Good luck to Olivia Martin ’20 at NYU and her academic and directing aspirations in New York.  Years of commitment, dogged persistence and exceptional performance have earned Olivia an acceptance to her “dream school”.

During her four years at St. Vincent de Paul High School, she has been in student leadership (including the ASB Treasurer and the Commissioner of Social Concerns and Diversity), co-president of the Music Club, co-president of the Drama Club, in the Poetry Club and a student representative in the institutional WASC accreditation process.

At St. Vincent’s she was able to take a robust slate of challenging classes including AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Literature and AP Spanish.  Even among her accomplished peer group, she earned a 4.6 GPA. A truly exceptional student, she looks forward to her next step at NYU with Tisch School of the Arts where she will study directing; a great fit for her interests in all things “theater”.


Since she was nine years old, she has been engaged at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma.  Olivia has participated in 22 shows as an actor, choreographer and was the Assistant Director for one professional show.  Like many aspiring thespians, she has benefitted from years of singing, dancing and voice instruction. NYU has a recognized reputation for strong academics and the arts…while being located in New York is always a draw for aspirational performers.  These were all important considerations for Olivia who certainly would have been admitted to many other competitive universities.

Olivia attended St. Vincent Elementary School and continued her education at St. Vincent de Paul High School.  “I am so grateful to St. Vincent’s for all that it has given me over the last four years. I would not have gotten to this point without the community at St. Vincent’s,” she stated.  The senior continued, “The academics were the perfect balance between challenging and fun, the teachers are wonderful, and the community is so loving.”


She emphasized the benefits of a smaller school and the importance of quality instruction which fosters real connections between students and teachers.  Noting her impactful experiences as a junior in Honors British Literature and Peace & Justice, she reserved her most glowing praise for her senior teachers; Mr. Blake in Government and Mr. O’Meara in Chemistry. 

“At St. Vincent’s we are not only concerned about the intellectual development of our students, we tend to their moral development as well.”  Mr. Blake added, “Olivia is an example of the dual emphasis; she is not only an excellent student, she is an exceptional person.”  

“While I intend to pursue a career in theater, Mr. Blake inspired a new interest in law. As a former prosecutor in New York, it provided genuine insight into his lessons and the issues of the day.”  Olivia added, “Mr. O’Meara is kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. He was one of my most impactful teachers. He is accustomed to a college atmosphere, with high expectations and a welcome seriousness where he gave his students a bit of a college experience.”

Her teacher for American Literature was Mr. Corrigan.  He added that “her heart and soul were devoted to the power and beauty of literature. I could tell from her writings that she breathed the spirit of art.”  Mr. Corrigan was delighted, though not surprised, when Olivia received her acceptance email in his classroom during lunch in mid-December.

She offered this advice to aspiring high school students, “Challenge yourself, ask questions and do your homework”.  She continued, “…St. Vincent’s has taught me to push myself and to develop relationships. Community is so important no matter where you are or what you hope to achieve.”

Olivia has accomplished a great deal in high school at St. Vincent’s.  We wish her well for the rest of her senior year and next Fall at NYU.  We are proud to feature her as one of the outstanding students from the Class of 2020.