What was it like coming to MFS for Middle School?
Middle School was really fun. It was a big change from my public elementary school. The teachers were really nice, and the learning environment was a lot different from the one in my previous school — there was more of a connection with the teachers.
What kind of a connection did you have with the faculty?
I was close with Ms. Corsey and Ms. Casne. If you needed to talk to your teachers about anything, they were really open to that. Ms. Corsey’s biology class was the first time I got into science. I liked how she taught, and it increased my interest in the subject. I’m still interested in science now. The classes I took in Middle School definitely set the path for the science classes I wanted to take in Upper School.
Do you still experience that connection in Upper School?
Yes. High school has been awesome. You have a lot more freedom and get to control the classes you want to take. The teachers are even more open. You can go talk to them in their classrooms during lunch, about anything.
Is there anything you do at MFS that you might not have participated in at another school?
Last year, I did the play, and I would have never ever done that anywhere else. Someone told me that I should do it, and I said no… but then it kind of grew on me, and I tried out and I was cast in it. Now I can’t imagine not doing it for the rest of high school. It was such a good experience.
At public schools, you have to try out for productions and you might not be able to participate. Here, you get to be in the play even if you don’t get a big part, and you still get the experience of it. Last year, I was in Twilight: Los Angeles, which was on civil rights and Rodney King and how those events affected the situation of race and social class in America. I played a character whose brother was murdered during the riots, and he was really angry about how African Americans were treated and how they didn’t have the same rights as the rest of society. It was a pretty intense role.
Do conversations about human rights and equality pop up in your other activities and courses?
I feel like we focus on those aspects of the world here. We try to bring it into a positive light and make everyone feel more comfortable and more accepted. We’re not judging people, we’re accepting people and accepting what those things mean. In educating people, we want them to learn about race and social status in a way that’s not judgmental or criticizing. I do feel like those discussions are a big part of MFS, and they’re prevalent in places that you wouldn’t really think. Discussions about those topics tie together with your educational experience.
What are you most interested in academically?
I really like science. This year, I’ve also been interested in English, and I love to read books in my free time. I like to do creative writing. I really do love literature, especially action and adventure. I like books that have an impact on society and change society in some way — dystopian novels like The Hunger Games and 1984.
What kinds of extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I’m involved in tennis, swimming, and student government. During my freshman year, I decided to run for class president, and I won. My class re-elected me for sophomore year and then for junior year. Student government runs events, and we raise class funds from bake sales. Our class is in charge of running Prom this year, so that’s the big event right now. We host Spirit Week in the fall.
What was this year’s Spirit Week like?
We won Spirit Week as juniors, so that was pretty awesome. A lot of planning went into it, and we started the first week of school: choreographing dances, planning what would go in our hallway, making sure we were all on the same page and that we became a well-oiled machine. We became a family during that process. Every Spirit Week, our class gets stronger and stronger.
Can you explain how the hallway competition works during Spirit Week?
Basically, we sent out a survey to see which theme people in our class wanted to do. We chose five good ideas from that and then voted. The winner became the hallway idea. We (the officers) chose five artistic people from our grade to design our hallway and get everyone ready to paint.
We liked the idea of having a carnival theme because we wanted to appeal to the little kids. We got balloons and stuffed animals and tried to make it kid-friendly so that the Lower Schoolers would feel like they were in a carnival. We were not expecting to win, but we were devoted to the idea of winning Spirit Week after we won the first event.
So it’s a team effort?
Yes. I like being there for the class. When everyone is working towards the same goal and has the same idea in mind, you can get things done quicker and better and get things done collectively as a group. That’s basically the goal of student government, to work together and orchestrate your grade and build the community.
Do you feel that in your other extracurricular activities as well?
With tennis, and sports in general, you need to come together to win. Even though people think of tennis as a sport for individuals, it’s really a team sport, and it’s about the team’s goal. A couple years ago, we had a tennis tournament for JV where only JV went. It’s an all-day event, so you play and then you come off and just sit with your team, chatting and bonding, talking about your past experiences. As a freshman, those types of events help you get to know the people around you and make you more comfortable in high school.
Is there a teacher who has encouraged you in your interests?
My English teacher, Mr. Hammer, is awesome. All of the teachers are great. There’s Ms. Kelly and Mr. Newman, Mr. Thomson. You can talk to them and see that they have a passion for what they’re teaching, and they want to make sure you know the subject and broaden your mind. On D Days, Mr. Hammer advises Lit Club.
What is Lit Club like?
We read 50 pages every six days, and then we come in and talk about what happened and the characters, the major themes that have come up. They’re books that we’ve all voted on and elected that we want to read outside of the curriculum. Fun books. Right now we’re reading A Clockwork Orange. We talk about and compare the differences from our society to that society. We talk about the relationship between how kids kind of run the world in that society and how kids really influence the media in our society.
Then we chill there and talk about anything with Mr. Hammer: movies, things like that. He gives us good advice. He used to go here, so we learn from his experiences and hear about how his experience was. A while ago, he told us that our experience during this four years will be some of the best years of our lives and we shouldn’t pass them by. He tells us to take advantage of everything we have and not take it for granted. Don’t let it float by without a passing glance. Enjoy high school.
What are your goals for the future?
I like the Cum Laude list out in the hallway. I’d really like to be on that, hopefully by senior year. I haven’t decided on which college I want to go to yet, but I know I’m going. One of my biggest heroes is Ben Carson, who was a neurosurgeon and one of the first people to do surgery on conjoined twins. So in the long term, I could see myself maybe going into medicine.
I feel like MFS wants to set a good foundation of community and cooperation and also prepare you for the world outside of these walls. They want to get you ready for life and the things that you’re going to have to go through. They want you to be ready for them and not be taken by surprise.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. I want to thank my mom and dad for sending me here. I like Moorestown Friends and I’m so glad they gave me this experience.