Graphic by Arikta Trivedi, Arijit Trivedi and Nihal Gulati

NKOTBs: Meet 2020-21’s new students!

Click on a student to learn about them, or just scroll down to see them all.


Paige Graham

Paige Graham, ’24, transferred from Sutter Middle School in Sacramento.

Q: Do you do any extracurriculars?

A: I’m both a Girl Scout and a rower. I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was little, and I’ve rowed over a year now. 

I started doing it because my parents pestered me to do a sport, so I picked up one that didn’t require me to have a lot of prior experience.

Q: Why did you decide to come to Country Day?

A:  I mainly came here because of the flexible schedule. I also came because I wanted to take a more difficult math class than the ones provided by other high schools. They put you into math classes based on your sixth-grade placement test, which I felt wasn’t very accurate.

Q: How is your time here compared to your old school?

A: I didn’t particularly like my old school. I didn’t know a lot of people there, so it was hard to make friends.  But so far, I really like Country Day. All the teachers and people are very nice, and my classes have been pretty good already. It’s been an overall better experience.

— Jacob Chand

William Holz

Freshman William Holz attended Winston Churchill Middle School in Sacramento.

Q: What are your favorite hobbies?

A: I really enjoy fencing. I attend Premier Fencing Academy and have been fencing for around six years. Every week I practice for four days. Before I started fencing, I played soccer for eight years. 

Other things I like to do in my spare time include reading, playing chess or completing brain puzzles. When I’m hanging out with my brothers, we play Dungeons and Dragons.

— Callister Misquitta

Karabelo Bowsky

Sophomore Karabelo Bowsky came from Sidwell Friends, Washington, D.C.

Q: Why did you move to Sacramento?

A: It’s close to my family. They all live in Davis. We were planning on moving anyways, and then COVID-19 hit and we were already here for spring break, so we decided to move.

Q: What is one interesting thing you would like the people of Country Day to know about you?

A: I’ve lived out of the continent before in Mozambique. Living in Maputo, Mozambique was lots of fun. I lived two blocks away from the beach and down the street from the fish market. I attended the American International School of Mozambique and I would walk to school everyday. I loved it because it always felt like summertime even during winter.

— Nihal Gulati

Imani Cochran

Freshman Imani Cochran attended California Middle School. 

Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests? 

A: I love drawing—it’s my life. I prefer using my nickname, Doodle, because I like drawing that much. I’m actually in the art elective at SCDS this year. 

I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, though, I was never good at it. I started getting good in around third grade. 

I don’t really have an art style right now. What I’ve been doing over the summer is really trying to find my style. At first, it was a little more cartoonish. I’m doing more realistic drawings now, though I still do a mix of both. 

For me, drawings have always been a way to express my emotions. I also love drawing people, either made up or real. Because I always have my head in the clouds, I just draw whatever comes to my mind. 

— Lauren Lu

Katie Espinoza

Freshman Katie Espinoza previously attended Winston Churchill Middle School in Carmichael. 

Q: What hobbies do you have?

A: I like to draw and bullet journal — an artistic form of planning. It’s a K-pop bullet journal, which has photos, song lyrics and writing.

Q: What are you most excited about this year?

A: I’m mostly excited to go back to school, but I’m excited to make new friends and write more for the Octagon. 

— Samhita Kumar

Angela McCurdy

Junior Angela McCurdy attended Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto.

Q: What is something interesting about you?

A: I’m a really big movie and music critic. I spend a lot of time watching and listening to them. I try to watch all genres of movies, but my favorites are horror and thriller. For music I like to listen to rap and hip hop. Two of my favorite artists are Playboi Carti and Tyler, the Creator.

Q: What did you do over the summer?

A: I went on a bunch of road trips with my best friend, but other than that I didn’t do much.

Q: Did COVID-19 affect any of your summer plans?

A: Definitely. I was considering an internship, I wanted to get a new job, and there was a lot more. It really just trashed my summer plans.

Q: Do you play any sports?

A: Yeah, I used to play soccer, run track, and I ski. I’m thinking about joining the school’s soccer team.

Q: Do you have a favorite class?

A: I took both chemistry and AP chemistry at my old school. I really enjoyed the class.

— Miles Morrow

Luke Scripps

Luke Scripps is a new freshman at Country Day. At 14 years old, he loves to edit videos professionally and for his family.

Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: I love video editing. It all started when I used to watch YouTube a couple years back, and I used to aspire to make content like YouTubers do. Obviously, as time goes on your ambitions change. Although I have drifted away from the goal of becoming a Youtuber, I still love video editing. I use Filmora, which my dad bought me a license for. My first project was when I took my dad’s GoPro clips from his shark diving trip and made a simple montage. I’ve been creating ever since. I edit all kinds of things with Filmora. Clips with my siblings playing games and family videos. My family owns a vine-grape growing business, and I shot and edited footage I took myself with my drone for their Facebook page.

— Samrath Pannu

Adam Akins

Adam Akins previously attended Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia.

Q: Where did you go to school before Country Day?

A: I lived in Virginia, I attended some IB programs there. I was prepared, and I knew a bunch of kids. It was fun, and a good experience. At Country Day, I like how student-modeled the clubs are. I’m enjoying it overall.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: I play a lot of music, I play soccer. Soccer’s not really going on right now. We got here too late to get on a team, but I’m excited for school training, when that becomes an option.

Q: What about music? Have you ever performed anywhere?

A: I play the violin, the bass guitar and the piano. I was in an orchestra at my old school, and I was in a couple of church music groups, but I haven’t really played piano anywhere.

— Natalie Park

Winston Churchill Middle School was incorrect and has been changed to Granby High School.

Mia Crowder

Freshman Mia Crowder previously attended Camilla Waldorf school from kindergarten to fifth grade, and went to St. Robert’s middle school after that.

Q: Why did you move to Country Day?

A: My brother goes here. My parents really liked the school, so they wanted us both to be here. Once I shadowed, I realized that I  liked everybody, and the teachers seemed great. I could really see myself going here.

Q: How is your year so far?

A: At first, it was difficult because being online and not knowing anybody is really hard for me. I’ve started to talk to a couple people in my class, but not being able to see people in person is really hard. I’m excited to go back in person!

Q: What kind of interests do you have?

A: I don’t have one specific craft, but I really like being creative and making stuff. Over the summer, I started sewing more; hand sewing, not machine sewing. I’ve made a belt and a couple shirts. I like doing different artsy things, different crafts.

Q: How long have you been sewing?

A: My old school was a Waldorf school, so they taught a lot of crafty stuff, and I learned how to sew then. Last summer was when I started doing it more.

Q: Is your sewing for fun, or for practical use?

A: It’s just for fun. I was talking with one of my friends yesterday about how I want to keep trying new things, and I want to find something that I really like doing. My brother does editing, and it’s his passion, and I haven’t found anything like that yet. I want to keep trying new things until I do.

— Natalie Park

Orlando Blas

Freshman Orlando Ponce Blas attended Sutter Middle School in Sacramento.

Q: What’s your passion?

A: I recently fell in love with playing my acoustic electric guitar. Seeing people play the guitar at parties made me want to give it a try, so I got one for Christmas. I’ve been hooked on it ever since!

 My cousin in Mexico is a musician, so he gives me lessons via Facetime once or twice a week. He teaches me how to play Spanish songs, and my favorite is “La Bamba.” I’ve heard of the Country Day Garage Band, and I’m planning on joining once I get good enough.

— Rod Azghadi

Liam Kaschner

Freshman Liam Kaschner previously attended Winston Churchill Middle School in Sacramento. 

Q: What are your hobbies or interests?

A: I started swimming around the age of five, and I enjoy mountain biking with my dad. I am also interested in RC cars and planes. I also enjoy programming and robotics.

Q: Do you have any siblings?

A: I have a sister, Meghan Kaschner, who is currently a senior at Country Day.

Q: What is an interesting fact about yourself?

A: I am 6 feet, 5 inches tall, which is pretty tall for my age.

Q: Do you have a specific memory related to swimming? 

A: One memory that I can remember well is when I tried my first calzone with the team a night before a swim meet. It was the best calzone that I have ever had.

Q: Do you have any stories that you could share?

A: One story about my life is when I went on a three-day rafting trip in Boy Scouts and I fell off the raft in a Class 3 rapid. I ended up with really bad sunburns and an injury on one of them. But overall, the trip was a memorable experience and I had a lot of fun. 

— Aarushi Rohatgi

Gulzar Sohal

Gulzar Sohal is a new freshman at Country Day. He is 14 years old and loves to play basketball.

Q: What is your favorite hobby?

A: My favorite hobby is playing basketball. I started about three years ago when I was 11 years old. I had been playing soccer since I was 6, but when my friends switched to  basketball, I picked it up as well. 

I have played for CYBL, the California Youth Basketball League, and for an Amateur Athletic Union team. My buddies and I love to go down to the park and play pickup. I’m a taller boy, so I usually play the forward or center position. I can space the floor well, being able to shoot and finish around the rim. 

— Samrath Pannu

Aarushi Rohatgi

Freshman Aarushi Rohatgi attended Brookfield Private School in Sacramento.

Q: What is an interesting fact about yourself?

A:  I’ve been a Girl Scout for three years, and right now I’m finishing the process of getting my Silver Award. In order to get my Silver Award, I had to choose a project and contribute 50 hours to it along with another person.

The project I chose was making a buddy bench. A buddy bench is where one person who wants a friend can sit on the bench, and once another person joins them, they can talk and hang out. I bought the bench by raising money through bake sales. I think the buddy bench is a cool idea for someone who is struggling to make friends.

— Emily Cook

Derek Taylor

Freshman Derek Taylor is a new addition to the SCDS community. He previously attended the International School of Stuttgart in Germany.

Q: Where were you born and raised?

A: I was born in Sacramento and lived there until I was 4. Between the ages of 4 and 8, I was raised in Africa. Then, I stayed in Indonesia for two years. I have recently moved from Germany, where I spent about four years.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests?

A: In my spare time, I enjoy playing soccer and basketball. I have played soccer for about 10 years and basketball for two years. 

Q: What do you enjoy about those sports?

A: I enjoy playing soccer as the game progresses to a faster pace. In soccer, my position on the team is mainly the role of the goalie. When playing basketball, I enjoy the challenge of multitasking throughout the game. 

Q: Do you have any stories related to soccer or basketball?

A: While playing soccer, I was once kicked in the head by someone on the other team, while holding the ball in my hands. The referee counted it as a goal with no foul.

— Aarushi Rohatgi

Sylvia Valverde

Freshman Sylvia Valverde transferred from Gateway International School in Arden Arcade and is looking forward to making new friends at Country Day.

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: I love playing soccer, and I enjoy arts and crafts. 

Q: How long have you been playing soccer, and have you been playing competitively?

A: I have been playing soccer for  about 10 years now. I started out playing soccer  recreationally, but I eventually started playing competitively.

Q: Are you excited about meeting new people and possible friends?

A: Yeah! We’ll see this year, but I hope I can make some friends.

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school and why?

A: I enjoy most of my subjects, but English and history are definitely my favorite ones.

I just love reading about history and writing in general.

— William Holz

Tanish Shenoy

Freshman Tanish Shenoy transferred from Marble Valley in El Dorado Hills.

Q: Where did you move from?

A: I moved from Silicon Valley to El Dorado Hills and love nature around me. I attended a lot of coding boot camps in Google and Cisco, and miss technology-savvy innovators around me. 

Q: Can you describe your family?

A: I live with my parents and my dog, Lucky. My parents are entrepreneurs and have a marketing technology company.

Q: Why did you decide to come to country day for high school?

A: I came to Country Day High School because it is one the best schools in the area. It academically supports almost all the students, leading them to great universities. My goal is to get into one of the best universities.

Q: What are your YouTube channels?

A: I have two Youtube channels:

I am always looking to feature teens in my Powerality channel.

— Garman Xu

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