Getting involved – and in turn, getting to know her new classmates and teachers – was the proactive approach Whitney McDonnell ’20 took when she left the school she had attended since pre-school and moved to New Jersey to begin her sophomore year of high school at MBS. Though it was a daunting move, Whitney decided that the only way to have a successful transition was to make a concerted effort to join fellow students and take full advantage of the resources and activities that MBS has to offer. A few successful years later, she helped create a lasting impact upon the Morristown Beard community in her senior year serving as Student Government Association (SGA) President.
While she often cites luck as a reason for her enjoyable journey at MBS, a quick look at Whitney’s list of club memberships illustrates that she proactively built a place for herself through student engagement. In addition to student government, Whitney was a member of the School’s theater group, Founders Keepers, and she performed in school plays and musicals. She also wrote for the student newspaper and held positions on the Social Justice Committee as well as Spectrum, the campus LGBTQ+ group.
Though Whitney acknowledges that she worked hard to achieve these things, she also credits her family, friends, and her teachers for instilling the confidence in her to take on all of her endeavors. “My teachers at MBS are different from any I’ve had before,” she shares. “They believe in you before you believe in yourself and give you the confidence to try. We are so lucky to have such brilliant faculty who will share their knowledge and experience with us.”
Whitney’s meaningful involvement in the arts at Morristown Beard encouraged her to pursue theater as her college major, with a career in performance as the end goal. “Before I came here, I thought theater was something I would just do for fun,” Whitney said. “But the faculty here are so experienced and really pushed me to realize my potential – and that has been priceless.”