How did you decide to attend MFS?
I’m Quaker, and my sister also went to Moorestown Friends. I looked around at other high schools, but in the end I felt that Moorestown Friends was the right fit for me. I wanted to stay at a Quaker school because of the values that I learned about at Westfield Friends. I wanted to be able to carry that with me through high school.
The students were all very friendly when I visited. I loved the teachers. Everyone had so much fun, it looked like they were learning so much in class. You could really get the sense of community from the second you walked in the door.
What was your transition like?
It’s an easy transition coming from a different middle school, because there are so many new students freshman year that you don’t feel like you’re the only one. It’s easy to make friends because of sports and clubs and different classes that you share. I was very nervous when I first came here, because I knew that some kids had gone here since preschool. I thought people would want to stick with their old friends and wouldn’t want to make new friends, but I was shocked at how easy it was to make friends and how open and accepting everyone was.
What do you think is unique about the school?
The interactions between faculty and students and the amount of respect between them. You can go to any teacher, no matter what subject they teach, and ask for help about anything going on in your life. I hurt my wrist in field hockey and had to go out for a lot of doctor appointments, and my teachers were very understanding about making up tests and making up work. The teachers definitely go out of their way to help you with extra projects outside of school. They really make it a comfortable environment to learn in.
What is one of your favorite memories so far?
One of the more memorable experiences was becoming so close with my freshman year advisor. When I first came here, I thought that advisors wouldn’t be that important or that I wouldn’t get that much out of the period. But I became really close with Ms. Robinson, and she’s helped me with everything: which classes to take, which capstone project to do, sports, what’s going on outside of school… we’ve still kept that connection, and she’s always there to support me. That’s something I’ll always remember about Moorestown Friends: that I had that teacher there to guide me even when she didn’t have to.
Have you ever received advice from a teacher that really stuck with you?
Ms. Robinson once told me, “Do the best job you can, and don’t get too stressed out, because it will always work out in the end.” It definitely has helped me, because with all the classes and extracurriculars, sometimes I get pretty stressed out. But if I just take a deep breath and step back, I’m able to calm down and remember that everything’s going to work out at the end of the day.
What is one of your favorite activities outside of class?
I’m vice president of Environmental Club. We did a canoe trip this year where we filled three boats with people and did a four-mile brigada. That was a lot of fun. Now we’re working on building a community garden. We have some sketches and plans for what the garden is going to look like, and now we’re taking it to the school to see if we can get that approved. We’re also sponsoring a hiking trip in the spring. Every year, we do the Envirothon, which is an all-day competition with a lot of schools from New Jersey. We spend the second half of the year studying for that.
How do your extracurricular activities contribute to your academics?
Environmental Club has helped me with my science classes and learning to think with a scientific mindset. Also, I am considering doing a capstone project with an environmental focus.
I participate in Model UN, and when I was younger that was something that I would have never imagined myself doing. I’m a little more laidback and shy, but Model UN has a lot of public speaking involved in it, and standing up in front of large groups of people makes you learn how to be more outgoing, to work with people, and to be able to make persuasive speeches. The advisors and students are both really great, and they’ve been able to make me feel comfortable at big conferences.
You’re on the field hockey team too, aren’t you?
Yes. My experience with the field hockey team has been amazing. The coaches are so supportive and helpful, and the team has been great to be a part of. All the girls get along. I know it’s cliché, but it really is like a family. When I started as a freshman here, it was really helpful to get to know people in the two weeks before school during preseason training. I saw familiar faces in the halls.
Throughout the year, we all help each other out, and it’s so much fun to be a part of the team. We have this one thing we do called Secret Sister, where we are each assigned a teammate, and before every Friends League game we get each other a small present and put it in our coach’s office and throughout the day you can go pick it up — motivational quotes and things like that to help you through the day. The team also goes to camp together during the summer, if you want to, and that’s a great way for the team to bond. We go to Elizabethtown College’s premiere field hockey camp.
So you spend time together outside of practices?
The field hockey friendships definitely go beyond field hockey. One of my best friends now is a senior, and we probably wouldn’t have become friends if it weren’t for field hockey. We hang out outside of school: go uptown, have pasta parties with the team to get ready for big games.
How do you feel about your coach?
I’ve had a great experience with Coach Dayton. She has been so supportive and helpful with everything from field hockey to academics. She understands that there’s more going on in your life besides field hockey, and so she tries to take some stress off. She always tells us that when we’re on the field we don’t have to worry about anything else. She makes it so that it’s a way to destress from our classes. I got injured recently, and she was great about the whole thing and she wasn’t pushing me to get back. She wanted to make sure that I was all right before I played again.
In addition to field hockey and Environmental Club, what other interests do you have at MFS?
I’m Class Secretary, and I do Science Olympiad. For Science Olympiad, there’s a regional competition and a state competition. One event that I’ve done in the past pertains to water quality. There was a lab aspect where you determined the salinity of the solution and identified different water creatures.
I also do the teacher’s aide program. During study halls or free periods, you can help a Lower School teacher with his or her class. I helped during circle time, doing art projects, helping them line up and get their coats on. Now I’m working in music class and I help them with singing songs, passing out instruments. I’ve done it with preschool since I was a freshman. It’s really neat because I’ve been able to see the students grow up.
How does Quakerism at MFS impact your daily life?
I am the co-clerk of Worship Planning Committee with my friend Crystal. Since I’ve grown up Quaker and my family is Quaker, I really wanted to be able to help out with this club. Worship Planning Committee helps to create queries for Upper School Meeting for Worship, and we try to enrich Meeting and give people a good experience in Meeting. Right now we are planning a Worship Sharing, where someone reads the question (a student or advisor), and you sit there and think about it, and then when you feel moved to speak you talk about an experience you’ve had pertaining to the questions. If you don’t want to go, you can say “pass” so that we know when to end the silence and ask the next question. It’s like Meeting for Worship, but the questions help guide you, and sometimes it helps the school to learn more about the students’ opinions. That’s something we generally do a few times a year.
Do you feel that social responsibility is an important part of the Quaker component as well?
Moorestown Friends definitely teaches values and gives a good ethical education. Sophomore year, you take Ethics all year long and the school offers a wide variety of different religion and ethics classes that you can take as electives. Every day, teachers show by example and teach you different ethical values.
How would you describe the community here?
We have a very tight-knit community at MFS. All the students and teachers help each other and are always there for each other. It’s definitely a very open community and a nurturing one.
Why did you decide to become an Admissions Ambassador?
Since I’d been a new student freshman year, I remembered the Ambassadors giving me a tour. That was one of the main reasons I applied here, because of my tour guide who gave me a great image of what the school was like that turned out to be true. I wanted to help prospective students and parents the way she helped me out.
What would you say your main academic interests are?
I love the history classes here. Right now I’m taking AP U.S. History, and it’s a really fun course. It’s challenging, but it’s definitely worth it. We’re learning from a book that teaches to the AP curriculum. The class prepares us for that test, but because we took American History last year, we can learn more than we would if we were just studying to the test. Our teacher takes us in-depth and lets us work on fun projects. If we answer enough questions correctly during class trivia, our team can earn a pie.
Does the history curriculum translate to your outside interests at all?
I do History Bowl. History Bowl is an all-day competition with a small team of up to four people. It’s like Jeopardy! with a lot of historical questions. Last year, the varsity team went to state and then nationals in Washington, D.C.
What are your plans for the future?
In the near future, I’ll be going on college roadtrips to look around and see what’s out there. Over the summer, I want to do a trail maintenance program for the Student Conservation Association. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and want to be able to volunteer for that.
After college, I want to open a bilingual preschool, because I love working with kids and I think the French language is fascinating. I also would like to become a doctor