Reflections of the WHS Student Body President
Maddie Quiroga has lived in Murphy for 14 years. During her freshman year at Wylie High School, she said, “I wasn’t involved in anything else and thought that being a part of student council would be a good way to get involved, so I decided to run for class historian.” She won that election. During her sophomore and junior years, she was elected as class president and this year, she was the Student Body President. She feels that being on the student council has allowed her to get to know the staff really well. She said, “I’ve spent a lot of time at the school and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s fun to have answers for everything,”
This year, she celebrates the fact that in addition to many other activities, student council deliberately showed appreciation for some of the school staff, such as the janitors, bus drivers and cafeteria workers, who might not receive acts of appreciation on a regular basis. Every other month they did something special for this group like delivering cookies and lemonade to them on Valentines Day. She has also enjoyed watching the growth of members of student council as they have become more independent.
She feels that over the last four years, she has learned to stand up for herself and others. She said, “My freshman year, I wouldn’t speak my mind. Now, if I see someone being done wrong, I’ll stand up for them. I’ve become bolder, in a good way. I can tell adults what is happening in a respectable way.”
Advice Quiroga gives to incoming freshman is, “Soak in the four years. Get involved right away. Try different things to make the most of the four years. I took AP physics and learned that I want to be an engineer. Challenge yourself with AP classes because it will boost your G.P.A.” Looking back on her school years, the only thing she wishes she had done differently was that she hadn’t procrastinated because it added unnecessary stress to her life.
She recalls the Birmingham Scholars, which are the top 10 ranked students at WHS, visiting her 8th grade class at Cooper Middle School. She remembers saying to herself that day, “I’m going to do that.” That goal was achieved. Extracurricular activities that she enjoyed include theater, National Honor Society, Police Club and working in the nursery at her church.
Her favorite school subjects were physics and humanities. She enjoyed physics because it was easy to apply what she learned to what she saw in the world. Humanities is a project-based class in which you stay with the same group of students each year and that has allowed close relationships to develop. Her favorite memory from high school is when she choreographed the theater department’s production of Footloose. She said, “It was so much fun and I was really proud of how it came out.”
The staff is what Quiroga feels she will miss most about WHS. She said, “There are so many adults that I can go to for advice or just to vent. I feel very safe and welcome here…a part of a family.”
She said she was inspired by her theater director, Polly Harrison and her calculus teacher, Susana Milhoan. Of Harrison, Quiroga said, “She taught me how to work hard to achieve my goals. She is so passionate, and that taught me to be passionate.” Of Milhoan, she said, “She taught me to be kind to everyone and spread positivity. Each day she had us say three good things about our day before we would start our lesson. I want people to say about me, ‘That girl is so nice, just like Ms. Milhoan.’”
To her parents she voiced appreciation, “Thank you for putting up with my attitude and for not getting onto me for staying up late. They understand that I work best at night. And they drove me everywhere until I was 16. They always provided for me and I’m really thankful for that.”
Quiroga will attend University of Oklahoma and will double major in biomedical engineering and Spanish. She earned many scholarships including the Award of Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion and Gallogly College of Engineering from OU. She chose OU over other college options because, “I love Norman (OK) and I knew I wouldn’t be just a number there. I feel I can make a difference at OU.”