Joelle Fiol has leapt into her seventh grade year brimming with characteristic enthusiasm, ready to tackle this year’s challenges with equal parts determination and fun.
As Principal Georgianna Diopoulos describes her, Joelle is the kind of student who’s always ready to expand her horizons and is prepared to get outside her comfort zone to do it.
“I also find her to be an extremely kind, generous, polite and respectful young lady,” Diopoulos said. “She’s just a pleasure to be around.”
Joelle’s favorite subjects are ELA and Spanish, the latter of which she actually began learning in fourth grade. She said she loves the decoding aspect of learning a language and how it can open up worlds of communication possibilities with others.
“You get to talk to people who wouldn’t understand you otherwise,” said Joelle. “I really like that, and Spanish class is just so fun. My teachers are amazing.”
Joelle is an avid writer. She specifically likes working in the contemporary realistic fiction and fantasy genres. Many authors inspire her, but she really enjoys Shannon Hale’s young adult graphic novels.
“I like creating characters and putting them all together to see what happens,” she said. “I just love writing. It’s another way to express yourself. I can just write it down; let my fingers do the work.”
Joelle also enjoys expressing herself musically. She plays viola in the orchestra and Wire Choir and performs as an alto in the chorus.
“I’m also part of a group called Ebony Strings,” she said. “It’s a local group for people of color to get together and practice. We play concerts in the village. It’s really fun.”
The group is led by WVHS music teacher Elissa Maynard.
“Joelle is a spunky young lady who isn’t afraid to put herself out there and take a chance,” said Maynard, who went on to recount this story about one of Joelle’s early public performances:
“I had her take an improvised solo on viola during an Ebony Strings concert. She had only been playing for a year, but she jumped up in front of the live audience and played her open D string with a fierce rhythm.
“Her hair was moving, her hip was bopping and she got that entire audience to swing with her. When she finished, the room was consumed with loud applause and screaming. She’d only been in Ebony Strings a couple of months, but she hit the ground running and showed the world she was not afraid to seize the moment.
“Joelle is a rising star,” Maynard added. “And I couldn’t be more proud of her and all of her accomplishments.”