Maddie Shea has only known Huntington School District classrooms and that suits the senior just fine. One of the most gifted members of the Class of 2017, she’s enjoyed an exceptionally well-rounded high school experience.
The All-State vocalist has been “pure Huntington” since her first day of kindergarten at Flower Hill School. The teenager has excelled academically and every other way, too. She’s currently president of the high school drama club, vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the chair of the survivorship committee of next spring’s Relay For Life.
One of the best young vocalists and actresses in the state, Ms. Shea has performed with Huntington High School’s concert and chamber choirs and its all-female acapella group, Treble Makers since her freshman year.
“This year’s spring musical will mark my eighth and final production with the drama club,” said Mr. Shea about one of her favorite pursuits. “As bittersweet as it is, I could not be prouder of my time with this club and the wonderful people I have met because of it. Our advisor, Mr. [Michael] Schwendemann along with each uniquely talented individual I have shared the stage with over these past four years, have not only encouraged my growth as a performer, but as a human being. I will never forget the myriad of incredible experiences drama club and the Huntington High School music department have given me.”
Ms. Shea personifies the term “involved student” and she likes keeping busy and participating in as many activities as she can fit into any given day.
The senior has spent her high school years performing with the Long Island Musical Theatre Festival and Manhattan Concert Productions (a live music venue on W. 30th Street), taking the stage at Lincoln Center and across Long Island and privately studying voice, acting and dance.
“Maddie had a tough act to follow, being the sister of a four year member of the drama club; a sister who is multi-talented and was willing to try anything that was asked of her,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “Enter Maddie; she picked up the torch that was handed down to her by her sister Stephanie and became one of the most dedicated and committed club members I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Taking the stage by storm, she has always given 110 percent whether comedy, drama or the musical. She has become a crowd favorite onstage as well as a leader for the underclassmen; sometimes by example and sometimes quite vocally. As her senior musical approaches, it is hard to imagine the auditorium not resonating with her beautiful voice. I will relish this year’s rehearsal process as I know it might be the last opportunity I have to work with such a wonderful performer and fine student. I will truly miss her grace and charm both on stage and in my classroom.”
It isn’t surprising that Ms. Shea has a wide circle of friends and they all share a remarkable amount of respect and loyalty to each other. “I’m so glad I became friends with Maddie because she honestly has such a kind heart and is one of my best friends,” fellow Class of 2017 member Olivia Arciprete said. “I know that we will be friends throughout college. She is amazingly talented and deserves to go far in life. I’m glad to have a friend like her in my life.”
Ms. Shea’s current classes include Advanced Placement Government and Politics, AP Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, theatre arts, chamber choir and physical education. She’s always earned strong grades.
“Being a Blue Devil has been an honor and something I will miss greatly,” Ms. Shea said. “The incredible community within our school is spectacularly unique and something I am so glad to have been a part of.”