By Haley Essington
This past Friday night at the annual East Greenwich High School talent show, two very special people were called up to the stage and presented with this year’s “Spotlight on Talent” award. This award recognizes one student and one teacher each year who consistently work hard to help others and make our school a better place for anyone who has the privilege of knowing them. The winners of the Spotlight award are chosen by Mr. Petrucci and a selected group of students, and are people who “go out of their way to help people, to be a great person, to give themselves completely to a cause they care about,” says Ali DeCesare, who led the tech crew at Friday night’s show. Last year Danielle Elson and Mr. Carniaux were the recipients.
The teacher who was granted the award this year was the beloved Mrs. Schnacky, who has passionately taught chemistry at EGHS for 44 years. Her stories about her chickens and a love for crazy chemical experiments have livened up this school, and as her retirement approaches, she deserves to be recognized for all she has done and continues to do each day she teaches. “She is a wonderful woman. She’s so sweet and funny, and she makes chemistry bearable,” says AP Chemistry student Nadia Halder.
As for the student who was chosen, it had to be someone “who cares about helping other people and not just what their accomplishments will look like on a college transcript,” Ali explained. One student came to mind quickly based off of this criteria: junior Emily Miga. Emily, or “Miga” as she is most often called, performed the opening group dance number in the show last night. As someone who has had the pleasure of being close with her, I can say with confidence that she exemplifies the exact kind of selflessness and hard work that this award seeks to reward, shown by her leading many clubs in this school out of pure passion rather than simply for the sake of doing it. Her caring “mom” personality as well as her contagious silly nature keep everyone around her smiling
These two people accepted the awards humbly and gratefully. Mrs. Schnacky reluctantly walked into the spotlight on stage, saying, “Being on stage is not my thing. I’m good at being in the audience.” Emily was taken completely by surprise by the award, holding her hands over her mouth in disbelief all the way up to the stage. Both the excellent performer and supportive audience member contribute lots to our school, and last night’s talent show supplied the perfect opportunity for them to be thanked with speeches and loud cheers from the audience.