Peabody is pleased to feature Liz Heilbronner, Class of 2005, as our 2021 Spring Alumni Spotlight! Liz is the Summer Camp Director at Camp Horizons, a coed sleep-away summer camp in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She started at Peabody in 1996 in Kindergarten, and after graduating attended Charlottesville High School as a member of the class of 2009. She obtained her B.A. in Communication and Human Development at Virginia Tech, and returned to Charlottesville to obtain her M.Ed in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia.
Liz has spent her life’s work focused on kids and making them successful. In 2016, she started at Camp Horizons, “where I spent my summers as a camper from age seven on, and later as a counselor. I took over as Camp Director in 2019 and have loved every minute of it! It was a great summer experience for me growing up because of the amount of activities they offered and the freedom I had while there!”
Liz reflected on her time at Peabody, saying, “Peabody gave me a wide knowledge of a variety of topics. I felt that I could be conversational in many topics, and when I went to high school felt comfortable talking to everyone.” She noted that she had had “so many great teachers at Peabody who I still often think of: Ms. T from Art class; Mrs. Albright, who was my Language Arts and homeroom teacher, Ms. Kim, who I never had but was always so friendly; Mrs. Schupp, and so many more! They were all just so caring and loving and you could tell that they really wanted the best for you.”
Liz says her favorite Peabody memory was when her class would go down to the creek and build mud houses on sunny days. “ We were all so fascinated by making different shapes and creating a village. Everyone in our class loved doing this and it was always our number one request when we had free time.”
She notes that moving from Peabody to high school was a big adjustment: “I don’t think I was prepared for just how different high school was. My class at Peabody had only nine other students in it, and when I got to CHS, some of my classes had upwards of 25 people in them! So it was a bit of a shock at first. Also, my teachers at Peabody cared about me from day one, and in high school and college, your teachers or professors don’t have that connection until YOU make it.
So I would say to the class of 2021 in terms of advice: Start your first day of classes by introducing yourself to your teacher, and start making connections with your classmates. It will make the transition much easier. Don’t be afraid to join new clubs or try out for a sport. I was so nervous to try out for soccer because I didn’t know anyone but I just went for it and it turned out to be my favorite part of high school!”
Liz concluded by saying, “I would be remiss without letting Peabody students know that Camp Horizons is currently taking enrollments for what promises to be another fantastic summer. With programs for ages 6-16, there is something for every kind of camper! Head to www.camphorizonsva.com to learn more, watch our virtual open houses, and see how to fit Camp Horizons into your summer plans.”