Providence Hall High School outstanding graduate: Yearn to learnJun 23, 2021 01:46PM ● By Jet Burnham
Leona Lombardi is passionate about musical theater-- it changed her life. (Photo by Michelle Hanson.)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
When she was younger, Leona Lombardi wouldn’t talk to her teachers or ask questions in class. Then, she discovered musical theater.
“I found that being able to portray a character gave me an opportunity to be someone who I'm not—the funky character or outgoing or just a totally different person,” she said. “Being those characters and being involved in a show, working with so many other people, really opened that door for me. I think that's probably a big reason why it's still part of my life—it definitely has changed who I am.”
Now she is not the quiet student, but the one who is actively asking questions. Her English teacher, Hannah Thompson, described her as passionate, self-motivated, and inquisitive.
“I love to ask questions on things that I'm interested in—I think it's part of who I am,” Lombardi said. “Because if I want to get the education that I want, and I want to learn what I want, I do have to ask those questions.”
Lombardi is graduating with an International Baccalaureate diploma from Providence Hall High School. The IB program is an academically rigorous two-year program of study that is guided by student inquiry. IB instructor Catherine Jensen said Lombardi exemplifies the program’s qualities of inquiry, critical thinking, and a global mindset.
“She is dedicated to knowing everything there is to know and is also an excellent student,” Jensen said.
Music has played a large role in Lombardi’s life. She said skills she’s learned from playing the piano most of her life have helped her be successful in other areas of her life.
“It definitely takes dedication—practicing every day is definitely not always fun,” she said. “So I think getting that motivation to do that again and again taught me how to be dedicated to things and be accountable for myself.”
Lombardi has been involved in numerous theater productions, with both acting and directing. She hopes to become a high school theater teacher. This past year, she was Theater Council President and was named PHHS’s Theater Sterling Scholar (and region finalist.) Lombardi also served her school and community in the National Honors Society and the WAY (Wellness Acceptance You) Kindness club at her school.
“What impresses me about her is how positive and upbeat she is always,” Jensen said. “She always has a smile on her face and she is always lifting up those around her.”