Class of 2020 Spotlight: Kaylee McGill

kaylee mcgill

Kaylee McGill

What are your after school plans?
This fall I will be attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana to major in mechanical engineering. Rose-Hulman has been rated the #1 undergraduate engineering school in the nation for the past 21 years by U.S. News and World Report. I am very excited to be able to continue my education there. While the school definitely has an excellent reputation I chose it for more than that, the sense of community on campus and focus on the students’ success makes the school a perfect fit for me. I will also be playing softball at the collegiate level at Rose-Hulman.

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you during your time at Niskayuna High School?
I’ve had so many great moments at Nisky so it’s hard to pick just one. There are many things that make Nisky special, however, one of my favorites is the Halloween tradition. Not many schools allow their students to dress up, and I’m so glad Nisky does because we always go to the extreme. Every year the costumes and skits get more and more impressive. It’s just such a fun day to be a part of!

How would friends and acquaintances describe you?
I think my friends and acquaintances would describe me as many things from being a hard worker and a good student to being a smiling, fun-loving person. I take pride in everything that I do whether it’s in the classroom or on a field or out in the world and I think that’s something that people have noticed about me. Most people who know me know that I love to be doing things whether it’s volunteering or just going on a hike, I’m always keeping myself involved.

I hear you were one of two females to complete the Technology sequence, could you tell me more about this program and what you enjoyed the most from it?
I have loved our Technology program here at Nisky! We are so lucky to have such a great program. I’ve heard over and over from many students who have already graduated that they felt so prepared and ahead of their classmates in college thanks to the technology education they’ve received at Nisky. Although I’m not quite there yet I know our program is superior to many other schools. I know that learning how to use CAD and utilize all of the machines in the lab during high school will give me an advantage this fall when I head off to college.

Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
I take pride in all of my achievements but I am most proud of winning the Making a Difference Award from CapCom as it is an award for community service. I absolutely love to volunteer, knowing that you’re making a positive impact in someone else’s life is a feeling like no other. While I spend a lot of time volunteering locally, my favorite volunteer work has been for Habitat for Humanity. I’ve gone on two trips, one to Exmore, Virginia and the second to Johns Island, South Carolina. On the first trip, I was able to meet the woman and her son who would be moving into the house and talking to her really opened my eyes to just how lucky we are and how important it is to give back.

What was your favorite thing about high school?
My favorite thing about high school has been all of the opportunities and choices it’s brought me. One of the best things about high school is the number of choices and freedoms you have. While there are still certain requirements you can choose classes that interest you. My favorite classes have always been the technology classes but my sophomore year I branched out and took a photography class and absolutely loved it! One of the great things about senior year is you have lots of choices for your English requirement. English has never been one of my favorite subjects but I decided to take Sports Lit and it has been my favorite class by far. I never would have thought I’d be excited to go to a first block English class!

Were you a part of any sports, extracurricular activities, clubs, etc.?
During my time in high school, I have played softball, field hockey, and participated in both indoor and outdoor track and field. In addition to my sports, I have also been a member of the National Honor Society, SAPE, Women Inspiring Leadership, Key Club, Garage Club, and every now and then I’ll pop into Recycling Club.

If you could give your freshman self advice, what would it be?
If I could give my freshman self advice it would be to slow down and live in the present. Make sure to really enjoy and cherish your time in school. Having the end of my senior year taken away from me really makes me wish I could go back and spend some more time in those halls. I always looked forward to senior year so I could leave early, now I would gladly change one of my midday naps for another class or time in old cafe with my friends.

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
I’m not exactly sure where I see myself in five years. One of the nice things about mechanical engineering is that it’s a very broad field of engineering so I have a lot of different options. I’m hoping to find exactly what I want to do with my degree in college through my classes and internships. But five years from now I hope to have a good job and love what I do!

Anything else you would like to share?
I’m really thankful for my time at Niskayuna, while I wish it could have been longer I’m glad I got to be a part of it. Nisky has some really amazing staff and faculty so I would like to say thank you for all you’ve done for us throughout the years. I’m really going to miss Nisky!

What piece of content (TV show, YouTube channel, book, etc.) do you think everyone should know about and that you recommend and why?
While I’ve been binge watching All American on Netflix, which is a great show with tons of plot twists and addresses some real world problems, I’ve grown tired of screens. Recently I’ve been trying to keep busy through doodling, embroidering, and fun DIY projects. I would definitely recommend taking a break from Netflix and trying something new!