Lifelong learning is one hallmark of Galloway’s mission, but we all know this pursuit is not limited to the school day. We are excited to announce the inaugural list of Galloway’s 20 Under 20, a list of students in all three levels who are lifelong learners that are engaged in pursuing their passions outside of Galloway!
Vivi Melkonian ‘20 started riding at Chastain Horse Park when she was 10 years old and began competing shortly thereafter. She is a member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, United States Equestrian Federation, and United States Hunter Jumper Association, in which she lettered all four years of high school. During junior and senior years, Vivi served as captain of her equestrian team at Chastain Horse Park and helped expand the program into both high school and middle school teams. While a student at the horse park, Vivi worked as coordinator for summer camps and later as assistant to the barn manager. Vivi volunteers as a horse lead in the therapeutic riding program, an equine-assisted program supporting people with disabilities, where she developed interests in equality, advocacy and empowerment.
Clayton Sinclair ‘20 has been playing the team-based video game Overwatch for the past four years. To perfect his craft, he would play 2-4 hours per day during the school year and 8-10 hours a day over the summer. Clayton has peaked in the top 500 of all North American players several times and was once ranked #13 in the world while playing the character Doomfist at the time of the characters’ release. To continue the pursuit of his passion, he is attending the University of California-Irvine and will play for their collegiate Overwatch team.
Max Gravier ‘20 worked to repair missing or damaged trail signage at Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Inspired by the Leave No Trace concept and a desire to give back to his community, he planned, budgeted, manufactured, and installed 26 trail signs as well as sunk the two new guideposts in cement. To complete this project, Max had to special order cypress wood from Florida, recreate a specific font for signs, and organize three workdays with more than 10 scout helpers. He credits Scouts with teaching him the perseverance to complete this project!
Ben Bolgla ‘20 has been disassembling vintage computers since the age of 5. Using old computer models from family, friends, and his parents’ office, he taught himself by Googling and watching YouTube tutorials. Ben joined The Atlanta Historical Computing Society as the youngest member and have been going to meetings and working to help produce Annual Vintage Computer Festival Southeast ever since attending the first festival in 2013. After learning the art of bartering and bargaining, he now owns over 50 vintage computers; his favorites are classic Macs from the 1980s.
Catherine Carson ‘20 has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and spent 119 hours on her Gold Award project, which focused on unhealthy relationships. In the spring of 2019, Catie held two seminars in Smyrna which included a digital presentation, games and activities, and a self-defense class led by the Smyrna police. Catie then hosted all of her information online, created a PSA video (watch here), and shared it with students. She also created a QR code to the YouTube video and shared her materials with Galloway’s UL counselor, Sylvette Bullard. In addition, she used social media, pamphlets, and personalized letters to promote her PSA video via a QR code.
Michael Cully ‘20 has been doing videography, photography, and film since 8th grade. He has filmed everything from school hype videos to music promotional events to highlight reels to weddings. He has photographed many locally and nationally known musical artists, including Khalid and artists at Music Midtown. He has worked with over 40 major artists and record labels like Def Jam, Ear Drummers, Visionary Music Group, Think It’s a Game, MSFTS, and Awful Records and has done brand work for Red Bull, as well as Nike and Nike Sports during the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Some of Michael’s favorite projects include making promotional videos for underprivileged schools to help their enrollment. He cannot wait to pursue his career further at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television in Los Angeles this fall!
Mary Ella Rinzler ‘20 has been training circus since she was 9 years old. She trained during the summers for eight years, and when she turned 16 began training year round at Akrosphere. Prior to the pandemic, Mary Ella spent about 15 hours each week at the gym, training in many apparatuses including rope, cloudswing, trapeze, and doubles trapeze; her favorite apparatus is trapeze.
Pierce Rudderman ‘21 has been interested in fashion since Middle School and began designing clothes his sophomore year while interning at Closette, a boutique in Castleberry Hill, and working with the brand Original Fani. Pierce’s label, Heart Aches, includes three colorways of sweatshirts and t-shirts. Pierce has organized photoshoots for his line; he has created products for summer 2020 and already has plans for a fall/winter 2020 line. He credits his Galloway art and design teachers with pushing him to pursue his passion!
Maya Alexander ‘21 has been dancing for 14 years, beginning at the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education and now training under Director Jaimie Robtison at the Ballet Institute of Atlanta. As a BIA company member, she has performed in their annual production of The Nutcracker for the past 5 years, as well as Coppelia and The Little Mermaid; some of these performances have been in Galloway’s own Chaddick Theatre. Maya dances 5 days a week, about 20 hours a week; in the summer, she dances as much as 50 hours a week! She has been accepted to several competitive summer dance intensives over the last few years, including the Summer Dance Company’s Summer and Winter Intensives in Atlanta and the Ballet West Academy’s Summer Intensive and ArtEmotion Choreographic Workshop in Salt Lake City. Maya was one of only 45 dancers from across the country selected for the special opportunity to work with a professional choreographer to help create a world premiere for Ballet West’s professional company.
Ella King ‘21 has been a gymnast for over 12 years, investing nearly 30 hours a week perfecting her sport. She has won state titles on every event, including all-around which the total of all four events combined; has qualified to regionals five times; and has competed level ten - the highest level - for four years. For the countless meets that she has participated in, she has traveled to Alabama, Florida, California, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, New York, and Tennessee; she was even invited to the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center. Ella credits gymnastics with making her a better person and a great teammate.
Max ‘21 and Isaac ‘24 Lourie and Tyler Linsky ‘24 held a socially distant concert in their neighborhood to benefit the Zaban Paradies Center, the only shelter in Georgia that allows couples to stay together as they are dealing with homelessness. All three students are talented musicians: Max plays the saxophone; Isaac plays drums, guitar, bass and keyboard; and Tyler plays the guitar and sings. The musicians put their skills together to perform the Six Feet Over concert, raising over $800 for the center which will help to provide extended shelter, programming, and assistance to facilitate couples finding permanent housing. The students are planning their next socially distanced concert in June to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Ashlyn Bobb Collins ‘21 has been stepping for the past 5 years and has competed in several competitions. She leads Galloway’s Step Club which meets once a week during lunch and has worked tirelessly to grow the team’s membership by working individually with team members. Ashlyn often steps at Ron Clark Academy alumni events and teaches students there as well.
Elsie Salerno ‘22 has been playing ice hockey since she was 4 years old. She now plays for the Nashville Jr. Predators Girls U19 team which requires her to train two hours a day, attend weekly practices in Atlanta, as well as monthly practices in Nashville. Elsie travels once a month around the country to compete; her team even won districts this year!
Emilie Janzen ‘22 started sailing at 8 years old for fun before quickly realizing it was something she loved and wanted to choose as her competitive sport. She began racing Optimist sailboats at age 10, spending most of her weekends training. By the time she turned 14, she had traveled extensively throughout the US for major national regattas and had qualified to compete with Team USA internationally three times traveling with them to Belgium, England, and Italy. When she was 15 she graduated to the Club 420 sailboat, which she sails with a partner from Massachusetts. For the last two summers, she has joined traveling teams competing in major US regattas which requires her to be on the road from mid-June until early August practicing or competing full days with college coaches. Throughout the school year, she trains for both positions, having the flexibility to be either the skipper or the crew.
Amelia Baker ‘22 has been fencing for almost four years. After attending an all girls sleepaway camp, she fell in love with the sport and began to fence competitively. She practices 3-4 times a week, often for four hours at a time.
Lauren Cortright ‘25 has been rock climbing for fun since she was 6 years old and recently started climbing competitively. She loves the aspect of solving problems through the routes she climbs and wants nothing more to reach her goals of completing a route she's worked hard on; she could spend her whole day climbing! Prior to COVID-19, she spent approximately 4-6 hours per week climbing and would sometimes tack on an additional lesson on the weekend, building up to 8 hours per week. Her goal is to climb in Yosemite, the home of steep granite walls - a dream for any rock climber!
Brooke Tanenbaum ‘30 and Charlotte Spear ‘30 decided to dedicate their Early Learning Passion Project this year to helping feed healthcare heroes. Inspired by their desire to help others, the girls started a GoFundMe and have raised nearly all of their $2500 goal. Brooke and Charlotte delivered 135 boxed lunches from Cupanion's Kitchen & Coffee to Northside Hospital and look forward to delivering more lunches again very soon!