Thank You Seniors: Emma Barry


Adriana Arguijo Photography

Thank you, Emma! The Looking Glass will miss you!

You probably know Emma Barry as the senior with the really cool hair who plays the bass. Or as the senior with the reptile obsession. And after an hour-long FaceTime interview, I can confidently say that although all of that is very true, it just touches the surface of who Emma is and what she’s contributed to the Montrose community. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Emma Barry for the past 4 years, and not only has she tutored me and helped me with countless chemistry questions, performance pointers, and course selection advice, but above all, she has been a great friend. From her impressive theater performances, her leadership in ENACT (Environmental Activism), and her contributions to the speech team, she’s played a key role in the Montrose community for as long as I’ve been here. There was definitely no doubt in my mind that I wanted to feature her for my senior article. 

Emma joined Montrose as a freshman in 2018, having gone to public school beforehand. And, like many new students, she was unsure of what exactly to expect from a school like Montrose, transitioning from a school that she felt did not meet her academically. When asked about her first memory at Montrose, she reminisced: “I remember I came in to do a placement test, and I already knew Leah, which was nice. I was glad to know someone before school even started.” Leah Birmingham ‘22 and Emma have remained close friends since then and are definitely a dynamic duo whose friendship will last long after they graduate. 

Something I particularly appreciate about the senior class is the wisdom and advice they give to younger students, who are navigating similar challenges they faced as underclassmen, such as time management, productivity, and dealing with stress. When asked about any advice she would give to younger Montrose students, Emma immediately said: “Half doing a piece of work is better than not doing anything at all. Putting in some effort will always be better than doing nothing. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.” Her words are definitely a helpful reminder that perfection isn’t attainable, even for someone as academically driven as she is. And, skipping a challenging assignment completely will get you nowhere, whereas putting in as much effort as you can will at least get you higher than a 0%. This is a message I feel like many students need to hear, especially since we’ve all been facing productivity challenges as a result of Covid. 

Because Emma has been a staple of the Looking Glass team for as long as I’ve been here, I wanted to ask her what drew her to write for the Looking Glass in the first place. She responded: “I really enjoy writing, and for a while I thought that was what I wanted to do. Even after I realized I only like writing for fun, the Looking Glass really accommodated that. I could write about whatever I wanted to, and there was less pressure.” Emma’s passion for creative writing comes out in each of her articles, some standout pieces including: What Punk Means to Me , Marvel’s Back: An Introduction to WandaVision, and My Experience Working the Polls. I encourage everyone to read her articles, because they serve as a reminder of why we write for the Looking Glass: a passion for writing, but most importantly self expression. 

Something I’ve been wondering for a while is what Emma will miss most about Montrose, because I’ve known her since the beginning of her Montrose journey and I’ve had the privilege of seeing her grow as a person ever since then. When asked that very question, she said: “The community. It’s fun to have friends of all different ages. There’s something nice about the way I know someone in every grade.” I feel like this is definitely something that many Montrose students can relate to. Because we are such a small community, it’s easy to make connections with students of all ages, and Montrose really accommodates that with traditions such as Big and Little Sisters, Common Homeroom, and Red and White team activities. I know for a fact that students in every grade will miss Emma more than she knows. In addition, I asked how she hopes Montrose will remember her, and she said with laughter: “As a fun little fellow. I hope my impact on this school was positive. I tried to bring positive energy and I hope people think I’m a positive person and fun to be around. Although, I have no control over what people think, which is important to remember.” She doesn’t have to worry, because I know that she’s made a lasting impact on Montrose, that each student will remember. 

I finally asked her what she’s most excited about regarding college, and she said: “I’m excited to be in a bigger pond. I’m excited to study what I’m passionate about and make new friends who share my interests. More specifically, I’m really excited to go grocery shopping for myself.” Emma will be attending McGill University in the fall, hoping to major in biology. 

In preparation for this article, I was thinking about what I wanted to say to Emma. And what I want to say above everything else, is thank you. Thank you for fostering a welcoming and accepting environment here at Montrose. Thank you for always giving advice when I needed it. Thank you for all of the countless times you’ve made everyone laugh their hardest during Common Homeroom. And most of all, thank you for being a friend to everyone, no matter their grade. The seniors are like the big sisters of Montrose, here to guide us, inspire us, and show us how to be model students. I think that each and every senior deserves a “thank you” for everything they’ve done for this community, who will miss them more than they know. On behalf of your Looking Glass Family, we are so excited to see what incredible things you accomplish next! Thank you, Emma. 


Chloe Stefani ‘24, Fashion editor