ELISSA D. ‘24

UPPER SCHOOL SCHOLAR

Meet Elissa

Elissa started as a 10th grader at Tampa Prep, but she has quickly made her mark as a Scholar.  This 15-year old is currently taking all Honors and Advanced Honors classes, while also participating in School of Rock (playing the bass and drums) and absolutely loves that she now has the opportunity to be challenged, academically, while feeling supported and not overwhelmed.

Favorite subject? “Definitely Science: the whole discipline of science and physics, in particular.  I feel like the more modern study of physics reveals so much about the universe and how it impacts our ordinary lives.  I find it so exciting.” 

Favorite teacher?  “All the teachers are great, but probably Mr. Quah.  He has a lot of expertise and he is also really great at actually teaching.  I had never done Robotics competitively but I’ve always loved to tinker around with stuff, like Legos.  Robotics competitions are so much fun – especially when our robot competes successfully.”

Academic accomplishments/awards/recognitions? “I’ve worked really hard on some industry cyber-security certifications called Security Plus.  Security Plus is an industry standard if you want to go into networking or information security – really anything covered within cyber security.  I also did an internship with an information security consulting firm that focuses on making sure corporations and government agencies meet compliance with industry standards. I interned for two months and then they hired me as a part time employee.”

Future aspirations? “I really want to go into intelligence analyzing for the CIA or FBI, which I think would be a great use of my skills.  I really like tech aspects of cyber security as well as world languages and culture. Interpreting a large deal of information all the while making a huge difference would be an awesome and rewarding career for me.”

What is something that you’re proud of?  “Before attending Tampa Prep, I would have considered myself to be pretty shy and introverted.  Now I consider myself more gregarious and more of an extrovert because the people at Prep are so welcoming.  When I first walked in the doors, everybody, students and faculty, just went out of their way to meet you and make you feel included.” 

Favorite thing about Tampa Prep?  “There are so many great classes here as well as a diverse selection of clubs, like forensic science, anthropology and aerospace engineering.  Prep definitely helps prepare you for life.  I’m really looking forward to taking some classes here that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take at other schools. I am looking forward to challenging myself.   Plus, here the classes are more than just a teacher writing on a chalkboard.  There are peer discussions, learning labs – so many ways that we get to contribute to others’ learning.”

Elissa is also interested in

School of Rock
Robotics
Science
KK Quah, Tampa Prep STEM teacher

Mr. KK Quah on Elissa

Though Elissa just transferred in as a sophomore this year, she has shown that she truly enjoys the STEM Concentration and has jumped in with both feet. She is doing very well in the Introduction to Engineering Design class and is challenging herself with the more complex builds in Computer-Aided Design (CAD). She also has taken a leadership role in the freshman team in VEX Robotics and has made significant contributions to the design of mechanisms for her team robot. Her leadership style is very collaborative and she works very well with all members of her team!