In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on rising Union Catholic senior Annie Hartnett.
Hartnett, who lives in Clark, is a Student Ambassador, an Honor Roll student, a member of the tennis, lacrosse, and forensics teams, and is a member of the National Honor Society, and the National Spanish Honor Society.
Here is our Q and A with Hartnett-
What does it mean to you to represent UC as a Student Ambassador? That’s a great honor that I’m sure means a lot to you.
Representing UC as a Student Ambassador is very important to me because it allows me to build on leadership and communication skills. It was an honor to be chosen and I enjoy being able to show others why UC is a great place to be.
What’s the best thing about being a Student Ambassador? What do you enjoy the most about it?
The best thing about being a Student Ambassador is how it’s developed my character and how I’m able to show others the sense of community at UC. I enjoy meeting with prospective students because I remember being in their shoes a few years ago. It can feel strange and uncertain to make the transition from middle school to high school, but it’s important to show them how UC will make this transition easier because of the comforting environment you feel when you walk through the doors.
You also do a great job representing the school on the tennis court and the lacrosse field.
What do you love the most about playing tennis and lacrosse at UC?
What I love most about playing tennis and lacrosse at UC are that teamwork is shown and my confidence has grown. It’s a great way to be with my friends after school and the energy we all give on the court or field is always lively. Even if we lose, we always find a way to learn from our mistakes and give it our all next game.
What do you consider your greatest strengths as a tennis player?
My greatest strengths as a tennis player are helping to guide and teach my fellow teammates. It’s very rewarding to teach others about the sport I love.
What do you consider your greatest strengths as a lacrosse player?
My greatest strength as a lacrosse player is how my skills have improved since I started playing two years ago. When I started playing, the Captains at the time taught me how to play. This influenced me when I was chosen Captain for tennis and it taught me the important skills I needed.
When and how do you get started playing tennis and lacrosse?
I started playing tennis when I was in 5th grade, and since then I’ve loved it. My mom played in college and encouraged me to play. I started lacrosse as a freshman because I was interested in trying a new sport and I had some friends who encouraged me to join.
Can you list all the awards/honors you have received at UC?
Honor roll each quarter, National Honor Society, and National Spanish Honor Society
Can you explain how the balance between academics and sports has helped you become a better student and athlete, and how important it is to be involved in different things?
The balance between academics and sports has helped me become a better student and athlete because my time management skills have improved. It’s important to have this because productivity increases and it inspires me to find time to get all my work done when I come home from tennis or lacrosse. It’s important to be involved in different things because I have made countless connections and have made new friendships. It’s also helped to improve my teamwork and decision making skills. Lastly, becoming involved creates a healthy routine for focusing on school work and physical health.
Are you involved in any clubs or other activities at school or out of school?
I am Co-President of the Operation Smile Club, a member of the Service Club, and the Forensics team. I also do service activities for my church, and work as a counselor at a tennis camp.
What do you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
I love the environment most, and how friendly everyone is. Every time I go to school, I always feel welcomed. Whether someone holds the door open for me or greets me in the hallway, I feel appreciated.
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
I decided UC was the place for me because of how strong the sense of community was within the school. I saw how helpful the staff and students were after Freshman for a Day, and it inspired me to go to UC. Since my brothers all attended UC, I got to see the opportunities UC provides since I was little. I have been going to Catholic school since kindergarten, and knew that I wanted to continue going to a Catholic school that had strong values. The core values UC emphasizes were important to me, and I have seen how they have been established since my first day of freshman year.
Can you list all your family members who attended UC and what year they each graduated?
My three older brothers all attended Union Catholic. Brian graduated in 2011, TJ graduated in 2014, and Patrick graduated in 2019.
What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
Younger students should come to UC because it sets you on a path towards success. The teachers are dedicated to helping their students learn, and there are endless opportunities to get involved.
Have you thought about your future as far as what you’d like to major in when you get into college, what type of career you’d like to pursue?
I think I’d like to major in marketing.
What are your biggest goals in tennis for your senior year?
My biggest goals in tennis are to play first singles and overall be a strong leader and role model for my team.
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know? Maybe a hidden talent or hobby?
A hobby I have is baking. I find it relaxing and it’s a good way to show creativity.
Favorite things to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my friends and family, watch TV and movies, and go on drives.
Favorite class and teacher at UC?
My favorite class was APUSH with Mr. Sagendorf.
Favorite UC tennis moment?
My favorite tennis moment was when I split sets in second singles against Plainfield and came back to win the third set. It was a very exciting moment that showed me the importance of perseverance and not giving up.
Favorite UC lacrosse moment?
My favorite UC lacrosse moment was when we won our first game this past season against Edison. It was a very exciting moment to see all our hard work pay off.
Favorite UC Event?
My favorite UC event is the Pep Rallies. They are always very exciting, and it’s always fun to walk out with my team.
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
Community because it is strong at UC. The sense of school spirit is evident, and since UC is small in comparison to other schools, our community is shown.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
One word to describe your UC experience?
Share one tip for members of UC’s Class of 2025?
Enjoy every moment because it goes by very quickly and get involved as much as you can.