As the 2019-2020 school year wraps up, Robbinsville High School seniors are looking ahead to college, their future plans and post-high school life—and, as we do every year, the Advance sent 10 of the Class of 2020’s district-selected exceptional students a questionnaire about RHS life and their post-R’ville plans.

This year’s interview questions included the usual fare, like what college they plan to attend, RHS extracurriculars and favorite quotes.

The Class of 2020 was active in the RHS community. They participated activities like varsity sports, National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, FIRST Robotics, Leadership Corps, Math League and Model UN.

They will attend colleges like Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, the University of Michigan, Georgia Tech and the United States Air Force Academy, where they will major in mathematics, the sciences, multiple engineering disciplines and neuroscience.

And the students were able to decide all of this as their senior years—and lives—were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each student was asked about their school experiences during isolation and how the virus affected their final semester of high school.

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Emma Berman

Brown University
Mathematics

Career plans: Something quantitative that involves math

RHS activities: Dance team, Friends of Rachel, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, Jewish American Heritage Club

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? During the isolation period, all of the RHS teachers have worked really hard to ensure their students continue learning, and are prepared for their AP exams. I miss attending school, but safety and health come first. Unfortunately, some senior events have been cancelled, but I am so grateful we were still able to go to Disney.

Favorite quote: “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.”

Nicole Block

United States Air Force Academy
Mechanical engineering

Career plans: Development engineer

RHS activities: Robotics, track and field, Technology Student Association, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? This has been a very interesting experience using technology to continue school from home. It is sad that this happened during the end of our senior year. We are missing out on many of the senior year experiences, such as prom and a traditional graduation, and won’t be able to say goodbye to our teachers and classmates in person.

Favorite quote: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.” –Sirius Black

Matthew Cooper

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Mathematics

Career plans: Mathematician and entrpreneuer

RHS activities: Football, lacrosse, ski club, National Honor Society

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? During the coronavirus isolation period, I have done my best to remain as positive as possible. I am sad to not be experiencing the many fun things I am missing out on, like my senior lacrosse season. On the bright side, I have been able to spend more time with my family which is nice, and my friends and I still make time to talk online.

Favorite quote: “Be something you love and understand.” –Lynyrd Skynyrd

Zachary Glassband

Duke University
Chemistry

Career plans: Medicine

RHS activities: Tennis, executive council, environmental club

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? It can certainly be tough to remain optimistic in light of the struggles the world has faced these last few months. I feel lucky however to be able to finish my education online thanks to my creative and supportive teachers. Mostly, I miss going out to lunch with my friends every Friday (shoutout the “Try Hardz”). Although this is not the ending I expected, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the senior year that I had. Thank you to everyone who has been with me the whole way, I will miss it tremendously.

Favorite quote: “Screws fall out all the time; the world’s an imperfect place.” –The Breakfast Club

Aanya Gupta

Carnegie Mellon Univeristy
Statistics and data science

Career plans: Data scientist

RHS activities: Science Olympiad, Math League, peer tutoring, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? I think that it is very unfortunate that the coronavirus isolation period happened during our senior year however I have tried to make the most of it by finding new hobbies and spending time with family.

Favorite quote: “Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.” –Eeyore

Maya Johnson

Johns Hopkins University
Neuroscience and international studies

Career plans: Neurosurgeon, specializing in oncology

RHS activities: Student government, varsity basketball, March of Dimes, National Honor Society, tutoring

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? For the most part my school experiences have been fine. As to be expected it is strange to have class at home, however completely the work has been manageable. I am upset that our senior year ended abruptly, but during this time I’ve had time to reflect and get back into shape.

Favorite quote: “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” –Amy Poehler

Gina Mollica

North Carolina State University Honors Program
Biomedical engineering

Career plans: Prosthetic construction and analysis

RHS activities: Student council, soccer, softball, ONE Project, Play Unified

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? Adjusting to remote learning has posed slight challenges. However, I greatly miss interacting with students and teachers each day. Although missing out on social events such as graduation and prom is disappointing, I have enjoyed spending time with my family and beating my sister in Wii Play.

Favorite quote: “That’s life, you know. We never end up where you thought you wanted to be.” –Marshall Eriksen

Vindhya Pasala

Georgia Institute of Technology
Computer science

Career plans: Undecided

RHS activities: Tennis, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, Math League, multicultural club, Amnesty International club, Model UN

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? It was heartbreaking to learn the news that our school year would be cut short due to the coronavirus. It is upsetting that we lost the opportunity to attend and engage in the events that we imagined ourselves in the places of the seniors in years past, but it is crucial to stay positive in times like these. I have come to realize that the high school experience is truly a gift to cherish and I am happy that the memories I made at RHS were amazing.

Favorite quote: “Happiness is not something that you have to achieve. You can still feel happy during the process of achieving something.”

Hannah Shea

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Biology

Career plans: Medicine

RHS activities: Field hockey, lacrosse, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, Leadership Corps, ski club

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? In addition to focusing on online school, I have been trying to get outside and continue to enjoy my senior year. Having this happen during our senior year has been very unfortunate and devastating for most of us seniors. After looking forward to activities like our senior BBQ, prom, and especially graduation for several years, without them it feels like a disappointing end to so many years of hard work and memories at RHS.

Favorite quote: “We don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents.” –Bob Ross

Noel Varughese

Georgia Tech
Industrial engineering

Career plans: Undecided

RHS activities: FIRST Robotics, tennis, Model UN, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society

How do you feel about the way your senior year turned out? I never expected I’d be spending the last few months of my senior year at home. Although I’m disappointed to miss out on many senior privileges, I am grateful for all the friendships and memories I’ve made while at Robbinsville, and look forward to seeing my classmates again.

Favorite quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” –Andy Bernard