Cover Girl

connecticutmag102308

by Grace Shay ’10

When this magazine cover girl walks down a certain catwalk, there isn’t an entourage of bodyguards, stylists, and assistants trailing her; there isn’t a clothed accessory dog tucked in her arms; there isn’t the flash of a lurking paparazzi camera hidden nearby.

Instead, Julia Backon ’09 strolls down her catwalk-that is, the school hallway-chatting easily with a friend.

Petite, polite, and bubbly, Backon seems like the perfect model of high-achieving students, particularly since Connecticut Magazine named Staples the “top Connecticut public high school” in its November issue, which compared 35 public high schools in an attempt to rank the school with the most “motivated, college-bound students, involved parents, [and] committed faculty and staff,” according the magazine’s article.

Backon, who wears her blue-and-white cheerleading uniform, a pair of matching pompoms, and a ready smile on the cover, said that she didn’t know that she “was on the cover until [the magazine] came out.” Backon, along with the five other senior cheerleading captains, was photographed by the magazine in October.

“[The magazine] came to school and shot the five of us individually and they did our makeup and hair,” said Backon, who is Varsity captain for a second year. “They said they’d let us know who was going to be on the cover but they never did,” she added with a laugh.

Since the issue has hit newsstands, Backon, who has been a Varsity cheerleader since her freshman year, said that she has noticed that more people do double takes when they see her.

“When I walked into CVS,” said Backon, “random people would be like, ‘Oh, you’re the girl on the magazine cover.’ It was a little weird but I was very flattered-it was cool,” and at school, too, teachers and students “would congratulate me on it.”

Backon said that modeling for the magazine “was a very eye-opening experience.” Still, despite all the interest from others, Backon said, “I don’t think I want to model [in the future]! I never realized how hard modeling would be-they [the photographers] would be like, ‘1, 2, 3,’ smile.”

With another laugh, Backon said that she has “like 50 copies” of the magazine at home.

“My mom bought out CVS,” she said. “And my grandpa’s an artist, so he framed one [copy] for me.”

Backon is also proud of Staples for becoming the #1 school in Connecticut.

“All of us work so hard, and to be recognized as the top school in the state is a nice recognition,” she said.