NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Katie Reilly poured her heart into Newtown High School during her four years on campus. Reilly played four sports, served on student government and helped ease the transition to high school for incoming freshman all while maintaining a rigorous academic workload.
Reilly, who will attend the University of Delaware, was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Cartus of Danbury. She is the daughter of Patrick Reilly, an Applications Manager for the global relocation company.
“Managing time was so important,’’ said Katie, who also worked at local hardware store, volunteered as a church school teacher, tutored students and coached basketball for 7th and 8th grade girls. “I used study halls and free periods to get my work done. We have a Career Center at school, and I spent all my free periods there. It was much quieter and I could get a lot done. I found that I was really productive working at Starbucks, and had some late nights here and there. I just found what worked for me.”
Reilly ran cross country and played basketball, softball and tennis for the Nighthawks. She served as captain for the basketball team during her senior year, helping the team to a 12-10 record and a berth in the league and state playoffs.
“Playing sports will be one of my fondest memories of high school,’’ Reilly said. “Not so much because of the successes we had, but the relationships that were built with coaches and teammates. They are super valuable to me. I’ve been friends with a lot of these girls for a long time, and playing sports helped build those relationships.”
Reilly was also instrumental in helping incoming freshman transition to high school. As a member of Link Crew, Reilly worked with the younger students to help them get acclimated to their new surroundings.
“The club was for juniors and seniors, and you had to apply to get in,’’ she said. “We had three training days. We were expected to build relationships with freshman, maintain them during the school year and make them more comfortable in the transition. That was probably my favorite club. It was rewarding to see their development. They came in as nervous freshman, and breaking down that anxiety was rewarding. Each student moved along at their own pace.”
Reilly also worked for student government and served on several committees, and was the committee chair for the school’s Spirit Week. She also assisted with homecoming, pep rallies and other events for the school leadership group.
She said hopes to play club sports at Delaware, where she plans to study marketing. “There was just something about the atmosphere at Delaware that appealed to me,’’ she said. “I felt at home on the campus.”
She learned of the Cartus scholarship just recently when her father phoned her from work with the good news. “I was shocked but very excited,’’ Reilly said. “It was a nice surprise. I had some other scholarships through school, but I wasn’t expecting this. It was a nice surprise.”