Expressing herself on stage and through sign language are two things Maxanne Holman does best.

Holman, 17, has been in school musicals since her freshman year. This year, the senior landed the role of "hip-hopper" Martha Cox in the school's production of Disney's "High School Musical."

"It's an amazing experience to take something on paper and turn it into a show people pay to see," she said.

Another huge part of her life has been her involvement in the dance club, which she began freshman year.

"But when I was a sophomore, our leader graduated," said Holman, who has led the club and kept it going ever since.

Holman has taught dance to other students and led classes at the middle schools. She's enjoyed seeing the confidence of other dancers "shoot up," she said.

She has also used her ability to perform to stop bullying throughout the Andover school system.

As part of Andover High's Cheerleaders program, which is associated with the Anti Defamation League, Holman has visited underclassmen's health classes to help stamp out bullying and bigotry.

"It's a hands-on, student-taught workshop," she said.

The daughter of Heather Holman of Andover and Charles Holman of Burlington, she also has visited Bancroft Elementary School monthly as part of the Stop Teasing Others Program | that school's anti-bullying program.

"We do skits there, talking to the kids about being nice to each other," Holman said.

Right now, Holman is taking classes in sign language interpretation at Northern Essex Community College. While foreign language is a requirement at Andover High, Holman opted to continue studying the language at the college level.

"I just fell in love with it," she said.

Holman, who has two older brothers, Robert and Jeffrey, plans to attend Salem State College next year, where she'll major in education.

She hopes to combine her loves of language, teaching and drama by becoming a school musical theater coordinator.

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