High School Senior Profile
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
OXFORD – Last year when we visited the Oxford High School Art Department, one of the students whom art teacher Jaimee Taborda raved about was Anissa White, then a junior.
Taborda said that White “works very hard to make things happen,” and that her peers see her as very talented. The art teacher also said that White was “getting to be more of her own artist and not just doing what I ask her to do.” She described her as being very focused.
Here we are a year later, and Anissa White is more driven and focused and active than ever, not just in art, but in many other things as well.
If you attend any events at Oxford, you can usually find White either participating or attending. From cross country to basketball to fashion, and of course art, she’s involved.
White grew up in Oxford, where she lives with her mother Sharon Gemme and her mother’s boyfriend Dan Fitzpatrick. She attended Saint Anne’s School in Webster, where she took an avid interest in art at a young age.
She joined the cross country team when she was a freshman because a friend convinced her to, and “from the very first day loved it.”
“It’s a small group of kids. We are very close and Mr. (Tim) Craig is a phenomenal coach,” she says.
She was also on the basketball team, which, she said, “became really close to my heart this year.” And each spring she on the outdoor track team, where she also throws the javelin, “to keep in shape.”
Naturally, she is a member of the National Honor Society and was also on Student Council in her freshman and sophomore years. It doesn’t stop there: she is in the Fashion Design Club and is active at her church, St. Anne’s Church in North Oxford. There’s more. She also finds time for a job at Oxford’s Casual Dining, where she has been waitressing for the past three years.
At the end of the day, it’s her passion and desire for art that really moves her. This year she has art as an Independent Study.
“My art teacher (Taborda) is treating it very vigorously this year, almost like a college-level class and I have to come up with a theme and I have two projects going at the same time, one in school and one at home, due every four weeks.”
White has applied to two art schools and two state schools for Psychology in order to get the education she needs to be an Art Therapist.
Springfield College offers an Art Therapy major and it’s her ideal situation and number one choice.
“When I visited them it seemed like a very nice, beautiful campus. The programs they have for incoming freshmen are so great, they get everyone involved. It’s something that I would really like to do,” said White.
“I feel excited because I am ready to take what I’ve learned from teachers and everyone and bring it to college and experience new things. I am also sad to be leaving all my friends, but I am looking forward to starting these new experiences.”