Avery L.

Q: Class Rank?

A: 1st (valedictorian) 

Q: Parents?

A: Darren and Kristin Leonard.

Q: Future Plans?

A: Attend the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.

Q: Honors & Awards?

A: AP Scholar, College Board National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program Scholar, Genesee Valley BOCES Poetry Contest winner, Rensselaer Medal Award, Varsity Soccer Coach’s Award, Young Woman of Distinction Scholarship finalists.

Q: Activities & Sports?

A: Tennis (3 years, co-captain senior year), soccer (4 years, captain senior year), basketball (3 years), Avont Garde Literary Magazine, Interscholastic Competition in English, Senior Band (saxophone), Jazz Band, National Honor Society President, Vice President of Class, Peer Mentoring, Announcer’s Club, Good Mornin’ Avon co-host 

Q: What’s your proudest achievement from high school?

A: I think my proudest achievement has been that throughout high school, I have always been true to myself. I think I’ve enjoyed high school so much because of this confidence and I’ve been able to step outside my comfort zone and do the announcements, or start Avon HS Interviews on TikTok or even just be extremely talkative in class (even to the point where I may annoy others). 

Q: What will you miss most about school?

A: The people, from my friends, teachers, coaches, to the people I’ve known for 13 years and passed in the hallway each day. They have all made high school so much fun for me. 

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in high school?

A: The importance of finding balance. I’ve worked very hard in my studies, but I’ve also had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. I think these are both equally important and although being valedictorian is an incredible honor, I do not think it would’ve been worth it if throughout high school all I focused on was my grades, never making time to play sports, go to games or hang out with my friends. 

Q: What do you hope your life looks like in 10 years?

A: I hope that I have found a career that I really love to do, and if not that I hope to be a muse for a wealthy Englishman. Also, I hope that I have finally learned how to wakeboard. 

Q: Who inspires you to do your best?

A: My parents, because they are my biggest supporters and have always encouraged my individuality. They have done so much for me and didn’t think I was crazy when I was seven saying I wanted to go to an Ivy League school. 

Q: What’s your favorite place in Avon?

A: My grandmother’s house on Main Street - it’s where I spent so much time of my youth, and with my family, and it holds so many great memories. Also I always tell my grandma, I really admire her interior design, every room is interesting and she’s one of the most creative people I know. It’s also on East Main Street which, along with Genesee Street, are my favorite streets in Avon. I think they are so beautiful. 

Q: If you could tell your 8th grade self one thing, what would it be?

A: Everything always works out-it feels like so many things I’ve worried or stressed about weren’t as bad as I imagined, or never even came into fruition. 

Q: What do you want people to know about what it’s like to be you?

A: I think being a teenage girl is the best thing you can be. I know many people probably wouldn’t agree with me on that, but I think I’ve always appreciated the moment of time I’m in. Being a teenager is truly the time where you start to find yourself and your interests. It's a time of growth, but also a period of fun, where you still don’t have adulthood responsibilities. 

Q: What would the title of your autobiography be?

A: “Avery L.: Laughing out Loud.”

Q: Who would play you in a movie about your life?

A: Kaia Gerber, but most importantly, it would have to be directed by Sofia Coppola.

Q: What’s your most listened to song?

A: “Spanish Bombs” by The Clash. I love the smart lyrics, The Clash in general, and also, it's a great song you can dance to. 

Q: How has living through a pandemic changed you?

A: It’s made me more appreciative of things you often take for granted - like going to school or seeing my friends. I’ve been so grateful that I have had a complete senior year, and we’ve been able to spend our final year of high school together. 

Q: What scares you about the future?

A: That I’ll turn 25 before Leonardo DiCaprio ever has a chance to date me.

Q: What gives you hope about the future?

A: That Timothee Chalamet will still be available. 

Q: What’s one time you were stronger than you thought you could be?

A: I think the hardest time of my life was losing my grandfather, Pa. He was an incredible man and someone I loved very much. This was the first big loss in my life and it was extremely difficult. And I was grieving, but I still had responsibilities - school, homework, sports, etc. I still miss him very much, but It taught me that I could get through tough times, and to really appreciate those you love. 

Q: What advice would you give your 38-year-old self about being a good parent to a teenager?

A: First of all, I hope to God I don’t have teenage kids when I’m 38. But on the scary chance that I do, I would tell myself to just be like my parents - kind, loving, supportive, and really funny. I grew up in a house where we always laughed and I think that’s been incredibly important in my development.