Transfer to St. Mark’s High was a transforming experience


Staff reporter

 WILMINGTON — When Danielle Trofa transferred to St. Mark’s High School two years ago, she brought with her a love of running that she has put into practice on the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams.

Trofa ran track as a freshman and sophomore at Chichester (Pa.) High School, and when she and her twin sister, Erica, arrived at St. Mark’s for the second semester of their sophomore year, they kept up with the running. Danielle Trofa did not run cross country at Chichester but decided to give it a try once she became a Spartan.

“I think I just did it because (Erica) liked it, and I thought it was worth a try and I wasn’t doing any other sport during the fall,” Trofa said.

Trofa has come to enjoy cross country the most. “I like running cross country the best, definitely. Around the track is fun, but it’s more fun to be out on a trail running.

“I love running. It’s just a way you can kind of get away from everything, clear your mind. It’s just fun.”

Trofa’s involvement at St. Mark’s is not limited to running. She played soccer her sophomore year, and she is a member of the Blue-Gold Club. After transferring, she and her sister were looking for activities to join, and Blue-Gold “looked really inviting. In the spring we went and saw the fashion show, and that was really fun.”

Trofa said she is thinking of trying out for the fashion show this year. The annual event raises money for DFRC and is one of the most anticipated events at the school.

Another interest is singing. Trofa began singing in elementary school and began taking voice lessons at the end of her freshman year. A soprano, she is a member of the chorus, which is open to all students, and the concert choir, which requires an audition. The concert choir sang at Longwood Gardens at Christmas in her junior year, and this year they performed at Old Bohemia, Hagley Museum, St. Francis Hospital, the Helen Graham Cancer Center and other locations over the holidays.

She also sings at Masses at St. Mark’s even though she’s Episcopalian, her mother’s faith. Trofa said she never attended a Catholic school before St. Mark’s and was a bit nervous about what the experience would be like. She had attended Episcopalian services, but not Mass, and she had never prayed before a class.

“It was definitely different, but it was easy to get used to,” she said. “They don’t pressure you to be Catholic or anything like that. I mean, they would love for you to be Catholic, but they don’t pressure you into taking on their religion.”

The twins had not even heard of St. Mark’s until their mother, Gail, told them about it. Gail Trofa works for the Dupont Co., and some of her co-workers had children who attended the school. The girls were looking to transfer to a school with more of a college-prep atmosphere. They did some research and made the switch.

“I wouldn’t change being here. I made the right move,” Danielle Trofa said.

Outside of school, Trofa enjoys horseback riding. She has a horse stabled in Rising Sun, Md., and has been riding for several years.

“We (Danielle and Erica) both did horseback riding for a little while, but I fell off one time and broke my arm, and I think that scared her more than it scared me. So she stopped that. She figure skates,” Trofa said.

In addition to her horse, Trofa has a dog at home, and at one point had another dog and a cat. Her love of animals led her to consider a career in veterinary medicine, but now she’s not sure if that’s what she wants to do. She may concentrate on music.

Trofa has not yet decided on a college, but all of the ones she applied to share two characteristics: they are small and not more than a few hours from home.

Wherever she ends up, Trofa’s hoping for a fit as good as the one between her and St. Mark’s.