Evie Houston

Year of Graduation: 

"Exeter afforded me the opportunity to explore all of the different sides of myself."

Evie Houston ’21 grew up down the street from the Academy. She sang in a children’s choral group offered by PEA’s Music Department and joined ESSO’s Big Sib/Little Sib and Chinese Culture clubs. She ran and played on campus trails and fields with faculty kids she’s known since kindergarten. Applying to the Academy during eighth grade seemed the natural order of things.

“It just seemed like such a good fit that I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else,” she says.

About to enter her final term, the senior has spent four years proving herself right, thriving at the Harkness table, captaining the soccer team, shining in The Bowld and generally embracing the opportunities that were there — or forging new ones that weren’t.

“I've always had a lot of different interests; I've been pretty well-rounded,” she says. “[Exeter] afforded me the opportunity to explore all of the different sides of myself.”

There are many.

There’s the student who as a prep took a flier on learning Russian because she had read good things about instructor Inna Sysevich and has spent four “transformative” years studying with a teacher she and her classmates know simply as “Mama.”

There’s the athlete who arrived at the Academy as a speedy soccer forward and has blossomed into a track-and-field sprinter and hurdler under coach Hillary Coder Hall’s tutelage and now owns a piece of the school record in the indoor 4x200 relay.

There’s the musician who has polished her natural talents working closely with Kris Johnson, the Music Department chair, and has grown into a versatile alto/soprano in the vocal chamber ensemble Gli Scalatori.

There’s the ESSO tutor. The Admissions tour guide. The day student. The many faces of Evie Houston fill her day and feed her appetite for discovery.

“Being both an athlete and a musician takes up a lot of my time, but it creates so much fun in my schedule, and it's a really great way for me to de-stress over the course of the day when I do have a lot of academic classes to get through as well,” she says. “Having those break up the day and just be something where I can look forward to them and connect with people in a different way, not always over a reading, but over music or over the love of a sport has been really important.”

Houston is proud of each part of her whole and cherishes the distinct relationships they’ve helped to foster.

“I'm probably one of the only people in concert choir who plays a sport, and one of the only people on the soccer team or on my track team who’s in concert choir,” she says. “Being able to meet people in both of those areas on campus has just been wonderful.”Evie with classmate and childhood friend Catherine Webber '21.

She points to her bonds with Coder Hall, her coach and adviser, and with music mentor Johnson as examples of her feeling “surrounded by people who are rooting for me.” But perhaps what the senior values most from her Exeter experience are the connections she has made over the four years with her fellow students, first as an eager prep welcomed by older Exonians and now as a campus leader recharged by her younger schoolmates’ enthusiasm and ability.

“I constantly find myself inspired by the underclassmen and seeing how much they've grown in the short time that I've known them, knowing that they're probably going to do incredible things in the years that they're here,” she says.

Houston was right: Exeter was always the right place for her. She hopes her future offers what the past four years have.

“I want to end up somewhere where I can nurture the same excitement that I feel here,” she says. “I want to constantly be opening myself up to new experiences and have the ability to connect with different people to really help me explore that side of me that likes to be fulfilled.”


— Patrick Garrity and Adam Loyd

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