Artist in the spotlight: Paulina Stehr


Stehr (right) performs a song and dance with fellow senior Jordan Relkniw (left) during this year’s performance of Broadway Desserts.

Paulina Stehr is more than just your average student who ocassionally tries out for a school play; she is an active member of all things musical, theatrical, and visual arts related throughout the halls of AHS.

Whether this senior is bending over a sketchbook with a pencil in her hand, rehearsing with fellow color guard members in the back parking lot, immersing herself in the hidden costume room behind the stage in the auditorium or singing with fellow choral members to prepare for their annual spring concert, it is easy to say that Stehr doesn’t limit herself in taking advantage of all of the artistic activities AHS has to offer.

“I realize that I’m involved in a lot more extracurricular activities than most people,” Stehr said. “But, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way; the reason I do so much is because I honestly enjoy doing everything.”

Stehr isn’t over-exaggerating, for the “everything” that she refers to doing includes being a member of Annandale Singers, head of the costume department for theater, co-captain of the color guard team, vice president of AHS’s Thespian Troupe and secretary of the Art Honor Society.

Stehr’s creativity and involvement in the arts stemmed from an early appreciation for both visual arts and music. When she was four, Stehr was already memorizing lyrics and occasionally performing onstage with her stepfather’s band.

“I was always a, well, unique kid,” Stehr said. “In my coloring books, I don’t think I colored a single page, just drew my own pictures in them!”

Growing up, the art activities that Stehr participated in often gave her something to look forward to after a long day of school. This feeling would naturally follow her into high school as her schedule became even more packed with IB schoolwork on top of regular assignments.

“Packing my schedule with [as many art extra-curricular activities] as possible keeps me sane in a way,” Stehr said. “Good scheduling skills help, as does an energetic nature!”

Having been accepted into Drexel University for the media arts college, Stehr plans to continue filling her schedule with activities that she enjoys after high school, though her major area of study will narrow to video game art. Stehr plans to use the skills that she will study at Drexel to ultimately become a character designer and a voice actress.

Stehr credits her parents’ support and understanding with helping her navigate the busy schedule that she has laid out for herself.

“I love both of my parents so much and without them, I would never get the support I’ve needed. Though they both work full time jobs until really late at night, they are very good about making most of my performances,” Stehr said.

Busy, energetic and with her head held high, Stehr continues to pursue her ambitions with as much enthusiasm as possible.

“It’s true I’m spreading myself thin and it probably does affect my grades a little,” Stehr said. “But my parents have always said ‘do what you love’ and that’s exactly what I do.”