James Kotopolous '18

James Kotopoulos '18

Community Council (President)
Track & Field
Hope 4 Haiti (President)
Peer Advisor

Hometown: Easton
Attending: Brown University

When did you arrive at Thayer?

I started here in the 6th grade.

What were some of your favorite classes while you were here?

I would say my computer science courses over the past three years were definitely a highlight. I had Mr. Cedrone for two of those, and he really made it a great experience because of his emphasis on collaboration in the class. The group was really tight-knit. We traveled together for the three years, so by the end of it, it was a group of ten of us who really knew how to work together, and we really liked each other. We just had fun with it, even though you wouldn't necessarily think of computer science as a really fun class necessarily. I enjoyed the Global Scholars course, too, this year. The course broadened my perspective outside of traditional classes and I got to apply what I learned in the second semester with the capstone project which was creating a fundraising project to support the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation.

What are your plans next year?

I’m going to Brown. I’m going in undecided. I’m considering International Relations, because of the Global Scholars course. That's really given me a new perspective. I'm also considering Computer Science because of the courses here, and also Education.

How has Thayer shaped you?

Community. The people here are always supportive and caring, and they really want you to be your best self, I would say.

What was your most challenging class at Thayer?

AP Composition with Ms. Hayman. I think Ms. Hayman does a really good job of pushing you above what you already think you can do with the writing process. She wants every word to count, every single phrase to provide for the bigger meaning, so you can't have any throwaway words. You can't have any fluff in your pieces. She’s really meticulous in the writing and the rewriting process, which is good.

If you could give any advice to freshmen starting at Thayer in the fall, what would you tell them?

I would say do the musical. I did the musical my sophomore and my senior year, but I definitely think if I could do it again, I would do it all four years. It's a real microcosm of the bigger Thayer community, where you have people from all different parts of Thayer, all different backgrounds, coming together to really put on something amazing. Shows are great, and just the process of it is really fun, and you feel really connected to the Thayer community.

What's an interesting fact about you that people might be surprised to hear?

I can juggle.