Round Lake High School’s Sweetheart: Gisselle Tellez

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Ryan Dormody

Gisselle Tellez always has a smile on her face!

Mya Figueroa

Gisselle Tellez has definitely had her fair share of the good and the bad. At the age of  seven months, Tellez decided to explore the world of doors. One day, as a little Tellez was exploring one of the big brown doors in her house, she innocently decided to stick her fingers in between the door hinges. Unfortunately for Tellez, her older sister unknowingly decided to close the door, causing a little Tellez to lose the tip of her middle finger. Fortunately for Tellez–and much to the amazement of her parents–her fingertip grew back. Tellez’s life has been a balance of weird events, hard work, and luck that have shaped her into one of Round Lake’s finest students.

Tellez, a senior at Round Lake High School, balances four AP classes with a heavy load of after school activities and has recently been recognized for scholarship opportunities.

Despite it being a unique experience for Tellez to lose her finger, it isn’t exactly her favorite story. “I don’t really like telling people because they usually think I’m lying, but it’s true,” Tellez said. “If you chop off your finger, it can still grow back as long as you didn’t chop it off pass the end of the nail.” As interesting as the loss of a finger is, Tellez likes to focus more on the future rather than the past. “If anything, I feel like I really show my true self through my work ethic rather than through a story of a chopped off finger,”she said. “My work ethic is what helps me to become successful and plan for the future.” Tellez couldn’t be more right. Her work ethic has definitely impacted her school work in the best way possible.  

 “I was nominated to apply for the Quest Bridge program,” she said. “It’s a scholarship program that gives you a full ride to an Ivy League school of Quest Bridge’s choice. I am now a finalist for the program.” According to Tellez, Quest Bridge is a program that is only offered to students who have shown excessive academic achievement. Many students apply for the program, but not many are lucky enough to become a finalist. Tellez believes that it is scholarship opportunities such as Quest Bridge that make the sleepless, homework-filled nights worth it.  

Not only is Tellez excellent at handling her school work, but she also manages to balance three extracurricular activities on top of her four AP classes. “I’m in National Honor Society, student council, and I’m on the color guard/winterguard team. Our winter guard team won first place in championships last year. It was lit,” Tellez says with a big smile and a laugh. Tellez holds a lot of pride in her guard team. It is because of people on her team that she is constantly motivated to better herself.

For Tellez, success isn’t just about winning. “My biggest dream is to one day be able to support my family just as they support me,” she said with a soft smile. “If I can go to college and get a stable job that allows me to make a lot of money, then I can support my parents without ever having to worry about them.”

Tellez also believes success comes from her knack for accuracy. When Tellez was asked what kind of friend she believed she was, she was unsure of how to give an accurate answer. Tellez did the only plausible Tellez thing to do; she took a personality quiz in order to give a true answer. The end result of the quiz said Tellez was a sweetheart who is, “trustworthy beyond belief.” No surprise there!

If anyone is ever struggling with finding a middle ground between school and social activities, Tellez is the person to go to for questions or even complaints. She always listens, no matter how big or small the issue may seem. She’s a people person who loves making a difference and putting a smile on everyone’s face. “Every time I see Gisselle, she gives me a hug and smiles,” said Julia Rodkey, a senior at Round Lake High School, “Being around her always makes me happy.” While Tellez doesn’t believe she deserves praise for being the hardworking student she is, others would disagree. “I think Gisselle is a GREAT influence,” exclaimed Daniel Banh, a senior at Round Lake High School. “From her extracurriculars to her academics, she is a very well-rounded person. I could see why freshmen or other people would want to look up to her.” As modest as Tellez is, there’s no doubt that she is a prime example of an inspiring student.

If there is anything Tellez could say to those who want to give up, it’s that people should stay positive even if the outcome doesn’t seem worth it. Tellez strongly believes that a person shouldn’t count the days, but make the days count. To Tellez, the most important thing is to keep a positive attitude no matter how troublesome things may seem.

While most of us can’t claim to have chopped off a limb, we can say that we have had our fair share of stress. However, if we all take a moment to focus on the positives of life, then we too can be just as successful and well rounded as sweetheart, Gisselle Tellez.