Student Perspective: Kevin DeMaio

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to attend the Middlesex County Academy. Without that school I can tell you for a fact that I would not be where I am today. At the Academy, I was Varsity Soccer Captain (if you play, you’re welcome for the new uniforms, the old ones were basketball uniforms), Student Council Vice President (if you have Battle of the Classes, you’re welcome again), MALS founding member, Ski-Trip aid, and Red-Cross Club founding member. It’s not just one trait that this school gave me, but a plethora of life skills that I’ve since used to become successful. The people I met, the opportunities I’ve had, and the moments I’ll never forget have made the school far more than an academic establishment to me. The Academy was my other family: the students, the teachers, and even the custodians. There’s a lot that I could write about the Academy, but I’ll just aim for the basics.

Throughout grammar school I was a straight A student, typically without even opening a book. However, that sure as hell was not the case at the Academy; even health class was intense. That wasn’t a bad thing, though, because the work was relevant to my interests. At the Academy, you learn more and far more in depth than at any other high school. In college, I’m ahead in my history classes because of the freshman and sophomore year history teacher at the Academy, Mr. Price. It’s not just in history, though. I have a similar advantage in every class: sciences, literature, mathematics, etc. The quality of education is simply unparalleled. We are an academic juggernaut, but to get this education you need to work for it. It won’t be easy.

The teachers are phenomenal. They generally have real experience in their fields, which says a lot. The civil engineering professor, Mr. Lopac, is literally a rocket scientist. The guy scares me, but he deserves his credit. He knows his engineering, and because of him I now think like an engineer. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to fix a TV, computer, or whatever if you think from an engineer’s point of view.

I was in a graduating class of 38 students, and when 20% of your graduating class goes to an Ivy League school you tend to aim high yourself. Ever have a sibling rivalry in your family? This was similar, and it pushed everyone to do better. I didn’t get into an amazing school, but I’m taking hold of all of the opportunities available to me to make my experience amazing and successful. In my school, I’m currently a member of the accounting club, students in free enterprise, several charities, and somehow the black student union (I’m completely Caucasian). I take challenges head on and expose myself to all types of experiences. While my best friends went to Princeton, Cornell, and Tufts, I know there’s no way in hell that I’ll let them beat me in life, and that’s a good thing.

It’s pretty interesting how close you become with the school. Yes, everyone knows everyone else and everything about everyone else, but we’re a family, not a community. We encourage and support each other. The friends you make at the Academy tend to stick. The faculty, too, are in this family, which is something you simply can’t put a price on.

I also played soccer at the Academy, later moving onto college level soccer. It kinda sucks playing at the Academy, where we have a world class varsity coach but fewer skilled players on the team than elsewhere. This is great if you’re not the best but have always wanted to play. If you’re like me, though, an athlete who’s played since I could walk, it’s a lot to work with. You’ll become a better player and become super close with your team, which makes it all worth it. Plus, our varsity jacket is sick. Black and Gold baby.

The relationships between the girls and the boys are hit or miss depending on your personality. Generally, though, I’ve found Academy relationships to be more meaningful than those at other high schools.

The few things that sucked about the Academy, though, were the commute (I live in Old Bridge), the workload, and the food (no cafeteria). I loved the people: faculty, and students alike. Of my grade I did the worst college wise, having been accepted to University of Carolina, University of Maryland, and University of Newhaven. I’ve learned, however, that you don’t have to be number one in your class, you simply have to do your best.

I know I’ve left a lot out, but I hope that new students will get to experience the Academy for themselves. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me through the Ask a Student page (be sure to mention my name).

About Kevin DeMaio:

Kevin DeMaio graduated from the Academy in 2011. He graduated from Ramapo in 2015, Magna Cum Laude, with a marketing degree and dual minors in information technology and international business. He is currently working as a crime analyst for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) in conjunction with the DEA and NJ State Police.

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