Senior Spotlights

Paul Kotz and Maggie McDonald

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Paul Kotz
He is a lifeguard.

 

As a student that attends Bernard’s High school, how have you contributed?
PK: I feel I have contributed by establishing the Art Club and making it a safe place for artists to Express themselves, and by making underclassmen feel more comfortable with their changing perspectives and schooling.

 

What are a couple of fun facts that makes you stand out from the rest of the seniors?

PK: That I don’t really fall into a clique but I’m friends with everyone, I’m a jack of all trades, and I have three cats.

 

What is one positive experience in your four-years at BHS? Why?
PK: The lunch staff, sometimes when I’m feeling blue they know just how to make my day. Sometimes they’ll just say that they like my shirt or, “hey beautiful!” And it is a wonderful experience.

 

When did you start your job as a lifeguard?
PK: I started when I was 15, but my family had been teaching lifeguarding (and using me as a live victim) since I was eight.

 

What encouraged you to begin your journey to lifeguarding?
PK: Definitely my parents but mainly the act of having my own job and being independent made me feel incredibly grown up and proud of myself.

 

As a lifeguard, how do you normally help children become successful swimmers?
PK: As a lifeguard, not really. I just make sure they swim safely. But, I also teach swimming lessons to little kids and I am very proud when I can see a little squirt who could barely float do a dive by the end of the summer.

 

How has being a lifeguard changed your life?
PK: It puts how precious life truly is and how easily it can be swept away. I’ve seen unfortunate things, but I have also seen people come back to life and live their own lives. It’s amazing and bittersweet but it makes me appreciate everyone’s soul.

 

What are your biggest aspirations in life?
PK: I want to be a nurse that changes the lives of many kids just like nurses did to me when I was younger. I also want to be remembered for something good in someone’s life.

 

Do you plan to apply your knowledge in lifeguarding into future projects? Why?
PK: Oh definitely! Lifeguarding had a bunch of benefits to help in modern life but also my future projects. If I have kids and want to make sure they’re safe I have the ability, and they would be my ultimate project.

 

Do you believe in overcoming the impossible? Why or why not?
PK: No, there are some things that you cannot do and you might hurt yourself trying to do them. Instead of always reaching for the impossible I always reach for what makes me comfortable and content.

 

In the future, pursuing your career, what will be one of your main goals to make a positive difference in this world?
PK: I want to make sure I impact at least one kid’s life per day of my career, I want to be important to their development and make sure they’re healthy and well.

 

Maggie McDonald

She participates in BHS’s musicals.

 

As a student that attends Bernard’s High school, how have you contributed?
MM: I have been a part of numerous clubs and organizations and I have gotten very involved in student council, peer leaders, the improvement of the theater and the special education programs.

 

What are a couple of fun facts that makes you stand out from the rest of the seniors?
MM: I’m the only girl of four boys in my family.

 

What is one positive experience in your four-years at BHS? Why?
MM: Many of the clubs that I’ve been involved in have been extremely positive but definitely pure leaders have been an amazing experience and this past year I was on the board which was an extremely amazing experience.

 

On your first day of freshman year, what was your first impression?
MM: Not going to lie I was extremely overwhelmed because I was the first person in my family to attend BHS and I was completely lost on my first day and definitely had to ask multiple people where to go. But now I feel like an expert.

 

Why do you love to be involved in plays?
MM: The plays are an amazing way to get creative and the atmosphere is always extremely positive.

 

What are some tips that you can provide for people who are interested in acting?
MM: Just do it. It may seem overwhelming but anyone can act and it is such an amazing experience and it has skills that you will use for the rest of your life.

 

How has theater arts changed your perspective on life?
MM: It has definitely made me a more outgoing and confident person. Because I have had to become different people on stage and I take that energy and use it in my daily life. It also gave me the perspective to understand other people and what others are going through and gives me compassion that I think I take to the other activities that I do.

 

What is your favorite theatrical play that you have been a part of? Why?
MM: I don’t know if I have a favorite but it would definitely be a toss-up between Music Man and The Drowsy Chaperone. Because those were both extremely fun and upbeat musicals that were just fun to be a part of and I had an extremely fun role in both of them.

 

Who inspired you to begin this as a hobby?
MM: Well, no one in my immediate family acts but I love movies and was always inspired by all the actresses that I saw in each movie. I think after seeing the Wizard of Oz the first time and seeing Judy Garland sing and act I knew that I wanted to do that.

 

Do you plan to become an actress in the future? Why?
MM: I am not going to college for theater but I definitely plan on continuing it in some way because it is something I love and I can’t imagine my life without it. Theater gives me an outlet for my creativity and a way to express myself other than my daily conversations.

 

What are your biggest aspirations in life?
MM: Some of my aspirations though very different are to possibly work in DC for a non- profit media company or in L.A or New York of a film company and produce movies.

 

Throughout your four years of high school, what is one lesson that you have learned?
MM: This may sound cliche but don’t care what others think. There’s no way I could get up on stage and look as stupid as I do half the time if I cared what others thought and it’s hard to do but you have to ignore what others are thinking because it doesn’t matter and if you are confident in what you’re doing and you’re happy then that’s all that matters and keep doing it because what others think about you and what others are saying is so unimportant and if it makes you happy continue doing it.

 

In the future, pursuing your career, what will be one of your main goals to make a positive difference in this world?
MM: My contribution to hopefully making a positive difference in the world is doing every little bit that I can because every little bit counts and hopefully I can make a big impact but even if it’s just in a small community a small impact goes a long way. Even if it’s just smiling at a stranger I hope to make one person smile each day.