Senior Spotlight: Cassie Marando
Time to Follow Her Passions
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Cassie Marando is president of her class, president of the National Honor Society, captain of the math team, co-manager of the drama stage crew, and so much more. Marando’s extensive involvement in school and community activities has benefited AHS during her four years. She has set a great precedent for what it means to be a well-rounded student and role model, and to prepare oneself for life beyond high school. She is in the senior spotlight for the Winter/Spring 2017 Green Wave Gazette.
What are you planning on studying in college and where did this interest come from?
Political science – I became interested in it through APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) last year, where we studied political trends. I guess the previous election influenced me too, and I did an internship with State Representative Josh Cutler (Democrat – Sixth Plymouth District) which really showed me the insides of political campaigns and that’s where I fell in love with the idea of political strategy. I take AP US Government on Virtual High School as well, and that allows me to learn more about it.
Note – Cassie recently heard that she has been accepted for admission to several Ivy League schools.
Who is one teacher that has really made an impact on you in high school?
There are a lot of teachers. I would have to say that Ms. Lewis really started my love for history, but it was Mr. Scott who really got me involved in current events and politics. And without Ms. Pflaumer, I never would have gotten the internship. So, I have a lot of teachers who have helped me along the way.
You have a major leadership role in all the extracurricular activities you participate in (NHS, stage crew and math team). Is it hard to manage your time while maintaining excellent grades?
It can be difficult. Last week (March 15 interview) was particularly hard, with tech week (for drama) and an NHS meeting. But, I make time for things I enjoy because I love them, whether it’s class officer meetings, or math meets, or tutoring with the ACE (Academic Center for Enrichment) program, I love being involved and I love to help and guide people. I guess it’s this love of my extracurriculars that inspires me to do them; it wasn’t for college applications. As for the grades, although I do procrastinate a lot, not doing sports definitely allows me more time to work on homework, and I try to prepare for my procrastination, if that makes sense – like I’ll think about an essay all week before I write it the night before.
What role do you serve in the school committee and what sparked your interest in getting involved as a representative?
I am the student representative for the school committee. The office said we could put our names in if we were interested, and I figured I might as well. Ever since, I have been the representative. It’s really cool to be in the school committee, because I get firsthand experience in local town politics regarding education, and I get an opinion (although not a vote), which I like because it makes me feel like I’m the voice for the student body.
What does the Southeast Regional Student Advisory (SERSAC) council do and how does it impact schools throughout southeast Massachusetts?
SERSAC is a council where students from the southeast meet and discuss issues in their schools. We try to take on a new project each year to improve schools, and my group this year is working on a project on increasing participation in extracurriculars, which I am happy about since I love them so much. We also work more state-wide with the other councils in the state, like we revised survey questions that are going to go on MCAS soon.
A huge part of NHS is community service; how has the work you’ve done for the community these past two years impacted you as a person?
It has made me appreciate everything that has been given to me. And it has made me realize how much I like teaching people. Last year and this year, most my NHS hours came from tutoring or volunteering at the library. Community service allows you to learn about yourself and your community, and I think it is important that everyone gives back to the community that has done so much for them.
As a senior, what is one piece of advice you would give to an underclassman?
Get involved in something while you’re an underclassman, and stick with it. I joined math team freshmen year and tried to quit because I didn’t know anyone, and it ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever done. So, if you’re thinking about trying out for drama or joining the newspaper, go for it! Also, try to manage your time well. Make schedules and use your agenda.