Life is full of twists and turns and surprises. Just ask Paige Mangan. The Huntington High School Class of 2020 member thought she was all set to attend college in Manhattan, but then out of nowhere came another possibly. Now she’s headed to Marist College in Poughkeepsie to study fashion design.
“To be honest, when I first heard about Marist I was a little bit hesitant,” Ms. Mangan said. “I was just so set on going to FIT so I had no other college on my radar. But a few people suggested Marist to me so one weekend we took a ride up to the campus and I instantly fell in love with the school. Marist truly has everything. They have a beautiful campus right on the Hudson River valley; Marist is a D-I school with tons of school spirit and I would love to play club level tennis there; they have Greek life as well as some of the friendliest people you will meet.”
Huntington Class of 2020 member Paige Mangan is headed to Marist College.
The decision to attend Marist was quickly endorsed by many others. “Within the first week of announcing my commitment so many future classmates and alum reached out and congratulated me,” she said. “Marist truly has so many amazing things to offer. But most importantly, this is a beautiful school that has my intended major of fashion design, which few schools do.”
Ms. Mangan is well-prepared for the rigors of Marist’s curriculum. “Huntington has some of the best classes as well as so many different types of classes,” she said. “I’ve talked to many other students from other schools and they are truly jealous of what Huntington has to offer. They don’t believe that Huntington has a fashion class as well as a photo room with a huge classroom. They are also jealous of the non-art classes we have like Personal Law and Criminal Justice.
The teenager has worked hard at Huntington High School and laid the groundwork for success on the college level. She identified her interests and went about learning as much as she could about everything related to them.
“Since I’m a fashion design major, all of the fashion classes with my favorite teacher, Mrs. [Kim] Valerio really helped me with my goal. Everything that Mrs. Valerio has taught me has really prepared me for college and has made me less scared for the transition into college classes. Fashion was the one class in school I was excited about every day. It was the only class where I really understood everything that was going on. Another valuable course I’ve taken was Advanced Photo with Mrs. [Pamela] Piffard, who is one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever had. In Advanced Photo she taught us how to use Photoshop and make it look good. This is going to help me be more advanced in my college classes since Photoshop is a major aspect in an art major.”
The teenager said her favorite activity during high school was playing on the Blue Devil tennis team. “Even though I may not have been the best player it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Ms. Mangan said. “Coach [Jamie] Fishlow kept me motivated throughout the years when I wanted to give up. I also really loved plating with one of my best friends, Caitlyn Palermo. She was the best team captain we’ve ever had. She really kept our team motivated and united.”
Ms. Mangan’s advice to incoming Huntington High School freshmen? “Honestly, just keep your eyes open and take as many and different types of electives as you can,” she said. “When I first came to high school I had a completely different field that I really wanted to go into. But now, I wouldn’t change my plan for anything.”
When Ms. Mangan needed advice or a friendly ear to listen to her, she sought out Robert Gimor, a dean who focuses on student support and the faculty advisor for the Habitat for Humanity club. “I’m not really the person to go and seek help for my situations because I don’t trust many people, but when I do I always go to Gil,” she said. “I know I can really trust him if it’s something I need help with or just want to talk to him. I know his door is always open.”
Ms. Mangan enjoyed a great experience these past four years. “Huntington is special to me because it’s really allowed us as a whole to express ourselves and not put a limit on our creative inspirations,” she said.
All of the members of Huntington’s Class of 2020 are excited to begin a new chapter in their lives, including Ms. Mangan, but she is going to miss the high school.
“I loved my experience at the high school because I met my best friends, Rocio Trujillo, Caitlyn Palermo, Angelina Larkin and Karley Mathews here,” Ms. Mangan said. “They are the sweetest and funniest people I’ve met. I could just sit and talk to Rocio for hours. One thing that I’m going to miss about Huntington is being able to see them every day and go get food after school. Another thing I’m really going to miss is being in Habitat for Humanity. Gil is such a great advisor for the club and makes you feel welcome and never left out. I’m so lucky I got to go on two of the Habitat trips with him to New Orleans. They were the greatest experiences I’ve ever been on and I’ve met some of the nicest people there that I never thought I’d talk to and become close with. I’m really going to miss this club I wish I could go on this trip every year. I’m also really going to miss walking past Gil everyday with his big smile as well as him telling me to take out my AirPods lol. Thank you so much for the memories.”