Abbey Landry plans to continue her passion for skiing next winter at Farmington. Brewster Burns

WOODSTOCK — Going on a hike, or a run, and spending time with her work family at Cafe Nomad are a few ways Telstar senior Abbey Landry has been able to stay positive during these times of uncertainty.

Landry was staring down the final months of school when COVID-19 hit fast and hard.

The first major change was the shift to remote learning. Landry was taking all her classes at Central Maine Community College when she learned of the change in early March. The transition to online classes has been challenging for her and many of her friends.

“I’m really not having a great time with it. I’m finding it very hard to focus and complete work in one sitting like I was able to before,” she said. “Online learning really isn’t for me. I know a lot of my friends are in the same boat.”

Though Landry knew she would not be returning to campus at CMCC, she was holding onto hope that senior events back at Telstar would still happen, just at a later date.

As the virus rapidly spread, and things worsened day to day, reality began to further sink. Her senior year was going to be a lot different than she had envisioned.

“To not be able to have the graduation we’ve been planning for so long isn’t an easy thing to process,” Landry said. “This is what we’ve been looking forward to since kindergarten when everyone either wanted to grow up to be a princess or the president.”

Another major loss was spring sports, which were cancelled at the end of March. Landry is a fall and winter athlete only, but feels for those who are missing out on their final seasons of sports.

“I am not a spring sport athlete but I know kids that are and their spring sports are like my skiing, I really feel for them, I can’t imagine losing the ski or soccer season of my senior year,” she said.

Landry is an avid skier, who has been on the slopes since the age four.

Now, at 17, Landry is exploring all the different types of skiing the sport offers. She enjoys skiing on groomed trails, but has ventured off and skied the trees and bumps also. Landry said “being well rounded” in skiing is one of the best things people can do for themselves in the sport.

This year she placed first in Slalom at the Class B State Championship, finished first again in Giant Slalom in the Mountain Valley Conference.

She acknowledge that high school skiing in Maine is not the same as other states and that Telstar was not as competitive as other schools across the state. Regardless the time she has spent skiing at the school has been invaluable.

“Skiing can be a lot about who has the best what, but this group of kids are down to earth and know how to make it work for them. Skiing for Telstar has really taught me how to appreciate the sport and truly be apart of the team and be a leader,” she said.

Landry has had many coaches who’ve inspired her over her skiing career, but she singled two out. Kevin Hawthorne, her high school coach, and “Hutch,” her coach at the Mt. Abram competition program. Both made an impact, but in different ways.

“He was and is one of my biggest supporters and encouraged me to be a leader when I wasn’t really sure I could be one,” Landry said of Hawthorne.

“Hutch” was an incredible coach to work with and he taught me a lot about the sport. He really made me passionate about it in a way I never had before.”

Teachers in the classroom have also made their mark on the Woodstock resident, particularly in difficult times, when she was struggling with confidence and doing the “bare minimum for school work.”

She was also having difficulties balancing the academic workload with soccer and ski season, and her grades slid significantly during the first few sports season.

She needed encouragement and it came her way.

Numerous Telstar educators gave her room to grow as a student and person, reminding her that she is smart and capable and just needed to apply herself. The words were taken to heart.

She knew something in her daily routine needed to change. She sat down and planned out her day, scheduling specific times to do work while still making room for practices and competitions. Her habits and mindset began to improve.

Landry now prides herself on her “drive and discipline” and her accomplishments certainly speak to that.

On top of her first place finishes in skiing, she was also named an Academic All Star, maintaining a GPA of 90 or above.

This fall, Landry will attend the University of Maine at Farmington as a dual athlete in soccer and skiing. She is going to school to be a science teacher, which has already given her a greater appreciation of what teachers are going through right now.

“Going into education myself, I can’t imagine what it’s like being a teacher right now,” she said. “If you’re an educator of any grade or subject and you’re reading this, thank you. Your hard work is appreciated more than you’d ever know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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