Chengyu (Cheryl) Xue '19

Chengyu (Cheryl) Xue '19

Swim & Dive (Varsity, Manager)
Art Club (President)
Theater
Cum Laude Society

Hometown: Beijing, China
Attending: Parsons School of Design

How has Thayer influenced you both as a student and as a person?

Thayer has really helped me to grow as a person, and the opportunities that I’ve had here have really helped me in my art career. Mrs. Koskores has been so helpful, whether it’s helping me to build my portfolio or telling me about exhibits or just giving me inspiration and ideas for my work. It helped me to formulate my decision to study the arts in college. 

What was your most challenging class?

It was AP Chemistry with Ms. Khalili. It was a struggle at first, but Ms. Khalili was really patient and helpful. That course taught me how to problem-solve, how to think. I ended up with a 4 on the AP Exam, which I’m happy about. 

Who is your favorite teacher at Thayer?

Mr. Cedrone. I love him as a teacher. He is so funny, and he makes math so interesting. I had him for AP Calc AB, and I enjoyed it so much. That’s new for me in math. It was challenging, but he was always available for extra help. He even wrote my college recommendation letter. 

What do you plan to study in college and why?

I’m going to the Parsons School of Design in New York City. I’m thinking of double-majoring in illustration and fashion design. I’m really into fashion, but I’m more of an illustrator. It would be a good way to explore both.  

What will you miss most about Thayer Academy?

It’s the sense of community. I’ve seen a lot of answers that say that, but I’m like, “Those people are right!” The teachers and the students really have this very strong connection. I’m definitely going to miss that. 

What’s an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?

I can play both the violin and the piano. In fact, I started playing piano when I was 4. 

What is your most memorable academic experience?

AP Calc. I didn’t start off very well, but Mr. Cedrone just kept encouraging me. I would go to him for extra help. I’m also fairly shy, and he would encourage me to get out of my comfort zone by having me do problems in front of the class. I ended up with an A for the course and a 5 on the AP Exam. 

Who inspires you the most?

My grandma. She’s an artist herself. She didn’t start taking classes until she was 50, but at her house I would always watch her painting and sketching. She does Chinese Traditional painting, and it inspired me to mix the cultures to create my own artwork. My aunt is also an artist living in Paris, and she was able to put together a family art exhibit there. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” -- Coco Chanel 

In what grade did you start Thayer, and what advice would you have given yourself on that first day?

I started in sophomore year. I would say to participate in more activities and take advantage of all the opportunities, including the dance elective and all the arts electives.