Selina Guo ’14, accomplished filmmaker and president of the Key Club, reflects on four great years at FA

June 16, 2014

Selina Guo, a boarding student from Shenzhen, China, is a member of the outstanding Class of 2014. She was one of eight boarding students from her class to spend four full years at Foxcroft Academy. While at FA, Selina served as president of Key Club, captained the cheering team, was a member of the National Honor Society and tennis team, earned a Rose Award, and became an accomplished filmmaker. She was also secretary of Student Council her junior year and sang for the Select Choir for three years. Selina will attend Wake Forest University and plans to pursue a career in dentistry.

Everything started on August 22, 2010. I sat on the plane, said goodbye both to my crying mother and my country, and flew to Maine. Later the next day I arrived. As the wind blew on my shoulder on that mid-summer’s night, I began to realize what I had gotten myself into: bumpy and empty streets, a countable number of houses…I shivered and not only from the breeze. As a city person, I didn’t know how I would survive living in a town that had no public transportation and that was one hour away from the closest mall.

selina cheerleadingMaybe it was because of boredom, but I began to get myself involved in many different kinds of activities. I joined clubs and sports teams just to fill up my schedule and to figure out my interests. By the beginning of my sophomore year, I finally decided what I liked to do and started to focus on those things. Life wasn’t so bad after all. I usually had a full schedule, but during my free time, I found ways to watch my favorite TV episodes. As far as my social life, I found a couple of good dating spots or places just for hanging out, such as the dorm common area, Moon Hing, Pat’s Pizza, and the Nor’easter. Imagine walking on West Main Street with homemade ice cream from Butterfields on a relatively warm day–pretty nice and romantic, isn’t it? Matter of fact, life in Dover was rather fun and enjoyable. I found it very interesting, though rather alien at first, to see random strangers waving at me and saying hi to me as I walked on the streets. This was something that I had never experienced before selina with sculptureliving in the cities where I was from, where people were indifferent and only cared about their own business. Especially after Key Club became a crucial part of my high school life, I became deeply moved by the things others do for one another in this small community. Even though it often snowed in April, Dover was still a “warm” place in my heart.

Talking about interests and passion, I never would have guessed that filmmaking would be so intriguing. I still remember the very first time that I created a film. It was a research project for Ms. Morrison’s English class. Instead of running a narrated PowerPoint for five minutes, I decided that it would be more fun to watch if it was a video. The project ended up running over time and a bit off topic, but it was the process that really provoked my interest in filmmaking. Later on during the next year, Mr. Chevalier created an Applied Media Production class, and I became part of the first generation of that course. He assigned individual topics for us to write about for the school website. And then came my first topic: Dorm Life. I didn’t consider myself a great writer, so I asked Mr. C if I could cover my topic in a different form. As I thought about it, the perfect way to let the community know about our life in the dorm was to ask the people who live in it. Therefore, my first documentary-style film was created:

For me it was a huge success; I never knew that I could make something like that, and the interview process was such a great experience because I got to talk to a diverse group of people with different opinions. The best part about filmmaking is at the end of the editing, when you realize how you have changed some mundane footage and ordinary conversations into something that is completely different. It was almost like magic and the power was in my own hands, using creativity as a spell. After that video, I conducted a bunch more interviews based on different topics around the school and kept on improving my skills…

Time has passed by so fast, and I can’t believe that I have already stayed in Maine for four years. Even though, as a senior, I am in the home stretch where I can’t wait to move on to college, I cannot deny the impact this school and community has had on me. I must say that these four years have been the coldest yet most substantial and meaningful years in my life so far. I am truly grateful for the opportunities Foxcroft Academy has provided for me, as they have allowed me to embrace my creativity and explore my interests. Even though I don’t plan to go professional in filmmaking, it will always stay as one of my passionate hobbies and be a valuable skill for my future work.

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