Senior Perspectives: Congrats Class of 2019
June 7, 2019
Eastside talked to everyone from the Class of 2019 superlative winners to the presidents of various clubs to hear their take on their four years in high school. Read on to hear what they have to say!
Senior Perspectives: Cassie Cuddihy
In my time at East, I have been a very active member of the student body throughout various aspects of student life. My involvement in programs such as the music department, theater department, Interact Club and academic honor societies have enriched my experience at East. Through years of experience in these programs, I have accepted numerous leadership positions. In the music department, I assumed the roles of East Singers Co-President and Voce Co-Officer. These positions have taught me how to work effectively and respectfully with my peers. I believe that these skills will accompany me on my college journey.
At East, I have had the opportunity to make many friends. It is amazing that as a senior, I am still meeting new people every day. While involved in activities in D-wing such as choir and theatre, I have acquired better communication skills and teamwork. Additionally, the experiences that I have been able to go through with people whom I now consider my closest friends are unforgettable.
One thing that I will miss most about East is the support from certain teachers that I have received throughout the past four years here. I always felt supported and cared for by my teachers. East is unique because the faculty works to better the lives of the student body by constantly going the extra mile: whether that means staying after school to help students understand a concept or taking time to help a student with a need for assistance.
Reflecting on my past four years at East is bittersweet. While thinking about my time at East, I can recall countless incredible opportunities that I have been offered both academically and through extracurricular activities. I am not only grateful for these, but sentimental. The memories that I have created as a Cougar have truly shaped me as a person and set a foundation for the person I will continue to be in college and beyond.
Senior Perspectives: Breakdancing Club
The Breakdancing club is famous not only for their amazing moves, but also for the camaraderie that the group fosters. Over the course of their late nights choreographing in preparation of MCD, the group becomes family. Speaking on behalf of the whole group are Matt Lee (’19) and Brian Lore (’19), two of the senior officers of the club.
Senior Perspectives: Best Male Best Friends
How did you guys meet and what was your first impression of each other?
Matt Lee: I met Brian in Second Grade in elementary school and I thought he was…very short–and then, bro, you had a temper, bro.
Brian Lore: Man, I was angry back then. I was angry. Matt was…like the new kid so at that point everyone was doing that new kid thing like “oh, let’s be friends.” I didn’t really have a lot of friends back then so I was just like “hey…”
How do you guys spend your time together?
BL: Yeah, dancing
ML: Getting bubble tea
BL: Basketball, talking about people, like, making fun of people.
ML: We also work out together…I think we both get influenced by each other when it comes to the gym.
What’s the best trait of your bro?
BL: This fool is like super dedicated and super passionate to taking care of his friends and making sure the people around him are happy. He puts happiness and having fun as a group as his number one priority and it’s really honorable…he’s really always the one that involves me in things and gets me out in the public.
ML: My turn
BL: Don’t get emotional.
ML: Man, I don’t get emotional. Pause…This fool is loyal, like he throughout all my friends from elementary school to now, he stuck with me throughout the whole time. And I can be really annoying–
BL: Uh huh, yeah.
ML: He stuck with me a long time and he nourished me to be a better person. And he’s a natural-born leader…He’s also very emotional, but he doesn’t really show it…It’s been an honor to see him grow from an introverted kid to an outgoing person.
What’s one embarrassing thing about your bro?
BL: Yeah, one?…I’m not gonna hit him too hard, but I think it was like in middle school — I hope he’s gonna be embarrassed by this – it was Halloween and we had spent like the whole night together, we got a crap ton of candy…like, pillowcases full of candy. We go home to share it and I’m like, ‘I have to go home. Like, dinner’s being served right now, my mom’s really mad at me.’ And he goes to his door, locks it, closes it and sits on it and says ‘no! You are not leaving.’
ML: I had no friends, bro.
BL: It was locked for like thirty minutes.
ML: Besides his mickey mouse ballspot…this fool cried a lot on the playground in elementary school…he missed a soccer ball…and just started balling his eyes out.
What does your friendship mean to you?
ML: Brian has been my pillar of support and he will be my pillar of support. I keep telling him he’s gonna be the best man when I get married. It’s because of all of the stuff that we’ve been through…I feel like when you have a huge fight with somebody and you can go past that, that’s when you become close friends. But when we get physical, emotional and just completely neglect each other for months, and then you realize ‘it doesn’t feel right,’ and we bounce back from that, that’s how you know you’re best friends. People say you can have multiple best friends, but that’s not true, he’s my do or die.
BL: I mean he hit it on the horn where like you say that people are best friends, they say it because they’re such good friends but like no, [of]everyone I know, I can say that this is the greatest friend I have…he’s gonna be my best man there’s no question about it and through all the stuff we’ve been through together…fights, times when we didn’t even talk to each other, maybe not because we were fighting but because we got separated because of classes, but like, when you bounce back from that…it really puts things into perspective as to what your friendship really means. I could say pretty easily that I’d give my life for him in a second…I’m gonna do anything in my power to help him out.
Senior Perspectives: Funniest, Class Clowns and Wittiest take on Hot Wings
The winners of funniest (Caleb O’Neill, Paloma McMurtry), wittiest (Saurabh Shah, Shir Goldfinger) and Class Clown (Ally Leomporra, Brandon Weinstock) take on the spiciest wings at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub, while simultaneously sharing their hot takes. Watch the video above to see what these seniors have to say about anything and everything!
Senior Perspectives: Best Female Friends
How did you first meet?
Zoe: Oh my God, I’m going to start crying…We both met at Breakdancing Club in sophomore year.
Maya: Neither of us really felt like we had a certain place to be in Breakdancing Club. It was more like we would both end up wandering around, and then we’d be like, “Oh, you do that [club] too?” And one day I got bored and I asked her to teach me choreography…
Zoe: And the rest is history.
Maya: The rest is history.
Zoe: And then every time from then on that I came to Breakdancing Club, it was like, “Where’s Maya? Where’s Maya?” I would always look for you.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Maya: At first, I’d heard about Zoe…and I always thought that she was super super cool, that she was way too cool for me…I almost was afraid to talk to [her], because I was like, “What if she doesn’t like me? She has so many friends. She’s just way too cool for me.”
Zoe: As soon as I started talking to you, you were so giggly and friendly that I feel like our personalities just meshed immediately. I — I just loved you immediately.
Maya: Aww, I loved you immediately too. It was literally love at first move you showed me.
Zoe: This sounds like a Best Couple interview.
Maya: Is it not? Is that not why I’m here?
How do you two spend time together?
Zoe: Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, we go out and get way too much food.
Maya: It’s usually bubble tea.
Zoe: It’s always bubble tea, and then we over-order —
Maya: And we both go into literal food comas.
Zoe: We also like to do things that foster [creativity] with each other, so whether it’s going shopping for clothes or little craft-type things, we both like to do that as well.
Maya: When we’re not hanging out, we’re texting about, like, everything.
Zoe: I think yesterday, I was like, “Maya, I just ate too many yogurt pretzels. I think I’m gonna vomit. What’s up?”
Maya: I had, at that exact moment, eaten an entire tub of raw cookie dough.
What are the best traits of the other person?
Maya: She brings out the best in people…Not just me, I see the way she interacts with other people — she constantly empowers them, and she constantly makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. She’s just constantly positive, always has a good word to say about anything, but she’s honest. And that’s not a bad thing…if she feels like something is a certain way, she will tell you, which is always something I need to hear.
Zoe: I feel the same way…I was trying to put what you just said into words…Also, you fostered a lot of creativity that I didn’t know I had…Especially with fashion choices and things like that, I’m very simple, and I often am not bold enough to do things, and you’re like, “Zoe, just do it. Stop being so boring.” And I’m like, “You know what? I will!”…You make me realize that I can do other things, that I can take a leap, that I can — I can do anything.
What’s something embarrassing about the other person?
Maya: The thing is, we’re both so embarrassing in public. Like together. Like it’s gotten really bad.
Zoe: Oh, yeah…We don’t have a filter anymore.
Maya: It’s beyond inappropriate.
Zoe: There’s also something we’ve been doing recently where we just go — [blows kissy noises]
Maya: [blows kissy noises back]
Zoe: Across the room. If there’s people between us? Sandwiched.
What does your friendship mean to you?
Zoe: It honestly means everything to me.
Maya: It means everything to me…I mean, best friends is one thing. We think of ourselves as so much more than that.
Zoe: Especially with college coming up and everything, we’re really realizing that this is a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Maya: Oh yeah. Because we’re only five minutes away from each other.
Zoe: My bed is your bed…we’re going to be together all the time. I can’t imagine my life without you.
Maya: I can’t imagine my life without you.
Senior Perspectives: Dani Lazarus
Before classes even started, my experience at East began with pre-season practice with the cross-country team. I am not exactly one who jumps out of bed ready to go; yet, on day one of the July pre-season practice, I was told to meet at East at 6 a.m., ready to run. As an incoming freshman, unfamiliar with anyone on the team, I was nervous as to what to expect. I certainly did not expect that the running team and my coaches would soon become my support system and encouragement for the next four years.
The East running teams became a huge part of my daily life. Learning to juggle classwork and sports was always a challenge, but I always knew the importance of being involved. When the cross-country team embraced me on day one of practice, it was clear: the more I gave to the school, the more I would enjoy my high school experience. My participation in SGA and Blood Drive, Spirit Week dances and Powder Puff games provided me with some of my favorite memories. Often times being on the “sideline” was just as fun, like when my friends and I dressed up to cheer on the basketball and hockey teams during playoff games.
Every day for the past four years, I have entered East with a backpack filled with running clothes for practice after school and another backpack filled with books weighing probably twice as much as I do. Despite my years of training and hours of running, I am still completely out of breath after climbing three flights of stairs to get to class, needing at least ten minutes to recover. Still, I wouldn’t change these past four years for anything, and in terms of advice to incoming students, get involved. I guess it can be best summed up by a quote from a classic high school movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Senior Perspectives: Boys’ Swim
If there is one word to describe the boys swim team, the word is iconic. From bleaching their hair every season to celebrate their successes to parading down the hall, the swim team exhibits the very epitome of brotherhood. Representing the swim team are Charlie Hess (’19), Jack Watson (’19) and Anthony Cheng (’19). They sat down with Eastside to reminisce on their four years as part of the team.
Senior Perspectives: Belles
Senior Belle members, Julia Langmuir (’19), Jackie Cotter (’19), Audrey Harasaki (’19) and Amanda Kahn (’19) look back at their time in Belles and D-wing. The girls have so much appreciation for all that the music department has given them. Watch the video to hear more about their favorite memories.
Senior Perspectives: Saurabh Shah
Well, this is weird.
I remember being a freshman “reading” senior perspectives, never believing I’d ever get to the point where I’d write my own. And here I am, three years later, typing out this perspective in stat while willfully ignoring Ms. Barnes, which will I’ll inevitably regret. I’m not entirely sure what to write about, but some advice in the style of Mr. Myagi seems appropriate. So, listen up, Daniel-San, this might help you out some day.
Wax On (Freshman year):
Let’s talk about freshman year. This is your year to explore, just try out everything. Join random clubs, try a sport regardless of how athletic you think you are. Just try out new things. School work will never again be this easy, so now’s your time to figure out what you like.
Wax Off (Sophomore and Junior Year):
Time to widdle down that long list of extracurriculars and really apply yourself. School is gonna get harder. You need to decide what you truly enjoy and what’s going to help you in the future and get rid of all the excess (wax off). Now it’s time to go for depth, not breadth.
Sweep the Leg (Senior Year):
The climax of high school, senior year is that final karate tournament where you’ll be put to the test. College decisions will come back. You’ll feel like they swept your leg. But you gotta get up and crane kick those mothertruckers.
I wanna see your baby browns, DANiel! (College)
Senior Perspectives: Best Couple
Q: How did you guys meet?
Lily: We had a couple mutual friends and so we kind of learned about each other and became friends. And then we were friends for a couple weeks and then we went on our first date. This was freshman year in January/February.
Q: What were your first impressions of each other?
Mitchell: I always thought she was a really nice girl and kind of quiet, which I was kind of into because I was pretty quiet too.
Lily: Yeah I thought he was super shy and I never thought that he’d approach me because everyone said he was so shy. And it’s true, he is really shy.
Q: What did you do for your first date?
Mitchell: I think we went to the movies. I actually don’t remember the movie name.
Lily: Yes, we went to the movies and we shouldn’t have went. We just talked the whole time.
Mitchell: We sat in the back corner.
Lily: Mostly talking.
Mitchell: And it was mostly old people who went to the movie. It probably would have been better to go to a dinner and we could have just talked.
Q: What do you guys do together?
Mitchell: We kind of just hang out on the weekends. We’ll go to Shake Shack a lot.
Lily: We love getting burgers.
Mitchell: Yeah, that’s our favorite place. We go swimming sometimes in my pool. We go to the beach occasionally.
Q: What are each other’s best and worst traits?
Lily: I would say [his best traits are that] he’s really driven in whatever he does, for football he left East his junior year just to make sure he had a better position and could play more, so whatever he does he is really focused on, which I think is really admirable. And he’s also just really polite, especially to my family and stuff, it’s a big thing for me. He’s always just so polite to everyone of my friends so I really like that. [But he] can be really stubborn, like sometimes he sees a certain way and he can’t see another way.
Mitchell: I think her best trait is probably her smarts and her organization. She’s really on top of things and that goes really well with me cause I’m pretty disorganized. So she’s a nice check in my life. I also like how she’s a rule follower and she’s really sweet. And the traits I don’t like are that she’s oblivious sometimes, like she’s the brightest person ever, but sometimes she can be a little bit oblivius and not see the answer [that is] right in front of her.
Q: What’s something embarrassing about each other?
Mitchell: One time, our freshman year, we went on a bike ride and I accidentally crashed into her and pushed her over and she got a huge scrape on her leg.
Lily: This was one of our first dates.
Mitchell: And [the scar is] still there. I was so embarrassed. It was a really embarrassing moment for me.
Lily: Another time, when we first started dating, he invited me over to swim at his pool. I’m in the pool and he’s walking to come in and he just [slips] on the deck.
Mitchell: Oh yeah, I slipped so bad.
Lily: He just fell on his back and it was so funny. He’s so clumsy.
Mitchell: That was also pretty early on in the relationship.
Q: What does your relationship mean to you?
Lily: I would say [it means] so much just cause we basically grew up together. From freshman year to now, now we drive now we’re both adults, but we met when we were kids so we definitely grew together… which I think is really important. And we’re just best friends, even if we weren’t dating I think we’d be best friends.
Mitchell: It means a lot to me, I think it’s a big part of my life too. It’s somebody that’s always there, [she’s] always reliable, she’s always going to be there no matter what happens in life, [I’ll] always have someone to go to, even as just best friends.
Q: What do you see in the future of your relationship?
Mitchell: Well we’re going to college pretty close to each other, she’s going to St. Joseph’s and I’m going Drexel so we’re going to be in Philly, only a bus ride away, so we’re going to try to keep our same hangouts and hang out pretty often.
Lily: [We’ll] find a new burger place. I’m excited to find new restaurants to go to.
Senior Perspectives: Robotics
The Robotics Club, renowned for not only its success at world championships, but also for its commendable teamwork, has brought East great pride. Officers Dimitri Fifis (’19), Michael Ryan (’19) and Cameron Lund (’19) give insight into their past four years as members of the robotics club and talk about how robotics have shaped their future career goals.
Senior Perspectives: Julia Langmuir
At every East back-to-school night, freshman orientation and school tour over the past four years, I have given incoming parents and students the same advice I received freshman year: try everything. I remember being told that the best memories East students would make would occur after 2:30 p.m., and my experience over the past four years has proved that true.
The community of support fostered at East, whether it is from faculty, family or other students is the aspect of the school that I will miss most. It’s hard to believe that the anxious yet enthusiastic, wide-eyed, 15-year-old version of myself made decisions that have molded my entire high school experience. The abundance of opportunities provided at East, although overwhelming at times, has changed my perspective on different subjects, introduced me to new friends and allowed me to learn more about myself than I could have in any regular classroom. The memories I will treasure most are those that happened outside of the regular school day: marching with the band, rehearsing with Belles, practicing for Mr. East and writing lesson plans with the Women in Science Club.
Although my four years of high school are coming to a close, I know that these experiences and this environment will launch any student leaving East into a prosperous future. Ultimately, I’ve learned that East is a school full of potential. Whether you find your niche and run with it or explore every one of your interests, these halls are full of opportunity, and for that I will always be grateful.
Senior Perspectives: Best Co-ed Friends
How did you first meet? What were your first impressions of each other?
Emily: Sixth grade, we had a bunch of classes together.
Matt: I saw that she was really cool and athletic, so I knew we’d have a lot in common.
Emily: You were just funny; we had a lot in common, so like similar interests, and we just kind of meshed really well.
How do you two spend time together?
Emily: We do everything together. We go out to eat all the time…We go to a lot of concerts in the summer. We literally do everything together.
What are the best traits of the other person?
Emily: He’s so funny, and he’s so nice and understanding.
Matt: We just understand each other.
What’s something embarrassing about the other person?
Matt: Her height.
Emily: I could say it, but it’s probably not school-appropriate, so we’ll skip on that one.
What does your friendship mean to you?
Matt: A lot.
Emily: It’s everything.
Matt: It’s pretty cool [to be voted Best Co-ed Friends] because everyone knows us and everyone knows that we’re best friends.
Emily: It’s kind of like validation that it’s a real relationship, and other people see it too, and it’s not just us.
Senior Perspectives: Seth Treiman
Throughout high school, we are often told that these last four years leading up to adulthood will be some of the most formative years of our life. Coming into high school, I doubted this idea and just thought high school would be just another typical phase of my life. But now, I can say that the connections I made at East have taught me so much more about myself, others and the world than I thought was ever possible.
As a whole, East taught be about myself by constantly holding a mirror in my face. Whether talking to a teacher about a paper or applying notes from a director in D-Wing, this mirror is a great tool to learn about yourself and how you function. To those who haven’t yet, discover this mirror and use it to your advantage because knowing yourself, and acknowledging your flaws is the first step to self-improvement.
Having a strong connection with yourself is very important, but having connections with others is equally important. East has such a diverse environment and different actives bring all types of people together. Specifically, my time in D-Wing has brought me together with people that I would never have even thought about talking to had they just been in a regular academic class with me. If you aren’t in an activity with a diverse collection of students, join one! If you’re sitting next to someone you don’t know in a class, try to talk to them! East is difficult, the more people you know in a class, the more perspectives you can get on the material. You may not resonate with how the teacher teaches, but if your friend does, they can hopefully explain it to you in a different way.
My friends, my teachers and my experiences have given me so much information about everything, and I’m very grateful for what East has shown me- both the good and the bad. In just four years, I have learned so much academically, artistically, socially and emotionally. When we leave in June, I will be happy to move on, but eternally grateful for the four years spent here. East is tough in so many aspects, and it will wear you down, but being worn down reveals what’s truly inside. You don’t have to love East, but you should come out after four years with plenty of love for how you went through high school.
Senior Perspectives: Girls’ Volleyball
Not only are the girls on the senior volleyball team teammates, but they are also best friends. They rely on each other both on and off the court. Hear them as they look back on their last season together.
Senior Perspectives: Jackie Cotter
Looking back at the last four years feels like re-reading a book from childhood and picking up on a billion tiny things you never understood before, making it much more special. Although high school presented me with the most challenging moments thus far, I know now that without those moments, I would not be who I am today.
I spent the majority of this time on stage. Although I eat, sleep, and breathe performance, my heart lies in the entirety of art. One of the most pivotal moments in my life was joining the Stage Crew. From there, my love for painting flourished and I jumped at every chance to be creative. This year, I had the opportunity to help design and paint the theatre and film murals: an idea that would be laughable to freshman year Jackie. As officer for Belles, Co-Mime Company Manager, and Thespian Society Co-Vice President, I delved even further into creative exploration. Despite the difficulty my involvement in the arts presented me, some of my fondest memories are overcoming those challenges. I will never forget intermittently memorizing lines as Eulalie and learning the synonyms for nebulous (hazy, vague, or indistinct). Or rushing to get all of the paint off my body between crew calls and the opening night performance. Or late nights practicing trombone, assigning bell parts, and even making a puppet.
It is easy to get caught up in the pressure. However, there comes a moment, after you have poured your entire heart into a project, when it all makes sense. The moments happen when I see a familiar face around D-Wing after a particularly challenging day. They happen when you find yourself laughing to the point of tears in a mime rehearsal, or when a chord in the middle of a choir song gives you goosebumps. They happen whenever you realize just how lucky you are to have the opportunities to do what you love and to have the support of a community who wants to see you grow.
From all of the things that Cherry Hill High School East has taught me, the most important is that life is not about each individual person. I would advise anyone who still has time remaining in their high school journey to not get caught up in themselves. High School, especially at East, gives you the chance to collaborate with new people every day– to see the world through the perspective of others. It is with this in mind that I have dedicated the rest of my life to taking what I love and using it to tell the stories of others. With my whole heart, I am grateful for the opportunity to explore myself and push the boundaries of my capability.