WHS Class of 2022: Emma McNulty – Staying Close and Flying High

Weston High School will graduate the amazing Class of 2022 on Friday, June 3 at 6 pm on the Town Green. They are amazing because of how they weathered a pandemic that cut short sophomore year, changed junior year between hybrid and in-person masked learning, and started their senior year with masks and testing. They gave up study-abroad opportunities, cut short or changed athletic seasons, and had harsh restrictions on theatrical and musical efforts. And yet, here they are–a resilient, wonderful class of 159* students, many of whom the Owl knows personally. In this final week before graduation, the Owl will highlight just a few of the many–I only wish I had thought of this earlier. Meet some of the WHS Class of 2022.

The Owl will admit that Emma McNulty, the subject of this post, is not personally known to her but that will change shortly. Emma is soon to enter the hallowed halls of Metrowests’ Hogwarts, also known as Wellesley College, the mother ship and my beloved alma mater. The sisterhood is strong and the added bonus is that she will be a member of a purple class (we have four color classes–red (blah), yellow (too much), green (okay, tempting but no) and purple (just right)).

Talking with Emma over the last couple of days, I am bummed it has taken so long for us to “meet.”

Owl: Have you been in the Weston schools for your whole school “career”? Woodland or Country? Favorite teachers or administrators?

Emma: I came to Weston in first grade from Hardy Elementary School in Arlington and went to Woodland. I’ve loved so many of my teachers over the years. My favorite Woodland school teacher was Ms Bonsignore. My favorite Field school teacher was Ms Mania, middle school was Ms Oshman, and my favorite HS teacher is either Dr Henry or Ms Riemer (I always really love my English teachers).

Owl: What do you consider Weston public schools’ superpowers?

I think that the best thing about Weston schools is that your teachers always want to push you to do your best and most of them will make sure that they’re a strong resource for you during the process of learning.

XC rules. Yes, it does.

Owl: You are a cross country running and track & field athlete. Which is your favorite, and do you think you’ll run in college?

My favorite thing about running is the cross country (XC) meets. The energy at big invitational or state meets is just epic, and I love running in such big heats because theres always someone running with you, pushing you. I also just like longer races better than shorter ones, so running a 5k is more rewarding to me than running a mile which is what I generally run during the track season.

I considered trying to walk on to the XC team next year but I decided I’d rather focus my energy next semester on school and fun than running. I’d need to do a lot of training over the summer, and I’m looking forward to taking a break, not adding more to my plate. My sophomore year I’ll think about xc again, and maybe I’ll try and walk on then. Doing a sport in college is a huge commitment, and I’m not sure it’s one that I want to make just yet. I’ll definitely keep running in my free time though, and I really want to start dancing again and join one of Wellesley’s many dance clubs or performance groups.

Owl: Besides athletics, were you involved in other clubs or activities at Weston High School?

I co-founded a tutoring club called Level Up with a few of my friends with the goal of making tutoring more accessible to all by offering free services. We tutor some students online and read with elementary schoolers in person on Wednesday mornings. Most of our students are in the Weston area, but we also have a partnership with NPH Dominican Republic, and we tutor students in the Dominican remotely. I’m also treasurer and editor of WHS’ literary magazine The Current, and this year’s edition has two of my poems.

Owl: Why Wellesley?

In the summer of 2020, I took an online short-fiction creative writing course at Wellesley College, and though each class was “just” a 2-hour zoom call I absolutely loved it. I’ve always loved to write, so I wasn’t super surprised by that. What shocked me was how without meeting my professor or any of my fellow students in person I felt included and part of the community. I also experienced for the first time what it feels like to have an academic discussion without men. The way I was able to communicate was different. I wasn’t fighting with extroverted men for speaking time, and it’s freeing to discuss social issues when everyone understands and values women’s experiences. One of my classmates wrote a story that contained sexual assault, and I do not think that our class would have been able to discuss her writing with the same understanding and nuance at any college but Wellesley.

After hearing back from all my colleges, I’d really narrowed it down to two schools: Wellesley or Boston University. Two very different options! Wellesley fit my basic desires of a school. There are small class sizes, smaller student body, a stunning campus that’ll be fun to walk and run around, good food near by, easy access to the city, and great internship and research opportunities. Lots of students double major, and I want to double major in English and Creative Writing and either Political Science or Economics. When I toured the campus, it felt right. I envisioned myself spending my next four years there, and the thought made me incredibly happy!

Owl: What are your plans for the summer?

This summer I’ll be working at the front desk of my mom’s dermatology practice Premier Dermatology. I’ll be scheduling, welcoming, and checking in patients and answering phones. [Ed: Emma’s mom is Dr. Melissa Burnett, whose doctor-y awesomeness is only topped by her Wellesley class of 1996 awesomeness. She is not, however, a purple class. Can’t have everything.]

The Owl will definitey be seeing this Wildcat around the Wellesley campus which is a particularly happy thought, as her purple-class friend Maya (also a runner) graduated from the alma mater last Friday and she needs a new purple friend.

Once a ‘cat, always a ‘cat. Once a Wellesley, always a Wellesley. Best of luck to you, Emma!

One comment

  • Emma is an extraordinary young woman! Can’t wait to see all of the incredible things she does!

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