Senior Spotlight: Michael Nitting and Kristin Stuzyniski

Monday, December 16th, 2013
Homecoming King and Queen
How have your senior years at CHS been going so far?
MN:It's been quite the ride with college apps and adjusting to my final year of high school. I'm looking forward to when it's all over so I can just kick it back and enjoy my senior year here at Chatham.
KS:It’s been amazing! I do have a ton of homework, but I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year. With Cougar Weekend, the Senior Breakfast and Open Campus I’ve had so much time to bond with the senior class. It’s just been alot of fun, and it’s only going to get better.


How has the college application process been?
MN:It snuck up on me really quickly. I thought I was on top of everything but deadlines are much closer than they appear. I actually finished one of my apps the night it was due. My parents weren't too happy but hey, it got in on time right? (Michael will be attending NYU next year!)
KS:The process can be stressful at times, but everyone is going through it together. The glitches with theCommonApp website are sometimes terrifying and that little loading wheel goes on forever when you’re trying to generate a preview of your application.Luckily, I have sent in all my early action applications, so I only have a few regula rdecision schools left.   (Kristen will be attending Northwestern University next year!)


Do you have any words of wisdom for sophomores or juniors waiting to begin College Process?
MN:Get it done. It's never too early to start formulating thoughts about where you may want to study and what you're interested in. Challenge yourself over the summer and do something unique because it all helps in the long run.
KS:Get started with the applications the summer before senior year because when school begins, you won’t want to be spending time writing supplements. And with everything going on, you’ll have alot less time than you think. I suggest looking at colleges with the start of junior year, too. In the end, you’ll get into a great school, and you’ll love where you go. Try not to feel too stressed.


How do get involved in the CHS community with extra-curricular?
MN:I actively participate in the CHS musicals, am a PAWS leader, run the all-male cappella group "Varsity Vocals," and participate in NHS. Looking back, I can't exactly explain how I've managed to do all these things at once.
KS:I’m involved with the running program at the high school, my favorite season being Cross Country. Running with the team is one of the best things I could have ever done because I have a great group of friends and something to look forward to at the end of the day.I’m also involved with the Spanish and German Clubs at CHS, which are a ton of fun. The Spanish Club has amazing food, music, and activities like making sugar skulls for Día de los Muertos. I don’t actually take German, but I’ve learned alot about the culture through the club and it was definitely worth joining. I’m also in the Tech Club, which basically incorporates all of Mr. Mariano’s classes into one club, Politics Club, and the Applied Physics and Engineering Club with Mr. Bandel.


What is one piece of advice you would give to the freshman they begin their journeys through CHS?
MN:High school is a time of change. That can be a positive or negative thing. I've found, the best memories I've had at CHS were when I embraced change and learned how to adapt.
KS:You should try a bit of everything because that’s the best way to find out what you love to do. There are tons ofelectives that our school offers, so you should start taking advantage of them as soon as possible. I tried CADD, a computer class with Mr. Mariano, and it helped me figure out what I might want to study in college. Plus it was just really fun. The same goes for sports. Freshmen year is the perfect time to start something new because you have time to enjoy and pursue it if you love it, or time to switch to something else that you’ll like even more.


Describe yourself in 3 words
MN:Approachable, fun-loving and Drake. That's not an adjective but I've got quite the obsession with the rapper. My friends will gladly back me up on that statement.
KS:Fun-loving, neon, and enthusiastic.


What teacher has made the biggest impression on you throughout your 4 years here atthe High School?
MN:Dr. Klemp by far. The woman is the head of the music department for the entire Chatham school system, yet she still manages to teach three choir classes of her own at CHS. She's sort of been an inspiration to me, proving that hard-work truly does pay-off. She's more than just a teacher in the classroom, she's a teacher in life. She's really helped me discover myself and I'm truly blessed to say I've been a student of hers for all 4 years at Chatham.
KS:This will probably sound cheesy,but I haven’t had a teacher yet who hasn’t made an impression on me. There’s not one or even two who have stood out because all of them have helped me toget better in each subject and have continued to help me throughout high school whether I had them again or not.


What was your reaction when you heard each of your names announced as Chatham HighSchool’s Homecoming King and Queen?

MN:To be honest, I had no clue what was happening. I thought the build-up was going to be a little longer but they jumped right to the results. Before I had time to take it all in, a crown was being placed on my head and I was being directed down the stairs. It was pretty comparable to when the noble Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute for her sister, minus the impending death part.
KS:I just stood there for a second because I wasn’t so sure that they actually said my name. I certainly didn’t want to step forward if I had just imagined the whole thing. And after that Iwas just excited, happy, and anxious all at once. I didn’t want to trip going down the stairs from the stage! I’ll never experience anything like it ever again. I had so much support from all my friends and the rest of the court. I’m so glad I can be a part of such a great group of people.


What is your favorite memory at CHS apart from this year's homecoming dance?
MN:The look on my parent's faces when I saw them after I was crowned. Just being able to make them proud trumps everything else in my book.
KS: My favorite memory is from the first day of freshman year. I walked into the lobby and saw a mass of kids talking and yelling. I had come from a different school, so I only knew a few people, but I just remember someone screaming my name, grabbing my arm, pulling me into the pack, and introducing me to a group of her friends. It only took a second, and I already felt like I was a part of the high school; that feeling’s stuck with me since the very start.