Zachary McGinniss plans to study at Binghamton University beginning next fall and the Huntington High School senior couldn’t be more excited about his decision.
“Binghamton appealed to me on so many different levels from the moment I stepped foot on campus,” Mr. McGinniss said. “It’s the perfect size for me and has a tightknit relationship with the community. It also has such a diverse population and a great learning environment.”
Huntington senior Zachary McGinnis.
Mr. McGinniss considered Boston College, UMass Amherst, SUNY Geneseo and Northeastern University before finalizing his plans to attend Binghamton.
The Huntington senior intends to study political science in Binghamton’s Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. Mr. McGinniss simply loves social studies.
“Binghamton also provides an accelerated master’s program that will allow me to get my undergraduate degree along with a graduate degree in public administration in five years,” Mr. McGinniss said.
The teenager’s senior year academic schedule includes Advanced Placement Environmental Science, AP Government and Politics, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, AP Calculus BC, AP Research and a credit bearing internship with AP US History teacher Kenneth Donovan.
Mr. McGinniss isn’t sure of a specific career yet, “but political science opens up a lot of doors for me,” he said.
A member of the Blue Devil varsity boys’ fencing team since eighth grade, Mr. McGinniss has thoroughly enjoyed the time he has spent in the sport. “Being a middle schooler on a high school team gave me a great opportunity to learn about the high school before attending it and also to build great friendships,” he said.
Mr. McGinniss is very well-liked by his classmates as well as the teaching staff. “Zach’s a very hard working student and a good friend,” fellow senior Casey DiGiacomo said. “He’s always there to help out and I think that’s one of his best qualities that will help him go far in life.”
The teenager has been involved with the high school’s Natural Helpers program since his sophomore year, helping classmates work through their personal issues. “This has been an amazing experience for me as I’ve gotten so much closer to a lot of students and staff who I normally would have never known,” Mr. McGinnis said.
A member of the Relay For Life organizing committee and a team captain for the event has also been fulfilling as he has helped raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s effort to battle one of the world’s most dreaded diseases.
“Zach is always there to give those around him some words of wisdom,” said senior Quinn Blackburn, one of Mr. McGinniss’ best friends. “He feels strongly about the things that matter to him and isn’t afraid to show it, which makes him such a great person.”
The senior has developed many productive relationships with faculty members over the years. “Mr. Donovan has had a tremendous impact on my high school career,” Mr. McGinniss said. “His class discussions took on a more college-esque approach, which focused on comprehension and application of knowledge versus just lecture. Mr. [James] Graber has also been a phenomenal teacher, although I only had him this year. He does a very good job of making economics entertaining and easier to learn. I’ve also enjoyed having Mr. [Steven] Kroll as my AP Research teacher this year. He’s been very accommodating and supporting of my research this year, and truly cares about all of his students.”
Mr. McGinniss’ fondest high school memories include trips to the robotics world championships in St. Louis and Huntington’s Relay For Life extravaganza.
As president of Huntington’s Social Studies Honor Society chapter, Messrs. McGinniss and Donovan has closely collaborated on the planning and coordination of public issue forums.
“These forums have truly enriched my perspective on the problems facing our world and am grateful for those experiences,” he said.
“My overall experience in Huntington has been eye-opening,” Mr. McGinniss said. “The amount of diversity that this school has is unparalleled and has truly enriched my learning experience. I have been very fortunate to have spent my time here in the district, since beginning at Washington Primary School. Something that will always stick with me is the devotion that teachers have had towards helping me to learn and grow as an individual. I’m very grateful for all of the memories I’ve made here.”