“AP” Doesn’t Scare Sophomore Johnson from Diving into Government


Emma DeFrancesco

Nonnewaug sophomore Caitlin Johnson is the only underclassman in the AP Government and Politics class.

Emma DeFrancesco, Reporter

WOODBURY – When students see the dreaded AP in front of the name of a class, they may think the class is too difficult or only made for upperclassmen. 

However, for sophomore Caitlin Johnson, these speculations didn’t get in her way of taking one of the more intensive Advanced Placement classes at Nonnewaug.

“Being in the AP US Government and Politics class interested me when I was looking at the few options that I had, and I decided to take the chance,” Johnson remarked. “I was warned that it might be challenging, but I was up to that and I’ve always enjoyed this subject.”

Being a sophomore student in such a rigorous class is rare, and Johnson was up for the challenge.

Rebecca Trzaski, who teaches the class, taught Johnson as a freshman in her world civilization class. Trzaski noted Johnson’s determination and her natural talent for history.

“The first word that comes to mind when I think about Caitlin is hardworking,” Trzaski said. “I can always count on the fact that she will do the reading and the work, even if it’s not graded.”

In fact, the young student is excelling in her class so greatly that Trzaski nominated her to attend the American Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. The program allows selected students to further their career researching process along with universities that offer it.

“This is the type of person that they want in the program,” Trzaski stated. “She was the student that stood out to me as motivated and responsible enough to handle the requirements of the program.”

Johnson aspires to be a corporate lawyer or criminal defense attorney, and she believes this leadership opportunity will be just right for her.

I was really thrilled. Considering this year’s theme, it’s definitely appropriate for what I’m going to be doing,” Johnson added.

Johnson has a huge interest in history, and even has a story of her own. Both of her parents are immigrants from South Africa.

“It was awesome to have a person who brings such a unique life experience to the table,” Trzaski remarked.

With all of her scholar success, Johnson says she felt welcomed by the seniors in the class.

“They were all very friendly and I like working with them,” Johnson said.

Eliana Groben, a senior, agrees with this statement.

“I’ve noticed that she’s pretty good at the subject,” Groben stated. “She’s easy to work with.”

Trzaski has high hopes for Johnson’s future.

“I see her as being successful in a collegiate class,” Trzaski concluded. “Those are the skills that you need to demonstrate.”