Always active

Bunnell valedictorian kept busy all the way through

Hannah McLaughlin always wanted to keep busy during her years at Bunnell High School.

From running track to playing on the girls’ basketball team to helping younger students fulfill their wishes, McLaughlin recalls a full and active time at her school.

BHS valedictorian Hannah McLaughlin

“One of the things I was most grateful for [was] getting involved. I’ve been so involved in clubs and sports,” McLaughlin said. “That’s the most important thing, to be involved in your environment and community.”

Now, as her Bunnell days near an end, she’s slowing it down and looking forward to an even more full future.

McLaughlin, 18, will join the rest of the Class of 2018 in graduation on Thursday evening at Bunnell’s football field. She will deliver the main address as the class valedictorian.

McLaughlin says her final semester at Bunnell has been a little easier than the rest of the time there. She’s known her future academic home for nearly six months. Come this fall, she will attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

“I’ve been on Cloud Nine ever since,” McLaughlin said of her early admission to the Ivy League institution. “I wanted to go to the best school I could. There are a lot of top-tier schools out there. Harvard is perfect in so many ways.”

Going to Harvard means McLaughlin will be relatively close to  home. Plus she has not decided what her future will hold in terms of study.

“It’s not academically binding,” she said. “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

Not having the stress of waiting for an acceptance letter made the finals months of high school much easier for McLaughlin.

“That relieved a lot of weight in the second semester. It allowed me to focus on things I really care about,” she said, including her sports and other groups.

It’s also allowed her time to reflect on her high school years and how much fun she and her classmates had.

She’s also seen how much more comfortable she is as a senior preparing to move on to the next step.

“Before, it was all kind of new and different,” she said. “Now we’ve cemented our place in the school.”

The biggest change she’s seen is how her classmates have grown in confidence and poise.

“I think how we carry ourselves in the hallways and how we interact with each other and the staff at Bunnell. We’re definitely being our true selves,” she said.

McLaughlin looks at the Class of 2018 as a group that will leave BHS in a better place than when they arrived as freshmen four years prior.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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