Haskell wins Key

Grant Sirlin, Staff Writer

The diffident freshman who stumbled into the cafeteria on his first day at Staples is now nearly unrecognizable. Four years later, he sauntered across the auditorium stage to receive the most coveted award at Staples.

“This year’s recipient of the Staples Key Award is…” Principal John Dodig briefly paused. “Will Haskell.”

Haskell fondly remembers his first lunch at Staples, timidly sitting at a freshman table in a sea of rowdy high schoolers, aspiring to do as well as the upperclassmen surrounding him.

“I was so nervous for my first lunch at Staples,” Haskell said. “I ate a pesto chicken sandwich because I had no idea what else to get. All the seniors looked so old and accomplished.”

Now Haskell stands among the accomplished students that he once longed to emulate.

“I can’t believe I’m that senior now, and in some ways I still feel like a freshman,” he said.

The Key Award recognizes students for “superior academic achievement, loyalty to Staples, and achievement and contributions to the Staples community,” Principal John Dodig said.

This award’s importance is marked by that fact it is awarded by all members of the Staples community. Faculty members make initial nominations, and then the recipient is decided by a vote from the graduating senior class.

The other impressive nominees included salutatorian Melissa Beretta and the creator of My Schedule Sharer, Parker Stakoff.

In his speech, Principal Dodig commended Haskell for “maturity beyond his years,” “learning for the sake of learning” and “being an essential part of the Staples High School community.”

Being the president of Staples’ Players, writing a nationally-published Yik Yak article, interning for Jim Himes, and winning four awards at the Annual Awards Presentation are just the dustings of Haskell’s impressive resume.

But despite all of his academic achievements, his fondest memories come from doing what he loves.

Haskell cited Collab as his favorite class at Staples, saying the last few days held some great moments. From deep talks about anything interested, to  a creating a end-of-the-year video, he enjoyed those final classes. “Sophomore year was really a time for academic exploration when we all grew really close before entering the pressure cooker of junior and senior year,” he said.

Before Haskell leaves Staples for good, he wants to leave one last piece of advice for the incoming freshman.

“Don’t do things for other people, because then you won’t enjoy it and you won’t do well. Do things that you find exciting.”