COVENTRY — As she prepares to leave the Ocean State for Indiana, Delaney Reynolds is eager to step outside of her comfort zone.
“I’m excited to try new things,” said Reynolds, salutatorian of the Coventry High School class of 2022. “I really want to branch out — that’s part of the reason I picked the school I did.”
A lifelong resident of Kent County, Reynolds will move to the Midwest in August to study at the University of Notre Dame.
“When else would I get to move that far away from Rhode Island?” Reynolds, who grew up in Coventry but last year moved to West Greenwich, said of her decision to attend Notre Dame. “I just want to try new things and meet new people.”
But while she looks forward to the future, Reynolds added that she’s appreciated her years in the Coventry school district.
“I loved high school,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Reynolds plans to major in mechanical engineering, possibly on her way to a career as an architect.
With a deep interest in math, Reynolds also thoroughly enjoyed the numerous art and design classes she took while in high school, and had initially been looking into architecture schools. In speaking with professional architects, however, it was recommended to her that she first pursue an engineering degree.
“I want to see how I like mechanical engineering,” she added, “and maybe I’ll end up sticking with that.”
While at Coventry High School, Reynolds especially enjoyed the art portfolio class that she took this year — because of it, she now has a portfolio filled with her own designs and artworks.
As for extracurriculars, Reynolds served as president of the National Honor Society, and was a two-sport varsity athlete, participating on both the gymnastics and the outdoor track and field teams.
The time she spent with her teammates during gymnastics practices and competitions will never be forgotten, Reynolds said.
“I got to meet so many girls that I normally wouldn’t have outside of the sport,” she said, adding that she’s enjoyed building friendships with her fellow gymnasts.
Her time as a member of the outdoor track team was also significant.
Before becoming a pole vaulter on the team, Reynolds had never tried the sport. She hadn’t even realized it existed, she said, but she had a lot of fun with it and is so glad that she gave it a shot.
In fact, that’s the advice Reynolds would give to rising ninth-graders: not to try pole vaulting, necessarily, but to be open to exploring new interests.
“Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new,” she said.
Reynolds said she hopes to continue with athletics in some capacity while at college, and is looking forward to giving “interhall” sports a try. She’d also love to join the art club, she said, as well as some of the engineering groups, like the university’s Society for Women Engineers.
While she looks ahead, Reynolds said it feels “surreal” to be leaving Coventry High School.
“Graduation was always that event that feels so far away,” she said last Monday, just two days before receiving her diploma. “But it’s really close now, and I’m excited.”