When she finally experienced it, Miranda Nykolyn understood the feeling a senior gets when they find the college that’s just right for them. Huntington High School’s Class of 2017 salutatorian is headed to Stanford University in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.
“From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt welcomed by everyone I met,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “The buildings were beautiful and the facilities were impeccable. Everyone always says that there is a feeling you get when you step on campus at the school you are meant to go to, but I never thought that it was real. However, once I was at Stanford I finally understood what that feeling was, because I felt it at Stanford.”
The Huntington senior will be rowing for Stanford’s crew team, perennially ranked in the top ten of NCAA Division I. The Cardinals are based in the port of Redwood City with the team’s boathouse across from the Bair Island nature conservatory looking out towards San Francisco Bay.
The teenager did plenty of due diligence when researching potential colleges and deciding whether or not they were right for her. “I was considering MIT, Duke, Yale and the University of Virginia,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “In the fall, I went on official visits to all of the schools and ultimately felt Stanford was the best fit for me.”
The senior is looking forward to the academic rigor that Stanford is sure to provide. She has charted out possible plans for the future. “I have always enjoyed mathematics and science so I am considering a career path in either aerospace engineering or investment banking,” Ms. Nykolyn said.
Ms. Nykolyn has been excelling in her academic studies since beginning kindergarten at Flower Hill School. She will be studying at one of the most highly regarded American universities. “The academics at Stanford are superb as are their athletics,” the teenager said. “That combination of both of my passions made me want to attend school there.
The senior cites Huntington High School science teachers Lori Kenny and Dame Forbes and math teachers Patricia Avelli and Keith Mattis as among the faculty members she has worked especially closely with over the years.
“I have loved my time in the Huntington School District,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “I have been able to go on once in a lifetime trips with Ms. [Camille] Tedeschi and EF Tours to Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos. The science research program with Mrs. [Lori] Kenny has also had a significant impact on my high school career. I was able to conduct multiple research projects and enter numerous research competitions.”
Ms. Nykolyn has played tennis for the Blue Devils in each of the past four years, helping the team win league titles in 2014 and 2016. She began rowing as a freshman, initially getting involved with the sport as a member of the Huntington crew team.
“I now currently row for the Long Island Rowing Club,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “I have to thank my coach, Anika Selle-Giehl for her support and help in improving so I could get recruited by colleges.”
Secretary of the high school Key Club since her sophomore year, Ms. Nykolyn has enjoyed participating in the organization’s initiatives, including the Sears holiday shopping tour for financially needed children, blood drives and the K-Factor talent show that raises money for the American Cancer Society.
“Mathletes has also been one of my favorite clubs because I like answering interesting math problems,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “This year we finished third in our division and competed at Suffolk Community College in a math tournament.”
The teenager has been involved in the full academic and co-curricular life of the high school, enjoying a wide variety of experiences. When she graduates in June it will be without any regrets.
“All of the amazing class options and clubs that Huntington has to offer will always standout in my mind,” Ms. Nykolyn said. “When I first began high school, I didn’t know what to expect, but there were so many different classes and clubs that everyone can find something they are interested in.”