Senior Spotlight: Haley Schweitzer
By Mariah McKenzie
Singer, songwriter, video editor, artist, honors student, and athlete, Haley Edyn Schweitzer is one of our hidden gems in the Northstar family. Born on February 24, 2000, Haley was raised in Hamilton, New Jersey, though her parents are both originally from Brooklyn, New York. Most people know her mother for her festive decorated cookies and her father for his sense of humor and thrilling stories from his days serving as a New York City Police Department officer.
Haley, however, is known for myriad accomplishments and hobbies of her own. She has participated in Nottingham’s school play for two years and was a member of both the select choir and softball team in her freshman and sophomore years. She formerly coached “Unified Basketball” for kids with learning disabilities in Nottingham’s chapter of the Unification Club and was a disc jockey at Langtree Elementary School’s Trunk or Treat in 2016. She currently participates in the school play, National Honor Society, and Nottingham’s Volunteer Internship Program, in which she video edits and takes photos for the Senior Video, Star Status, and many school activities.
Haley was recently named Hamilton Elks’s Student of the Month based on both her academics and character. Her greatest accomplishments, however, may lie in her performances at both of Nottingham’s first two annual talent shows.
Haley is an example of someone who keeps going when it gets rough- a phoenix rising from its ashes. Nottingham’s first annual talent show took place during her junior year, and Haley seized it as an opportunity to express herself in front of her fellow Northstars. Haley remembers rehearsing for the show one night while video chatting with her mom, who was staying with her ill grandmother in the hospital during her final days. As her grandmother listened to her sing she whispered, “She’s so pretty.” Those were the last words Haley heard from her before she passed away.
At her grandmother’s funeral, and for her talent show performance, Haley Schweitzer serenaded her family with the song “Recovering” by Celine Dion. After dedicating the song to her recently deceased grandmother and her recovering family in the audience, it was no longer just a song, but her anthem. Reflecting on her grief and overall difficult high school experience, she says she is excited to graduate and begin the next chapter of her life knowing that her parents, her sister, and her best friends -- Mariah, Jessie, and Chris -- will be by her side. Haley looks forward to all of the adventures adulthood has in store for her.
Though she maintains a positive philosophy on life, music and humor are mainly how she gets through the obstacles thrown at her. The best way to explain her is with a quote by Maya Angelou: “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to the loneliness.” Haley’s deep passion for music and poetry drove her to begin songwriting at nine years old, and she has been consistent with it ever since. Her interests in numerous subjects and hobbies as well as her strong work ethic have molded Haley into the kind of woman who can find passion in anything and work her hardest at it.
Because of her deep passion for music and helping children, Haley aspires to major in education and minor in music performance at Mercer County Community College and/or Florida State University. This way, she will chase both of her dreams and make as big of an impact as she possibly can.
Though she does not intend to pursue film as a career, she claims she will always continue to direct, film, and edit short films and music videos, as the hobby always has and always will have a special spot in her heart. From her artistic music videos to her hilarious parody short film titled, “Jason Kilbourne,” Haley’s passion and humor radiate from everything she imagines and creates. Her favorite movie, Labyrinth, is what inspired her to delve into her creative venues, as she claims the film, “...made me see the magic in the world. So many silly things you’d usually never notice could be so fascinating. From a certain vibe a song has to a particular camera angle in a film to a specific line in a
poem -- you could really find magic anywhere. It’s pretty funny to think an '80s kids’ movie taught me that, but I’m glad it did. I hope everyone has some sort of song, movie, or person in their lives that inspires them like that. That’s how geniuses and artists are created.”
Alongside her strength and passion, she is very independent. Her father always told her that she should “Never depend on a man. Make a life for yourself; use your own judgement.” Her father’s words did not go unheeded; Haley has worked at AMC Marketfair 10 since she was 15 years old and was recently promoted to a crew leader. She continues to love her job, maintain straight A’s, and pour her heart and soul into everything she does. She commented, “When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like a job. I love helping people, and it is the absolute best feeling in the world being appreciated for all of the dedication I put into it and knowing everything I own I have earned myself. Working there has helped me gain the confidence I never really had in school. Regular guests at the theatre look forward to seeing me, and I look forward to seeing them. I’m best friends with almost everyone I work with, and I couldn’t be luckier.”
The truth is that Haley sometimes fears her true personality doesn’t shine through as much at Nottingham as it does elsewhere -- that people view her in negative ways, such as awkward or standoffish. However, two of her teachers seem to view her as the exact opposite. “Haley is one of the most hardworking and honest students I have had in my 15+ years of teaching. Her ethics, her friendly personality, and her ambition to succeed in every aspect of her life are an inspiration to everyone she meets. She is a true role model,” praised her Spanish teacher of two years, Señora Jill Demaio.
Additionally, Dr. Edward Kilbourne, her chemistry teacher for two years said, “Haley is a great all-around person, considering her personality, work ethic and academic accomplishments. What I really enjoy about Haley is her sense of humor. When you pass her in the hall she always has a smile and often has something to say that is entertaining. She is a good person to bounce a funny story off of as she can always see the humor in things.”
In ten years time, we might find Haley already beginning her career, in a relationship, and living the best of both worlds. Deeper in that future she hopes to build a family; she hopes to have a loving husband with whom she can go on adventures and experience the world. Also, when she does have kids, she wants her parents to be close to her grandchildren and know that their little girl grew up okay. Finally, Haley Schweitzer sums herself up from a specific quote in a poem by Shel Silverstein, “But of all the magic I have known I had to make myself.”