Suditi Shyamsunder
Powhatan School 2015
Handley High School 2019
College of William and Mary 2023

 

High School Activities:

Class Valedictorian, Captain of the Debate Team, President/Founder of Bollywood Dance Club, Vice President of Interact Community Service Club, Founder of ThePrincessCodes.com, Namaste Shenandoah Hindu Sunday School Teacher, National Honor Society Member, Member of Holder’s Heroes advocating anti-bullying, Relay for Life committee member raising money for cancer research, Awards / Distinctions, National AP Scholar, George Washington Leadership Book Award, Interact Most Active Member (highest number of community service hours), and a 1693 Scholar at the College of William and Mary.
 

What first comes to mind when you think of Powhatan?

Learning for the sake of enjoyment.
 

What was the time you felt most confident at Powhatan?

For me it was MATHCOUNTS. We practiced each week and it was challenging – but fun. It made me feel good to win. But we definitely felt the pressure to win at regionals because of our tradition of success.

I also felt very confident with my Chapel Talk. I was nervous at the start, but as I finished I really felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was fun too, I had classmates dressed up as Disney Princesses on stage as the props and we just had a fun time. It was educational and amusing.
 

Can you give me an example of the most challenging activity you had at Powhatan?

I was never very strong at reading until I reached the Upper School. The way we were taught to read beyond the text, to think critically, and to look for the inferences was not easy for me at first. But we had great teachers who worked with us and didn’t give up on us.

The Chapel Talk was also one of the most challenging but rewarding activities. It was exciting to be able to share something I was passionate about with the school, but it was nerve-wracking to present a piece of myself to so many people. Speaking at the assembly was a rite of passage that challenged us to break out of our comfort zones.
 

Who was your favorite teacher?

Mr. Holloway was my favorite teacher because he brought math to life. He made it my favorite subject in school and always treated problems as a fun puzzle rather than a task.
 

What skills did you come away with from Powhatan that helped you in the years since graduating?

Powhatan taught me how to find fun in what I was learning. This really helped me in high school by keeping me engaged in whatever subject I was learning at the time.
 

What do you think of when you hear our school motto?

I think about the fact that although in this country there are many students that treat school as an inconvenience or a boring task, Powhatan teaches students to view it as the true gift that it is.
 

What advice would you give to the rising eighth grade class?

I would advise them to use high school as an opportunity to discover what they are passionate about. There are so many subjects and careers to explore, and high school should be a time for exploration – just like all our years at Powhatan.