WINCHESTER — When speaking to 17-year-old Abigail Esslinger for just a few moments, it’s difficult not to notice her ambition and drive to help others.

And attempting to list the accolades and accomplishments is a lengthy endeavor — she’s president of the Student Council Association at Millbrook High School, a standout on the varsity swim team, and participates in Superintendent David Sovine’s Leadership Council, the National Honor Society and the Eco Club.

The daughter of Joel and Lynne Esslinger, Abbey also has been awarded The Winchester Star Swimmer of the Year twice, the Pioneer Award twice, been named to All-State swimming, All-Area swimming and the All-A Honor Roll.

But even with all of her activities, Esslinger has been able to stay at the top of her class. With a 4.44 GPA, she’s ranked seventh among 317 seniors.

When asked how she manages it all, Abbey says it’s part of what she needs to do to succeed.

“I’m able to balance it all with my homework, so it’s not too bad,” she said.

Abbey will attend the University of Virginia in the fall, with her eye on a possible career in public policy or maybe as a physician’s assistant.

Politics and science are among her favorite topics.

And with her participation in student government, she enjoys seeing what strong leaders can accomplish if they work diligently.

She’s extremely passionate about her role with SCA.

“I’m able to make a direct impact on the school and help to improve it,” she said.

Abbey said her volunteer work, including with the nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity, has helped to mold her thinking toward assisting others less fortunate than herself.

She also teaches an English as a Second Language class for adults, an experience that has made her appreciate a strong education and the value of learning about the world around her.

“I’m someone who is constantly learning new things, learning about other places, other cultures,” Abbey said. “I really love listening at the leadership conferences I go to with SCA, where I learn about what other schools are like. I just really love collaborating with people.”

— Contact Christopher Earley at

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