2022 Students of Distinction
Nora Poulton is aspiring actress who shines on and off stage
Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the 25 Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.
Student: Nora Poulton
School: Gig Harbor High School
Category: Music, Art & Drama Achievement
Nora Poulton’s world is The Stage. She has appeared in many productions and won Best Actress in the 2019 GHHS One Act Play Festival. One of her favorite roles was Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice,” a performance her drama teacher called “far superior in our high school production than the one I directed previously in a professional theater house.”
Nora has also appeared in GHHS productions of “The Wedding Singer,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” “Les Miserables” and “Booby Trap” for which she won the Best Actress award.
Finding acceptance in theater
Before she discovered theater, Nora said, she frequently struggled to fit in.
“I felt like I would never find my friends, my people, my family. That is – until I stepped foot in the auditorium. It became my safe place for the next four years of my life.”
Memories from her theater experiences — “the constant laughter, the therapeutic crying to each other or the cast’s obnoxious singing in the dressing room before the show – add up to the thing that I love most in the world: theater,” she said.
Her future path is clear, she added. This fall Nora will study drama at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. “I researched so many colleges for acting schools, but I feel like I really need to go to New York,” she said. “It’s where I can learn the most and grow the most as a person.”
While acting on stage is her current passion, she’s also looking forward to taking film classes and acting on camera. Directing is also a possibility.
In addition to being Vice President of the GHHS Drama Club, Nora is also on the girls swim and dive and water polo teams. Academically, she completed the College Board Capstone Program for her grades in AP Seminar and AP research.
Her biggest challenge in high school was comparing herself academically with her fellow students. As much as she loves acting, academics have always come first and she prides herself on working hard and making good grades.
“But I’d catch myself comparing my work and test scores to others, especially in AP classes. But then I learned that comparison doesn’t give you insight into your own progress, and you can only compare your present self to your past self.”
Her academic success and work ethic have won her praise from her teachers.
“Nora exudes excellence,” GHHS Drama Director Casi Pruitt wrote in a letter of recommendation. “She steps up to any task without hesitation and will accomplish anything that is asked with determination and polish. She has a professionalism and team spirit that excels well beyond those above her age. She is kind, thoughtful and humble and shows enormous gratitude for opportunities and takes them seriously.”
School: Gig Harbor High School
Category: Music, Art & Drama
Parents: Christy and Thomas Poulton
Activities: GHHS Drama Club Vice President; girls swim and dive team, water polo team; building sets for drama club; College Board Capstone Program for her AP grades.
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Groves, AP Government and Politics. “I feel as though I have never learned more in high school than in her AP Government class. We learned how the U.S. government was built, how it works in modern times and the important debates that can often divide our country politically. I feel as though I am prepared to be a registered voter for the U. S. and I feel as though I am now able to make conscious and educated decisions about my beliefs and the people I will soon vote for.”
Best thing about GHHS: The senior class that I am currently a part of is a class of hard working, kind and fun peers that I have loved sharing my high school experience with. Whether we are at football games, basketball games, assemblies or just sitting in class, I think our senior class is one that the teachers and staff will never forget. I know that each of us will leave our high school and move on to do stellar things in our adult lives. I’m proud to say that I’ll be graduating with the GHHS Class of 2022.
Advice to younger students: Have fun, as these are the four years that you will remember for your whole life and it’s four years that will help to shape you into who you may be in the future. Yes, academics are important, but make sure it’s not the only thing you are concerned with. Make sure to try and make connections, join clubs, try out for sports teams and just be involved! I promise it will give you the best high school experience.