People of Peninsula; Amelia Shefler


Audrey Lauer, Managing Editor

I’ve always known that Peninsula was unique but until recently I hadn’t realized the true reason. A typical high school is made up of a few thousand students, dozens of instructors, and a mess of activities. They’re crisp but unfamiliar and presentable but uninviting. Peninsula is similar in that our ancient building doesn’t draw people in, but we are different in that our community makes us so much more. Traditional secondary schools are littered with cliques and drama but Pen High has built an atmosphere composed of love. How has this been accomplished? Through students like Amelia Shefler.     


Amelia has flaming red hair, eyes like diamonds, and a heart as big as the ocean. This is my fourth year as a Seahawk and although I’ve encountered a number of exceptional individuals, I have yet to meet a student with an influence greater than Amelia’s. This remarkable girl has a gift that turns darkness to light. Not only does Amelia have the power to turn a sluggish day into something extraordinary, but she also possesses an ability to challenge one’s character. Through my brief encounters with Amelia, she has inspired me to reconsider the value of authenticity. Our society attempts to change individuals by encouraging them to hide their flaws and deny any weaknesses. Amelia on the other hand confronts her differences. She is unique, and she is strong because of it. She navigates these halls with a rare confidence and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

Students and staff at Peninsula are positively affected by interactions with Amelia on a daily basis. Matt Robles, head of the marketing program at PHS, sees Amelia three times a week when she helps out in the Hawk Shop. After two months of working during third period, Amelia and Robles have created a bantering relationship that involves sports talk and an abundance of smiles. “Her attitude is very contagious and it puts me in a better mood”, stated Robles. Not only does she shift the mood in marketing but also on the swim team. As a freshman, Amelia is brand new to Peninsula’s Girls Swim and Dive program but after only a single season, she has contributed to the dynamic of the entire team. Amelia attacks the water when she dives into the fifty meter freestyle but her races don’t compare to the spirit that she brings. She is a committed and supportive teammate but her coach, Tim Messersmith, has found her humor to be one of her most prominent characteristics: “[she] provides a lot of comic relief,” observes Coach Messersmith, “she always has funny observations about kids”.

Her hard work in the student store and attitude in swim go a long way, but her influence doesn’t end there. Jessica Post, the head of Peninsula’s ET&T program, shared that Amelia is extremely friendly, outgoing, and encouraging. This might be true in the classroom, but it is also evident in the halls of Peninsula. I have personally witnessed Amelia’s charming smiles, but sophomores Vanessa Stedman and Daisy Ewell confirmed her friendly spirit after they met Amelia in a chili catastrophe when the spicy meal jumped onto the blouse she had been wearing that day. Vanessa, Daisy, and their lunch crew came to her rescue and in doing so, found a new friend. Although these girls now avoid chilli episodes, they make an effort to encounter Amelia around the school. When I asked these girls about their new friend, Vanessa quickly told me that, “[she] always brightens your day”, and Daisy finished, “in the most positive way”.

Amelia Shefler is an honest gem who pours life into these gray hallways. This girl, who displays a contagious smile and carries an unshakable optimism is the reason that Peninsula High School is regarded as the wonderful place it is. Her character leaks through our student body and affects the entire community. This effect however, does not occur because she intends to inspire change, but simply because she is who she is: Amelia has wonderful purple glasses, she will be fifteen in December, and she has a little sister named Amanda. She won “Best Dressed” for our USA spirit day, she wants to join leadership, and someday she might even become a cheerleader. She is genuine and she is kind, and every Seahawk, whether staff or student, should take a lesson from such a loving, and inspiring individual.