Activities & Positions: What activities and sports are you involved in? How many years have you participated? Do you hold any leadership positions?
I have been playing for Shipley Soccer since 6th grade, and I am currently the captain of the Varsity team. I have been a member of the Science Olympiad team since I was a freshman. I run the hands-on/building side of the competition. I have been on the Debate team since I was a freshman. I've been a part of Help for the Homeless when it was started last year. I write for the science journal, which was started last year. Outside of Shipley, I run a cleat drive that collects and donates cleats to the Kennsington soccer club in Philly and I am on the Youth Advisory Board, along with a bunch of other Shipley students.
Favorite Club: What’s your favorite club and why? What do you do in the club?
My favorite is debate club, mostly because of the people in it. Mr. Simpson is a great club leader and we always have highly entertaining "debates" against each other when the club meets. Aside from just club meetings, teams actually go and compete against other schools with a prompt announced a week or two beforehand. You don't have to compete if you don't want to, as it is completely voluntary.
Favorite Class: What’s your favorite class at Shipley? What do you like about the subject and the teacher? Did you always enjoy this subject, or did it take you by surprise?
My two favorite classes were Dr. Gillin’s US History Honors and Ms. Willing’s Bio Honors. US History is a required class so everyone will end up taking it, but Dr. Gillin really brings the class to another level. We covered so many interesting topics, and she did a great job of promoting conversation and healthy arguments in the classroom. I don't really have any strong feelings about History as a topic, but I enjoyed every day of that class. Bio, on the other hand, I had been looking forward to since freshman year because I'm a big science guy, and the class more than exceeded my high expectations. It is one of the most challenging courses offered, but it is 100% worth the effort. Ms. Willing is a fantastic teacher, and she is always there to help out and answer questions after class. One of the things about that class that makes it so special is the EQs, which are essentially monthly packets that take anywhere from 10-20 hours to complete. They force you to manage your time because if you do them little by little, they are completely manageable, but if you leave it to the last minute you literally will not be able to finish in time.
Favorite Shipley Memory: What do you think of when you think of Shipley? What’s one of the best things you’ve experienced here?
When I think of Shipley, I think of the teachers and the soccer team. In my opinion, the teachers are by far the best part about Shipley because they clearly care so much about their students and their success. Every teacher I've had in high school has been super supportive, and they are always willing to help out. I also think of the soccer team, probably because of how much time I spend with my teammates. I have so many great memories of games, team trips, and fun times during practice that it's overwhelming to think about. I can't really think about a single "best thing" that I've experienced here because there are just too many great things.
Most Valuable Lesson Learned: What have you learned during your time here?
The most important thing Shipley has taught me is to advocate for yourself. I can't speak from experience, but I'm sure that sticking up for yourself is a vital skill to have in the post-college world, and I'm glad that Shipley made it possible for me to learn it.
Advice to New Students: What advice would you give yourself back when you started at Shipley? What tips would you pass on to new students? Are there any activities/traditions they should be sure to take part in?The first piece of advice would be to join a sports team, especially if you are new to Shipley. Joining a team is a great way to make new friends and keep fit. Most sports have a JV team as well as a varsity, so if you are new to the sport you shouldn't feel in over your head. My second piece of advice would be to challenge yourself. Take honors classes. I've talked to a bunch of sophomores and freshmen who felt that honors classes would be too hard, or that they wouldn't be able to pass, so they decided to not take any at all. The teachers are there to help you, so if you qualify to take a more challenging class I would 100% recommend that you do. You may even be surprised to find that you really like a subject you didn't expect to. Also, kind of similar to the first two, I would highly recommend joining a club. Some of my younger friends said that they didn't want to do clubs because they didn't think that they would have the time but in my experience there is more than enough time to get work done. Additionally, I would recommend joining a club that is outside of your comfort zone. You should be challenging yourself. I cautiously joined the debate club because I didn't feel confident in my public speaking skills and now, 2 years later, my team placed first in our regional competition. My point overall is that the more you challenge yourself and the further you step outside of your comfort zone the more you will learn and the more fun you will have.