SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Danielle Coyne, who has excelled in and out of the classroom during her years at Union Catholic, recently added to her remarkable resume with an amazing accomplishment.
Coyne, a senior, recently achieved a perfect score (800) on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section (EBRW) of the SAT.
“When I found out about my score, I was really excited and I couldn’t wait to share the news with my family,’’ said Coyne, who earned perfect scores on the math, English and reading sections of the American College Testing (ACT) exam last year. “While I felt pretty confident after taking the SAT, I was still a little surprised by the perfect score on the English section and very happy with my overall score. My score is meaningful to me because it reflects all of the work I’ve put into my classes and I’m proud that I’ve been able to accomplish an important goal that I set for myself.’’
Coyne said the instruction she’s received in her classes at UC added to her confidence.
“I prepared for the SAT for a few weeks leading up to the test in August by doing some practice problems and practice tests available online on my own,’’ said Coyne, who lives in Scotch Plains. “While I didn’t do much to prepare for the SAT, I felt well prepared by my classes at UC.’’
Coyne has earned several honors during her years at UC.
She’s achieved First Honors every marking period, was ranked No. 1 in her class as a sophomore and junior, is a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Italian National Honor Society.
“Being recognized for my success means a lot to me because I put so much time into my schoolwork,’’ said Coyne.
Coyne, whose sister, Jackie, graduated from UC last spring, is one of the most active students in the school.
She’s on the cross-country, swim, and track and field teams, is a Student Ambassador, serves as the Event Coordinator for the CRAYON Club, and is a member of Operation Smile and the Ski Club.
Coyne focuses on time management and setting goals for herself to balance her busy schedule.
“It can definitely be difficult sometimes to balance my schoolwork and activities, but I do my best to use my time productively throughout the day and stay organized,’’ said Coyne. “I generally like staying busy because it gives me goals to focus on, but I also appreciate having some free time to spend with my family and friends and relax.’’
Coyne said being so active in and out of the classroom has enabled her to become an even better student and person.
“Participating in both sports and academics has helped me become a better student because it makes me a more well rounded person,’’ said Coyne. “Devoting some time every day to being outside and being active helps me stay focused when I’m in the classroom. In general, I think it’s important to be involved in a lot of different things because it opens me up to new opportunities and experiences that I would miss if I was limited to a single focus. My favorite part of representing UC is the relationships I have with everyone in the school.
Coyne feels being involved in three sports has been very rewarding.
“My favorite part of playing sports at UC is my relationships with my teammates,’’ said Coyne I spend a lot of time with my teammates at practices and meets, so
I’ve made really close friendships that make the experience meaningful.’’
Coyne has gotten off to a fast start this cross-country season. She recently ran her fastest 5K time when she crossed the line first in 20:50 in a scrimmage vs. Ridge at Oak Ridge Park in Clark.
“I’m very excited by my personal best because it reflects all of the hard work I’ve put into my training,’’ said Coyne. “It’s also exciting to run my best time so early in the season because I’m looking forward to seeing how much more I can improve. My biggest goals for this season are to work well together as a team and perform well in the conference and county meets. Personally, I hope to continue dropping my time throughout the season. The thing that I love most about running is pushing myself to get better and the amazing feeling of knowing that I’ve put my all into a race.’’
What’s Coyne’s favorite part of being a student at Union Catholic?
“My favorite part about being a student at Union Catholic is my teachers,’’ she said. “Throughout my years at UC, I’ve had so many great teachers that have helped me grow as a student and as a person. My teachers are what makes me excited to show up to class every day.’’
Coyne said when Jackie, now a freshman at Georgetown University, became a student at UC, she wanted to follow in her footsteps.
“I decided to attend UC largely because of my older sister’s experience here,’’ said Coyne. “When she started school at UC, I heard so much about her interesting classes, the friends she was making, and her involvement in different activities. I couldn’t wait to follow her. I was also attracted by the sense of community that I saw through my sister’s involvement at the school, as well as UC events like Open House.’’
What kind of advice would Coyne give to younger students who are considering attending UC?
“I would tell younger students that they should come to UC because it will give them the opportunity to meet interesting people from a wide variety of areas and backgrounds,’’ said Coyne said. Unlike other schools, which may only have students from one town or a small area, UC has a diverse community of students that makes it a strong and vibrant school. I would also tell younger students that UC has a positive environment and that the school really cares about supporting its students. UC has given me access to many great classes that have taught me a lot and that have prepared me well for college.’’
What is Coyne looking forward to the most this school year.
“I’m looking forward to a lot of things this year, but I’m most excited for all of the senior events leading up to graduation,’’ said Coyne. “I can’t wait to celebrate our four years of hard work at UC with the rest of my class.’’
What about the future?
“I don’t have very specific plans for the future, but I’m interested in majoring and pursuing a career in the science field,’’ said Coyne. “However, I’m passionate about a wide variety of subjects and still exploring what I want to do in the future.’’