Masters School Co-Presidents Reflect on Lessons Learned

by Anna Young

The Masters School co-presidents of the senior class, Kevin McGuire and Nina Hylton, are anxious and excited to deliver their graduation speeches during the June 10 ceremony.

In lieu of honoring students with titles such as valedictorian and salutatorian, the Dobbs Ferry school allows the two class presidents to deliver a speech during graduation.

Nina Hylton

Nina Hylton

Nina Hylton

Nina Hylton is appreciating every moment with her family, friends and teachers before graduating from The Masters Upper School on June 10.

Attending the Dobb’s Ferry school since sixth grade, Hylton, 17, said she has continually made school her priority, stating that academics have always been an important part of her life.

“I have a natural love for learning and education will always be important to me,” Hylton said. “All the hard work has paid off in my eyes.”

During her time at Masters, the Mount Vernon resident has led the school’s varsity softball team as an accomplished pitcher, while serving as co-president of the senior class, president of the black culture and empowerment club, diversity ambassador, yearbook editor, and gold key ambassador.

In addition to her achievements on the field, Hylton will graduate on the honor roll maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

“This will be a fulfilling moment for me, something truly unforgettable,” Hylton said. “Speaking in front of my friends, classmates, teachers and family means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to graduation.”

Hylton’s impressive work in the classroom and on the field earned her both a full academic scholarship and softball scholarship to Tuskegee University, where she will be attending in the fall after signing her letter of intent in May.

Hylton, who has been playing softball since she was 10, said her collegiate goal was to commit to a school that challenged her academically, while playing on a softball team that would push her to her full potential.

While Hylton admits she probably won’t start as a freshman, she is excited to compete for the school’s Division II level team in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“I believe I will be an asset and an influential person on Tuskegee University’s team,” said Hylton, who noted that her grandfather also served with the Tuskegee Airmen.

At Tuskegee, Hylton plans to major in political science with the hope of pursuing a life as an activist.

“Activism is very important to me and I want to find a career that will involve that passion,” Hylton said. “I want to fight for systematic change, I want to do more than be voice.”

Hylton will also minor in African American studies.

While Hylton credits her family’s constant encouragement for her success, she said attending The Masters School has taught her the importance of taking accountability for her education and ownership in her school experience.

“The most transformational period of my life has happened on this campus and the community has shaped me into the person I am today,” Hylton said. “It’s been an unforgettable experience.”

Kevin McGuire

Kevin McGuire

Kevin McGuire

Kevin McGuire is looking forward to the college experience following his June 10 graduation from The Masters’ Upper School.

McGuire, 18, has been an active part of the Masters School community, stating that he’s discovered himself during the four years he’s attended the Dobb’s Ferry school.

“I’ve learned to be more open about myself,” McGuire said. “I want to be able to be myself and people will accept that, if they don’t, I’m not the one who has to regret anything because I’m doing something that makes me honest about myself.”

During his time at Masters, the Greenwich, Conn. resident has been a member of the soccer, ultimate frisbee and fencing team, while also contributing his time to community service, serving as co-president of the senior class, and assisting on theater crew, where he was involved with set design, building and group coordination preparation for school shows.

“Sometimes you feel in high school that you can’t do what you want because you’re too busy, but that hasn’t been my experience,” McGuire said.

McGuire will be taking those experiences with him as he attends the College of William and Mary in the fall, where he plans to study history, government and film, while also discovering what career path he wants to pursue.

“I’m not sure exactly what I want to be once I’m out of college, I just love learning about stuff that interests me and I like being creative,” McGuire said. “I don’t know where those interests will take me.”

McGuire credits his mother for helping him keep an open mind about his career post college, stating that her encouragement to take a bunch of courses and enjoy college has relieved the pressure of choosing a career.

As co-president, McGuire will have the honor of speaking at graduation representing his senior class, expressing his excitement to do something huge for his graduating class.

“For four years now I’ve been surrounded by a lot of really amazing, talented classmates, I’d say that being class president is a way for me to live up to being at this school,” he said. “I learned a lot about myself and Masters during my time here and it’s been awesome.”

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