Michael Sullivan Has No Complaints
Michael Sullivan has nothing to complain about. He's been a student in the Huntington School District since his first day of kindergarten and will graduate in a few weeks with fellow members of the Class of 2012. It's been a long run filled with positive experiences as he's excelled in both academics and athletics.
Mr. Sullivan has attended classes in five different district schools: Woodhull Early Childhood Center, Washington Primary School, Huntington Intermediate School, J. Taylor Finley Middle School and Huntington High School.
"The past four years at Huntington High School have been nothing but great," Mr. Sullivan said. "I have no complaints. The staff, including teachers and secretaries, has been exceptional."
Mr. Sullivan is headed to the University at Albany in the fall. "I was accepted into the prestigious business program," he said. "I am currently not sure if I will minor in economics or environmental science. Both fields are extremely interesting to me. I am also debating applying to be part of the Albany 3+3 program, which would afford me the opportunity to earn a B.A. and a law degree in a six year time span. Time will tell where I end up. The doors of opportunity are wide open.
The teenager said his favorite Huntington teachers have "undoubtedly" been Camille Tedeschi, James Graber and Craig McKee. Mr. Sullivan is interning with Ms. Tedeschi, who was his teacher for Honors Global and Advanced Placement World History. The senior took AP U.S. History and AP Micro-economics with Mr. Graber. Mr. McKee teaches science.
"This year I am taking four AP courses," Mr. Sullivan said. "I have bonded with all my teachers, developing a close relationship with them, which has truly paid off in the long run."
An Amazing Mentor
The career internship in Ms. Tedeschi's social studies classroom went well. Mr. Sullivan called her an "amazing mentor." The two hit it off and the experience was especially fruitful for the senior.
"I was recently observed for my final project in the intern course," Mr. Sullivan said. "It went flawlessly. Working closely with Ms. Tedeschi, we created a project in which her AP World students would develop a skit to review for the Regents. Mrs. [Camille] DeCanio (retired high school librarian) came in and observed on a day in which I was conferencing with students about their ideas and plans."
Mr. Sullivan is one of the top members of his class, but while he is certainly a scholar, he has other interests, too. One of the highlights of his time at Huntington High School has been participating in varsity volleyball and swimming. He captained both teams as a senior and qualified for the county swimming championships in two events. He has also regularly earned New York State scholar-athlete honors.
"Coach Gil Smith, has always pushed me to do as well as I could in swimming," Mr. Sullivan said. "I didn't come from a swimming background, but as freshman I was cut from the basketball team and Coach Gil took me on board and truly developed me as a swimmer. I am currently debating trying out for the swim team in college."
Proud of Role in Transformation
Mr. Sullivan is proud to have been a part of the "transformation of the Huntington volleyball program," an effort he has devoted hundreds of hours to. "Alongside my all-time favorite coach and friend Chris Mooney, the Huntington volleyball team captained by John McCarthy and myself finished in third place, one spot out of playoffs, which is quite exceptional if you know anything about the history of Huntington volleyball," the teenager said.
"I gave a great amount of thought to playing volleyball in college, but realized I wanted to attend schools that didn't have volleyball programs," Mr. Sullivan said. "I spoke to a few colleges, but settled on the idea that I would play club instead."
Despite a stellar senior season, Mr. Sullivan fell one vote short of winning All-County honors. He called it one of the "biggest disappointments" of his time in the sport. The senior enjoys volleyball so much that he coached alongside Mr. Mooney at J. Taylor Finley Middle School last winter. "It used to crack me up to have the kids call me Coach Sully," he said. "It was a great experience. I got to be part of the game I loved from a different vantage point."
Career Extremely Positive
Mr. Sullivan's Blue Devil career has been extremely positive. He expressed appreciation for the support given by Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy and office secretaries Amy Smith and Mary Lou Paxton. "They have all been wonderful to me throughout my high school career," he said. "I can attribute much of my success to them."
The soon to be graduate has a bit of advice for incoming Huntington freshmen. "I recommend they get involved in the school, whether that is through sports or clubs or student government," Mr. Sullivan said. "Personally, I have found that I am most productive when I'm busy. It may sound like a lot of work to run home from practice to do hours of AP homework, but in the end it is always worth it. That feeling of getting a four or five on AP exam is amazing. I can say that the majority of my close friendships were formed in something supported by the school."