graduation in May of 2021, Ella answered the following questions about her time at TASIS The American School in Switzerland.

You’ve mentioned that in addition to becoming an actor and writer, you’d like to find a way to ensure that more children have the kind of exposure to the arts you’ve had at TASIS. Can you explain what your goals are?
I hope to one day start my own arts foundation with the aim to give children the opportunities to experience the exposure to the arts that I have been so grateful to have had at TASIS. I want to help kids by supporting them financially, encouraging them to dream big, giving guidance, and above all giving them a way into this competitive field. I also want to continue in activism because I believe one person with drive can really make a difference.

Do you feel that your time at TASIS has prepared you well for college?
Yes. I have been lucky to have teachers who have motivated me to do my best, encouraged a healthy work ethic, and provided rigorous material to push me as well as prepare me for college. They have high standards and they inspired and supported me to reach them.

Ella with her College Counselor, Mr. Greg Birk, who retired at the close of the 2020–2021 academic year.

Did the College Counseling Office help you achieve your goals?
Yes, Mr. Birk was an amazing and supportive resource. I’m grateful for all his help and am honored to have been a part of his final group of TASIS seniors.

What experiences have you found most inspiring at TASIS?
I’ve been most inspired by the Global Service Program (traveling to Zambia and Botswana, where I helped build a mud hut and attended Cowboy school, and also serving on the Service Board), the Performing Arts Program, my Academic Travel trips, and simply being a part of this community for eight years. I will also miss the beautiful campus.

What courses or teachers will you remember most fondly?
I have a TASIS family:

  • Ms. Rosenberger 
  • Ms. Julie and Mr. Frazier
  • Ms. Melody 
  • Mr. White 
  • Mr. Aeschliman
  • Ms. Forrest 
  • Dr. Love
  • Ms. Carlson 
  • Ms. Grove 
  • Ms. Kavalauskas
  • Mr. Dalton 

Clearly dealing with a pandemic for your final three semesters isn't how you and your classmates wanted to end your time at TASIS. But is there anything positive you've been able to take away from all of this?
I think it has helped us all learn to adapt and persevere even when the unexpected happens.

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