Senior Spotlight: Ally Moran

Senior takes center stage in her life, plans to help others

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Cinderella moment: Ally Moran (12) performs in the impromptu peformance of “Cinderella”, before the school moved to distance learning and cancelled or rescheduled most activities. Abbie Stone (12), a castmate, said, “Ally always brings a positive attitude and performs as if there are no limitations, whether it is acting, singing or dancing. She is willing to do whatever is needed, and it is a honor to be her friend.” Photo contributed by: Taylor Wadham

You can’t stop Ally Moran.

Despite the challenges and obstacles that come with Spina Bifida, a neural tube defect impacting the spinal cord, Moran lives life with a smile, tackling her challenges with positivity and honesty.

“I felt that I was always included, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do, which I thought was amazing,” Moran said. “Even though I was in a wheelchair, that didn’t stop me.”

During the year, Moran could be found in the auditorium, as part of the choir or as a member of Lumberjack Theatre.

“Theater has just given me a happy place,” Moran said. “If I was stressed or anything like that, this was where I felt comfortable. This really helped me through some hard times I was having in my life and I’m really grateful for theatre and my ‘theatre family’.”

Theater has just given me a happy place,” Moran said. “If I was stressed or anything like that, this was where I felt comfortable. This really helped me through some hard times I was having in my life and I’m really grateful for theatre and my ‘theatre family’.”

Moran was specifically looking forward to the spring musical, “Cinderella”. The show was supposed to happen on March, but was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“I was really excited for my last show because it was my last chance to do a show with Oakwood and I was really looking forward to it,” Moran said. “There is so much talent in this cast and it’s mind blowing. I really wanted to do a show with these talented people”

Moran was devastated to not be able to perform her last show, but she loved practicing with everyone and putting the production together.

“I was really sad to know that we were not going to be able to put on a production like we normally would, but I was glad that we got to do one production for the parents,” Moran said. “It’s better that we at least had one because we have such a talented cast and I wanted to see it all come together at least once.”

Moran’s favorite part about participating in the was seeing the show come together.

“My favorite part was making something amazing out of nothing,” Moran said. “The cast helps with all aspects from dancing to building the set. I think because we have such a small program those things made the process that much better.”

Participating in these shows has been some of Moran’s favorite experiences in her high school career.

“I am really going to miss my ‘theatre family’ the most,” Moran said. “We are truly a family. Spending hours a week together helped us become really close and I am really going to miss these talented people.”

Moran also participated in the choir her entire high school career and in junior high.

“I will definitely miss the funny moments in choir,” Moran said. “Multiple times throughout the class someone would do something and we would all break down laughing. I am definitely going to miss this friendly environment with these amazing people.”

Moran was also the first person to receive a dog from the club Pups for People, which fundraises to gift service dogs. His name is Cooper and Moran said that he has been very beneficial to her in more ways than she could have imagined.

“Cooper is my service dog but he has been more like a therapy dog to me,” Moran said. “He has helped me so much whenever I was feeling down or whenever I was really scared about something, Cooper really helped me with my anxiety and has helped me try to get over it.”

Moran will be attending Wright State University, majoring in social work. Moran chose Wright State because of how accepting they were with people with disabilities. It was the main reason, according to Moran, that she chose to attend the university.

“I have never seen a more accepting campus,” Moran said. “It makes me happy that these people acknowledge that people have disabilities and they will go the extra mile to help me.”

Moran is looking forward to attending Wright State and beginning her life in college. However, she is going to miss quite a few things about Oakwood.

“I am definitely going to miss the teachers the most,” Moran said. “I am very grateful for every teacher that helped me along the way through high school.”

Moran had some teachers that were great influences on her and were major benefits to her throughout her high school career.

“My intervention specialists really helped me out,” Moran said. “Specifically Mrs. Leedy and Mrs. Bull. They were mother figures to me, I really considered them to be my school moms because they meant so much to me.”

The teachers have really helped Moran through her career and she believes that they have made such a big impact.

“The teachers have had such a great impact on me and they really helped me through my anxiety issues and the fact that I had so many teachers who cared about me meant so much to me,” Moran said. “They were all so caring. The teachers are here for us, they understand that we are teenagers and they understand that we struggle. They want to push us and to do our best and they really want us to succeed.”