Gem State Student Profile

June 22, 2019 | Education | Nicole Batten

Sophomore Gabriela Liebelt, known as Gaby to the staff and students at Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA), recently completed her first year at Gem State. From the moment she and her mom visited the campus in Caldwell, Idaho, they fell in love with our school, says Marvin Thorman, GSAA principal.

Gaby says, "I felt loved and accepted from the very first moment. I knew Gem State was where I wanted to be." Completing her first year at Gem State, Gaby says, "I feel so valued by everyone here. I believe that makes Gem State different from other schools."

Nicole Batten, GSAA development and alumni director, recently sat down with Gaby to find out more about what makes Gem State so special to her.

GSAA: What made you want to attend Gem State Adventist Academy?

Gaby: My family moved here from Portland, Ore., and this looked like an awesome choice for schooling. We came for a tour, and I loved Gem State from the moment I started the tour. 

GSAA: What is the highlight (best part) of your day at school?

Gaby: The highlight of my day is usually when I get to connect with people from outside of the sophomore class during choir with Miss Simmons. I also love getting to sit it on algebra 1 with the freshman during my free period on B days. Over all, I would say the highlight is just getting to connect and socialize with other students both inside and outside the dorm. 

GSAA: Who is your favorite teacher and why?

Gaby: I would have to say that it is a very close tie between Mr. Waterhouse and Miss Simmons. Mr. Waterhouse always makes geometry fun, and we have a lot of fun while doing it. He is also very understanding and easy to talk to if I don't understand something or have a problem. Miss Simmons has a lot of energy, and you can tell she is passionate about her subject she teaches. That definitely reflects in her teaching of choir. She is also very understanding and easy to talk to, and I appreciate that she challenges us in class to do our best, all while having fun. My favorite dean is probably Mama Fitting. She is always positive, and I just love talking to her. She gives some great advice too!

GSAA: How do your peers make you feel supported at school?

Gaby: My peers are always willing to help me accomplish certain tasks, and I really appreciate them. I also have some really awesome friends that I can talk to about literally anything. It feels nice to know someone cares.

GSAA: How do you think being at Gem State Adventist Academy is helping you grow in your relationship with God?

Gaby: The dorm chapels every night along with the chapels during the day are super-nice, and Bible class with Pastor Perez is one of my favorite classes. They are times to connect with peers while studying Scripture. I have really learned how to apply certain principles to my personal life that I feel have strengthened my walk with God. 

GSAA: What are you are most proud of?

Gaby: One thing I am proud of is my ability to stay positive in not-so-good situations. I like how I can almost always see the good in any situation.

GSAA: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

Gaby: During my free time I enjoy reading, painting, craft projects, photography, volunteering, and, of course, hanging out with my friends and family. Choir is the only extracurricular activity I am really into. I have never been into sports.  

GSAA: What are your career goals? What are your educational goals after high school?

Gaby: After high school I plan to go to a college — not sure where yet — and study something I am passionate about. I have thought about becoming a teacher or maybe attending culinary school to become a chef. For a long time I wanted to become an artist. I hope to graduate high school with straight A's. I have high expectations for myself.

GSAA: How is Gem State different from other schools?

Gaby: I love the family piece of Gem State. The student body as a whole feels connected and just like a family. I can come to peers and teachers about almost anything and feel comfortable. I feel loved and valued by everyone here. I believe that this makes Gem State different from other schools.

GSAA: Share three unique things about yourself.

Gaby: I live on a goat farm with around 150 goats. I have a dream of traveling the world and blogging about it. My favorite food is by far sushi.