The Inspiration that is Aidan Gregory

What the newest senior brings to NDP

Gregory ponders Voltaire’s Candide during AP English.

Gregory ponders Voltaire’s Candide during AP English.

Cassidy Mannier

After a long day of honors and 4 AP classes, he may be found working on set with Drama Club, playing one of the three instruments he has mastered or even rowing with his team at Tempe Town Lake.

These are just a few of the impressive qualities of Aidan Gregory, the newest member of the NDP senior class.

Notre Dame Prep has a reputation of acquiring high quality students who excel in many areas in and out of the classroom. However, this particular young man could be the NDP poster child. Gregory possesses a number of skill sets unlike many other high school seniors.

Senior Jenna Glovsky described Gregory as “so sweet.” “He sits next to me in a lot of my classes and helps me if I’m struggling. He also has the most beautiful speaking voice I’ve ever heard,” said Glovsky.

Director of admissions Matt Rylski said, “I think Aidan can provide an incredible perspective for other students” as “his journey has been a much different one.”

Two and a half years ago, Gregory moved to Johannesburg, South Africa due to a job offer his mother, an immigration attorney, received.

This was not the first instance in which his mother’s career moved the family out of the country. The Gregorys also lived in Canada for a year. In addition, The only Gregory said “We also lived in New York and New Jersey for a little”.

Gregory said what he gained most from living in another country was “a broader view and sense of the world.”

He also learned that “the world doesn’t begin and end with the U.S. Don’t be afraid of the rest of the world.”

Mr. Rylski brought up a challenge the Gregory family faced during this time: for the last year only he and his mother remained in South Africa. “His younger brother and father returned to the U.S. after one year so Cale could begin high school.” Cale started NDP as a freshman last year.

“Aidan is the only senior transfer in the Class of 2017,” Rylski said. NDP does not usually accept transfers senior year, but Rylski said he is not worried, as Aidan “came from a very strong school in South Africa” and “credits were not going to be a problem for him.”

Rylski said a motive for accepting Aidan into the NDP community was “circumstances had the family separated by 6,000 miles for over a year. They desperately wanted to be reunited. Because Cale was already enrolled at NDP, they were a part of our family. Helping them was important.”

The family had lived in Scottsdale prior to moving to South Africa (Aidan was born in Mesa), and decided to move back to be closer to their other relatives.

To call Gregory “above average” in his studies would be an understatement. He is used to rigorous courses. During his entire time in South Africa, he attended an intense “British-style private school.” When discussing the difficulty of this schooling, he let out chuckle and simply said, “My grades are much better here.”

Though it was extremely challenging, Gregory still spoke highly of his school in South Africa, saying it was his “favorite part” of the two and a half years, and he loved the “teacher-student social interactions” as they are “very different from those in America.”

“The teachers are treated more like college professors and refer to students as ma’am or sir,” said Gregory.

In addition to academics, Gregory is an avid member of drama club. Though he unfortunately could not participate in the upcoming play, as he is too busy with crew.

Gregory rows for Tempe Jr. Crew team 5-6 days a week for three hours a day.

However, the most important aspect in Gregory’s life, “the reason he gets out of bed,” is music, his “number one passion.”

He plans to apply to a couple musically focused colleges, including Berklee College of Music in Boston, and USC School of Music in Los Angeles.

“In a perfect world I would be a professional musician,” Gregory said.
Gregory sings, acts and plays the drums, guitar and piano–and is hoping to learn bass soon. He said, though he does not really have specific musical role models, his piano teacher in South Africa (whom he has stayed in touch with) inspired him to expand his horizons.

Gregory’s love for music is vibrant and obvious to those around him.

Senior Alyssa Williams, close friend of Gregory’s, said, “I like how passionate he gets when he talks about his interests.”

Though maybe not as obvious to him, the rest of the school can clearly see unique distinctions in Gregory from other students.

Williams said “I can tell he has lived an unconventional life first from his accent, but more so from the manner in which he speaks and his syntax and his word choice.”

What does the future hold? Gregory plainly stated, “I am open to wherever life takes me.”