Motivated, committed, kind, intelligent are only a few words you could use to describe the notorious Alayna Brandolini.
Coming in with an iced coffee (an iced caramel macchiato specifically) every morning, in just one year she’s made more of an impact on The Blake Beat than anyone could have predicted.
“I wish she took the class more than one year,” Journalism teacher Jeffrey O’Toole states. “Once she got the groove of The Blake Beat, she took up leadership roles and advocated for herself. We didn’t have to tell her to think of a piece, she was self motivated and self operational.”
In my three years in the class I have never seen someone take so much initiative with their work, it’s something to be admired. Whether it be her well spoken opinions or her succinct news pieces, there was never a time where her writing was less than perfect.
But that’s just coming from me. Her best friend Aidan Dewey notes, “Her articles are personally my favorite. Her writing is super charming and charismatic.”
While her girlfriend Ella Weikert beams, “Whenever she publishes an article I’m always like ‘YAY’!”.
Furthermore, Co-Editor-In-Chief Sofia Norbete explains, “Alayna’s writing is very sophisticated yet distinct; she writes a lot of serious pieces but her voice can still be found in them,” adding, “she already gives off the vibe of a seasoned writer.”
Her influence in the classroom doesn’t end in A207, it extended to AP Comparative Religion (one of the 5 APs Brandolini took). “I like how she works with other students. She’s mature, a positive leader.” teacher Stephen Cain remarks. He continues that her positivity is infectious. “Even when we study darker subjects, she always finds the silver lining.” he ends.
Both academically and in dexterity, Weikert states, “I think she underestimates how smart she is,” she adds, “like she knows she’s smart but I don’t think she knows how smart.”
Brandolini’s academic accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg. “At first I was lowkey terrified of her just because she has baddie energy.” Dewey states, “But she’s actually the sweetest person ever and I found out very quickly that she’s an amazing friend.”
Coincidentally, that’s a similar story to how Brandolini and Weikert met. “I was too scared to talk to her at first… she’s scary.” Luckily, Weikert overcame that fear when they had their first conversation during a socratic seminar. She quickly learned how amiable of a person Brandolini is, “being around her you can tell how much of a genuine, and kind, and thoughtful person she is.” While choking on a clementine, Weikert continues on about how much of a people person Brandolini is. “Watching her interact with people makes me very proud, the way she cares about people, the way she is considerate, caring, thoughtful… kind.”
Outside of school, Weikert goes on about Brandolini’s many talents: “She’s good at horseback riding, writing, word games, making food, cleaning… like really good at cleaning.” Evidently, the list of Brandolini’s talents seem to be unlimited.
When asked about what they’d miss most about her both unequivocally stated her presence. “Thank god texting exists,” Dewey joked. “Just how infectious she is, just being around her instantly brightens my mood.” Weikert praised.
“Alayna knows her worth and knows that she deserves the best for herself. I love seeing her confidence,” Dewey stated.
Needless to say, those who’ve met or become friends with her should be honored. We already miss her drawings on the white board, hearing about her dog, Ziggy, and her overall remarkable self. Whether it be her witty comments, enthusiasm, or being the “horse in” for The Blake Beat, we will miss Alayna dearly and we can’t wait to see what this future Terp is going to do.