Senior Soccer Standout Attends Leadership Summit
Allyson McConnell, an outstanding student-athlete who plays on the Ewing High School Varsity Girls Soccer team, represented the school at the recent NJSIAA Senior Leadership Summit.
The event, held at the Westin at Forrestal Village in Princeton, was in honor of the NJSIAA’s 100th anniversary, and was designed to bring senior athletes from around the state together for a day of activities and discussions focused on empowering leadership and service.
McConnell is a captain for the Blue Devils, and has been a standout for the soccer squad since her freshman year. She is also highly involved in the school’s Project Unity, the unified physical education program and Special Olympics. McConnell is also a peer leader for EHS and a member of the school’s National Honor Society. Away from school, she works as gymnastics and soccer instructor for Schafer Sports Center and plays for the NLSA travel soccer organization.
“Allyson was an excellent choice to represent our high school at this event,” EHS Principal Ed Chmiel commented. “She is always positive, upbeat, respectful and a natural leader.”
At the summit, McConnell and senior athletes from around the state heard presentations from various dignitaries and speakers. Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont Repollet welcomed the students, and other presenters included motivational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez, legendary basketball coach Bob Hurley, and Dr. Jarrod Spencer, who wrote the book, “Mind of the Athlete”.
“I think the main theme of each speaker was that if you work hard and stay focused, you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself,” McConnell shared. “It was emphasized that you can’t be successful alone, and you need to be thankful for the people in your life that helped you along the way.”
A major topic of the summit was the importance of mental health and wellness for student-athletes, something that has been a recent focus of the Ewing Schools. “Dr. Spencer told us that we all have so much stress in our lives, that we need to take time to clear our minds and relax as well as compete.”
As McConnell finishes out her athletic career at EHS and moves forward with her senior year and plans to attend college, the lessons from the summit will resonate with her. “I was honored to attend and represent Ewing,” she commented. “I am proud of our town and school and grateful for my teachers and coaches. It was certainly a great experience.”