By: Kimberley Hurdle
Last week, I was given the opportunity of continuing Senior Spotlight by interviewing active members of Medford High, Gaelle Rigaud, Rob Keith, and Melissa Remy. These three specifically stood out, not only for running around the school building with Drama Club, Voice of Medford High every morning, and participating in Mustang sports, but Rigaud, Keith, and Remy are also leaders of the Gay-Straight- Alliance (GSA) Club along with Mr. Skorker. Here is the interview:
MHS Mustang News: How does it feel being a senior spotlight?
Melissa Remy: I love being a senior at Medford High School, mostly because as upperclassmen you have a lot of experience and knowledge that you could pass down to those who want information. Hoping that their experience in high school is a little bit easier, it is my final year so I’m going to make it count.
Rob Keith: I feel honored to be a senior spotlight. I feel that Gaelle, Melissa, and I are veterans here at the school who have navigated it well and I’m happy we can share our experiences with other students.
Gaelle Rigaud: It feels like high school is over, to be honest. A “senior spotlight” makes it sound like we’re all ready to walk off that stage with our diplomas. Being on a “spotlight” sounds like it’s ending soon, even if it’s only November.
MMN: November is almost over, the month of many early action deadlines for colleges, how is the college process for you?
Remy: The college process for me so far has been very smooth. I have two older sisters that have gone through this process before and kind of hold my hands through it. It is also really helpful to talk to the guidance counselors and keep on top of things and it’s not that hard as it seems when you really put into the work.
Keith: I’m not going to lie to you… I’m a little behind on where I would like to be with my application process; that being said, I am almost done and I have all my schools picked out. My top schools would probably be Westfield State in Westfield, MA and West Chester in PA, right outside Philadelphia.
Rigaud: Don’t get me started! Colleges remind me of needy children sometimes. As stressful as it seems for everyone else, it feels like I’m babysitting; trying my best to fulfill the needs of these colleges. I need to take care of my applications and recommendations; feed them. But in the end, I suppose, they’ll be worth it and turn me into a better and hardworking adult.
MMN: Do you have any majors in mind you want to study?
Remy: For me, I feel like every week or month, seconds or minutes, I’m changing my mind of what I want to major in. Right now, it is early childcare but who knows that might change next month. It doesn’t really matter to me: you could change your mind as many times you want
Keith: Right now I’m looking to study Criminal Justice and Criminology. After college I would really like to find a job in Law Enforcement either at the state or federal level.
Rigaud: Indeed. I have been passionate about English for most of my high school career but never thought of teaching until my junior year. For the longest time, I thought that I could be a lawyer. Coming to my senses, I decided that I could major in English Literature and Writing; something that I actually would love to learn more about.
MMN: Word on the street says, you three are on the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) committee; how is that experience so far?
Remy: Being one of the officers for the Gay Straight Alliance has been a great experience for me. I am more of a procrastinator but being an officer puts very heavy responsibilities on me. With this in mind, GSA has helped me grow because if I don’t fulfill my duties as an officer, it doesn’t just impact me like with homework as an example but it would impact the club as a whole. I also love being part of a club/family!
Keith: GSA has been going splendidly this year! We have a terrific group and the best advisers. The club is one big family and once a week we all come together and have a large family discussion; everyone’s opinion are valued and no one is ever made to feel embarrassed or ashamed of who they are and what they believe in. Our Thursday meetings are the highlights of my week and every week we discuss an interesting new topic or do a fun activity. I encourage anyone interested to stop by.
Rigaud: It’s like a second job, to be very honest. The commitment is immense but because it is so worth it and because I care so much, I wouldn’t take this experience back for anything in the world. I love my position as Co-President and I love my GSA. That’s all I really need to make the experience great.
MMN: What do you expect or rather hope to bring to GSA, Medford High, and even the Medford Mustang Students on this widely popular club?
Remy: What would I like to bring to the GSA? That’s a really good question. To me it’s not more of what I can bring to GSA, it is more of what have I learned through GSA. I have learned a lot of things from the Gay Straight Alliance and a lot of people regarding skills, acceptance, understanding, and mostly listening.
Keith: Well, my hope is that the GSA remains a safe place for all the students of MHS. It offers all students a safe-haven from bullying, discrimination, and intolerance and I hope that’s what we can continue to do. I think it is our job to make the school a little bit better than the way we found it for all members of the MHS community by making it a more accepting place. I think we have come a long way and I hope we continue on that path.
Rigaud: I hope that I can bring in more trust within the members themselves. My job, as an officer, is to try my best to make sure everyone finds the same love that was found in this club; its openness and its camaraderie. I also hope that Medford Mustangs could be more aware to their surroundings. Bullying to LGBTQ Youth happens, intentionally or not, it happens every day. If everyone was just a little bit more cautious of those occurrences, we can help make it better.
MMN: Other than GSA, are you part of any other Medford High sports or activities?
Remy: Other than the Gay Straight Alliance, I am part of Drama Club and Mock Trial Club.
Keith: Along with being co-president of the GSA, I am Vice President for the Class of 2014, stage manager for Drama Club, business manager for Yearbook, and a member of the boys’ lax (lacrosse) team. I am also part of National Honor Society and the voice of Medford High.
Rigaud: I am a part of the High School Drama Club in the spring, I am also an advisor to the Mock Trial Team. I am a mentor to freshman in the school, and I also post creative pieces for MHS Mantra.
MMN: Where can people find you during, and after school?
Remy: You could always find me in Room C201 and at every GSA event. The next event would be the coffeehouse and that is the first week of December. I will be the MC.
Keith: During the school day, I can be found all around the building. As you can imagine, I’m a very busy person and when I’m not in class I’m usually running around trying to do something for this club or that club. I can always be found at room C201 after school on Thursdays for GSA Meetings and would love to see more new faces there. Coming up, you’ll be able to see myself and Melissa as M.C. at the upcoming GSA Winter coffeehouse in December.
Rigaud: Well, you can usually find me in Mr. Skorker’s room (C201) or my own homeroom, C118. I also perform at the GSA coffeehouses in the winter and spring as well as the MHS Musical.
MMN: Is there any advice you would give students from freshman to rising Mustang Seniors?
Remy: One advice that I would have for the freshman is that high school is what you make of it. One of our new Vice principals, Ms. Trainor said; “the first day of school, if you clock in at 7:45 and clock out at 2:18 will be the worst experience of your life.” I believe that is a hundred percent true.
Keith: My advice for freshman would be get involved. You don’t have to be as involved as me but pick one or two things that you’re really interested in whether it is GSA, Film club, Anime Club, Asian club, Lacrosse, Basketball, Hockey, whatever it may be and commit to it. This opens up brand new experiences for you and introduces you to friends you may otherwise not have known. I am a firm believer that there is something for everyone at MHS and you just have to find it, even if that means making your own club. Lastly, as an officer of the GSA, I would like to let everyone know that there are people in the building who really care about you. If you’re being bullied or having a rough time, there is always someone here at the school that can help. If you ever feel bullied, alone, or depressed please DO NOT WAIT: get help, talk to a teacher, a friend, your guidance counselor, or assistant principal. Or, if you ever need to I am real friendly. Just come find me and I can talk whenever you need it. It gets better freshmen just hold on.
Rigaud: Make it the best four years you could imagine! Although it will be hard work and you will feel discouraged, that is a given, ALWAYS make it your best so that you won’t regret a thing.
Thanks to Gaelle Rigaud, Rob Keith, and Melissa Remy for the interview. Until next time!