The Purbalite

Plunkett stays busy by helping others

Hard at work: Claire Plunkett does announcing for a bocce tourney. Her parents inspired her to join Special Olympics.

Jessica Abt

Hard at work: Claire Plunkett does announcing for a bocce tourney. Her parents inspired her to join Special Olympics.

Jessica Abt and Cassie Snyder

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Senior Claire Plunkett has been racking up activities on her transcript for years and it does not look like she is slowing down.
Her list is lengthy: president of the choir, on the junior leadership board for the adaptive baseball group Miracle League of the South Hills, student leader of the Polar Plunge, on the executive board for Special Olympics, in National Honors Society, on the mock trial team, in Baldwinaires, and in the color guard. Oh, and she also holds down a job at the Hallmark store in Caste Village.
“She had a goal in mind of what she wanted to do and she got involved,” Special Olympics Club co-sponsor Tim Laughlin said of Plunkett.
Perhaps her most impressive feat so far is being promoted to the junior leadership board for the regional non-profit Miracle League of the South Hills.
“I really enjoy working with the League because you can really see the growth of the athletes and it is very rewarding,” Plunkett said.
Her most memorable Miracle League moment came when she and junior Tommy Ahlin went to a Mitzvah Mall, a Jewish celebration where children donate money to their favorite charity after hearing presentations from charity representatives. They spoke about Miracle League and educated children about their cause.
As a Special Olympics executive board member, she gets to travel to different schools to talk about Baldwin’s Special Olympics program.
“I was inspired to be so involved in Special Olympics through my parents and my family’s involvement in the Polar Plunge while I was in middle school,” Plunkett said.
Plunkett’s dad, Todd Plunkett, is a Super Plunger. This means he jumps into the river every hour for 24 hours and has to raise $2,500 for the event. The Plunkett family got involved in this event through her dad’s coworkers. This is now something the family does every year, she said.
Plunkett takes inspiration from the Special Olympics athletes.
“Just one smile (from the athletes) can keep you going,” Plunkett said.
As for her other activities, Plunkett said it’s the sense of accomplishment she gets that provides inspiration. She also has a love of music, which leads to her leadership role in the choir.
“Claire is collectively well liked by her peers. She’s friendly, positive, has school spirit, and thoroughly enjoys music, which is what got her the position as choir president,” choir teacher Kris Tranter said.
Plunkett has been in choir all four years of high school, serving as secretary her junior year and now as president in her senior year. She has led events such as this year’s Baldwin Idol singing competition and the Music in Our Schools choir concert, Tranter said.
“I see Claire being in a strong leadership position in the future. She has very strong leadership and people skills that will benefit her greatly in her future,” Tranter said.

About the Contributors
Jessica Abt, Staff Writer
Jessica Abt is a junior and is a first-year staff writer. She loves music, especially Fetty Wap and Mozart. She will always be willing to chat about Harry Potter conspiracies as long as it’s with a cup of chai tea.
Cassie Snyder, Staff Writer
Cassie is a sophomore and this is her first year as a staff writer for the Purbalite. She participates in the color guard and school musical. You can often find her quoting The Office and doing the robot to early 2000s pop songs.
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Plunkett stays busy by helping others