Senior Spotlight – Reilly McGowan


Prestige photography

A yearbook picture of Reilly Mcgowan.

Ryanne Belgaid, Contributor

Reilly is a senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. She is a part of the cheer-leading team, participates in the school play each year, is a very outgoing individual and is super friendly to everyone she meets. 

I got the chance to interview Reilly, and get to know her a little better.

Overall how were your four years of high school?

They were really fun. I feel like I learned a lot about myself even though we were online for probably half of it at this point. It was just like memories that I’ll never want to give up, and always remember.  I really, really enjoyed it.

Is there anything you regret not doing in high school?

 I regret not joining the American Cancer Society actually. All, like a lot of my friends are in it and I just like never thought to do it. But now, I regret not getting the chance to be a part of that club or do that with Ms. Lesniak.

 Yeah I regret not joining a lot of clubs too.  How have you seen yourself grow and improve as a person from freshman year until now?

 The biggest thing was learning to just go with the flow. I’m a person who always has like a plan for everything and have my whole five years already planned out. But I think just being here and having the experience that I did helped me learn to just take it one day at a time.  I don’t just do what’s expected, but what I want to do too.

Which school events that you attended were your favorite?

Definitely the Mr. JFK’s. Every year that I went, it was really fun. There was so much school bonding, class bonding. I also loved the school plays, I was also in them, but the school plays were always like my favorite event of the year. Everybody would go, everybody would talk about it all week, it just felt really special.

 What was your favorite high school memory and why?

 I think it would have to be the football games. I went to them my first two years as a spectator, and I joined the cheer team in my last two years. It’s such a high school experience that it feels like you’re a part of something and it feels really nice to have that air of community and JFK spirit.

If you had the opportunity to redo your years at JFK, what would you do differently? 

 I would be less afraid to sit at a new lunch table or talk to people in my classes. I think the best thing about our school is that everyone is really open and I feel like we don’t have cliques the way that stereotypical high schools have. I feel like every group is really inter-sectional, so I think that I would like to branch off to new people.

 In what way did Covid-19 impact your highs chool experience? Would you want to redo those years that you missed out on.

Yes and no. Covid happened during our junior year, which is like seen as the hardest year. I feel like it was good because teachers gave you the benefit of the doubt and were a lot more willing to work with you or help you than they might have been, have you been in person with all the expectations. But again, I would definitely want to go back and have those last moments with teachers that I would never have again, or memories in class, or field trips that I’ll never get to go on because of Covid.

What is the best advice you have received in high school or that you would give to students in high school right now?

That’s a really good question. I think the advice that I got was just like taking every day one step at a time, because people do buildup the idea of high school, like its “the best four you that you’re like have to do everything”, and there comes like a lot of expectations with it. Then like you’ll look back and be like “Oh My God, I didn’t do any of these things”. As long as like, you do the things that you enjoy, and take the time to appreciate what you’re doing, I feel like it’s okay to not plan ahead. 

Do you have an idea of a career you’re planning to pursue?

Yes I want to be a book editor, preferably like with novels. I’ve also been looking towards like journalism class, and having Mrs. Prusicki as a teacher was really helpful and opened my eyes to this world of writing I never really learned about before.

 Okay, so success means something different to everyone, what does it mean to you?

Success means looking back and being satisfied with all that you’ve accomplished. Whether or not you made a lot of money, or you have a great family, or you have meaningful relationships, as long as you can look back and be like “yeah, all the decisions I made were ones I’m happy with”, then I think that you are successful.