Amy Hinesley wants to leave Monomoy Regional High School in better shape than she found it.
The senior from Chatham has made a concentrated effort to make a positive impact on her school and she’s fully immersed herself in the high school experience — excelling not only in academics, but musical theater, band and athletics, too.
And then there’s the laundry list of extracurricular activities Hinesley has been involved in. She’s the president of Monomoy’s National Honor Society, student council, Interact Club and Best Buddies. She’s the captain of the school’s mock trial team and the girls’ field hockey squad. Hinesley also serves as the student representative to the school committee.
At the Jan. 28 school committee meeting Hinesley was surprised by Monomoy superintendent Dr. Scott Carpenter, who presented her with the 2021 Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Award for Academic Excellence, an award the superintendent annually gives to a senior who has distinguished themselves through a pursuit of excellence during their high school career.
“It was definitely a surprise,” said Hinesley, who’s set to enroll at Cornell University in the fall. “It means a lot to know that I’ve have had an impact on my school.” Hinesley is working toward earning Monomoy’s global studies diploma with distinction in the spring. The global studies program offers MRHS students an opportunity to go beyond the standard curriculum, and it’s designed to challenge students’ scope of education while preparing them to be active citizens of the world.
Upon completion of the program, students receive a global studies diploma at graduation in addition to the standard MRHS diploma.
As a part of the program, Hinesley participated in a service trip to Tanzania during her sophomore year. The February 2019 trip was full of memorable moments, including a visit to the SEGA Girls’ Secondary School in Morogoro. Hinesley and her classmates also visited a local orphanage and an organic farm, in addition to spending some downtime hiking the Uluguru Mountains.
Now Hinesley is working on her capstone project, the final component of the global studies program.
“If you’re a part of the global studies program, you have to work on a capstone project which is a research paper you do during one of the semesters your senior year,” she said. “It’s based on your concentration. I’m a science concentration, so mine is based on scientific research.”
Hinesley’s capstone project blends two of her favorite passions — science and government.
“I’m working on connecting scientific research, specifically plastic waste and climate research, to government and how that research leads to policy change,” said Hinesley, who plans to study biology and government at Cornell.
In addition to her activities associated with Monomoy, Hinesley has also made an impact in the community. In fact, she volunteered for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy the past two summers.
“Two years ago, I ran the virtual reality where people could come in and experience a 3D virtual reality experience,” she said. “This year, I worked the front desk and helped check people in and talked about shark research.”
It’s difficult for Hinesley to pick just one extracurricular as a favorite. Instead, she points to the global studies program, student council and Best Buddies as a few of her favorites. She’s much more decisive when asked about what she’ll miss most about being a part of the Monomoy community.
“Definitely the people,” she said. “My teachers have had a huge impact on my life. They’ve reminded me that there’s more out there and the knowledge I’ve gained will be useful past high school.”
As far as mentors, the senior views Monomoy’s first-year principal, Jennifer Police, as a trusted confidant.
“I definitely couldn’t have done anything without Ms. Police,” Hinesley said. “She’s been a constant support system for me since she was a guidance counselor, then as the vice principal last year and the principal this year. She is always there for me and I owe a lot to her.”
Although Hinesley acknowledged COVID-19 has affected her experience at school, the Chatham resident is determined to make the most of her remaining time at MRHS.
However, don’t expect Hinesley’s outlook to change after receiving the Superintendents Award for Academic Excellence. She said she’ll continue to try to have a positive impact on Monomoy, just like she always has.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org