Nuzzo Scholar Reaps Rewards of O'Neal Experience
Four years ago, freshman Meagan Watkins was asked about her ultimate goal as an O'Neal student.
Her response: "I want to be valedictorian."
Now as a senior, with graduation only months away, Watkins is well on the way to achieving that goal, in addition to being accepted to a multitude of universities across the nation.
Watkins learned about the Upper School scholarships from a family member and later enrolled at O'Neal in the ninth grade as a recipient of the Nuzzo Scholarship, one of three scholarships offered to -rising ninth-grade students who set a high standard for themselves in the areas of citizenship, extracurricular activities and academic achievement.
"O'Neal's focus on preparing students for college and the ability to allow for one-on-one time with teachers has benefited me the most," says Watkins.
To date, she has been accepted to 10 institutions of higher learning - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Hawaii, University of Alaska and University of Texas, to name a few - with most of them offering her merit-based scholarships.
Finishing up the last of her Upper School career, Watkins has thrived at O'Neal. She has been rewarded for having the highest GPA average in her grade by receiving the Headmaster's Achievement Award. More accolades followed as she served as junior marshal during graduation and was inducted into the prestigious Cum Laude Society.
This year, as a part of O'Neal's prefect leadership program, Watkins serves as the academic prefect, where she has started a peer tutoring system within the Upper School. In pursuance of her desire to study medicine, Watkins assists O'Neal's biology teacher, Cindi Carr, when she has free time.
"Meagan has two passions, one being academics and the other music," says Carr. "She entered O'Neal for the first time as a freshman and her determination to get the most out of her education was obvious from day one. When she encountered an obstacle, she did what the well-used cliche says, 'When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.' It has been a joy to watch her grow from a shy 14-year-old to a self-assured, determined young woman who has ability to be successful in whatever she does."
Off-campus, Watkins participates in the Medical Explorers Club, which is based at Moore Regional Hospital, allowing her to learn about different medical professions, tour medical facilities and more.
To accomplish O'Neal's required community service hours for graduation, Watkins plays her violin, which she has studied for nine years, to audiences in area nursing homes.
In addition to solo performances, she is also the section leader for the Moore Philharmonic Orchestra, a nonprofit community orchestra.
More like this story