A heart full of love: her dreams follow her mother’s footsteps

One student’s goals have taken her from an arena to the classroom


Photo by Christine Benton on Unsplash

Kailey Landis, Contributor

One Gettysburg native plans to follow her dreams and her mother’s footsteps after graduation in a few short months.

Second-year Harrisburg Area Community College communications major Gabby Mccalla spent her summers as a camp director at Land of Little Horses in Gettysburg. She oversaw important tasks like staff training, maintaining records and interacting with parents, campers, staff, and administration.

“My favorite thing about my job is making the children smile, you never know what is happening in their homes, so I try to make their days a little brighter,” she said.

Alana Guise, a co-worker at the camp, was able to vouch for her kindness.

“Gabby lights up any room she walks into,” she said. “She can make you laugh no matter what situation you are going through. She is smart, kindhearted, brave, and beautiful inside and out.”

When asked for an example of her kindness, Mccalla’s love for animals came to Guise’s mind.

“Gabby owns two horses of her own and rides them frequently on her free time, she is always talking about her competition days,” Gusie said.

Mccalla spent her younger years by competing in horse shows, also known as an equestrian show. She would spend the mornings prepping the horse, and in the afternoon, she would take her horse through a series of small obstacles.

“I did many shows when I was younger but as I got older, I became occupied with other activities,” she said.

McCalla may have grown out of her equestrian shows, but her love for animals only grew stronger. Beside her horses, she also owns a black lab, Spike, that she shares with her boyfriend, Jared Synder. She says they often take their dog to the local park for walks, and they make sure to spend plenty of time with the puppy.

Born and raised in Gettysburg, McCalla graduated in 2018 from Gettysburg High School. She plans on graduating from HACC as a dual major in communications with a focus in public relations and elementary education. She says her mother inspired her to become a teacher. Her plan after graduation is to teach at the same school as her mother and her alma matter, in the Gettysburg School district.