by Cate Murway
Cross Country co-captain, Samantha Lee Corcoran, BHS ’09 always makes a statement, verbally and visually! She dons her pretty and feminine classic pearls with her jeans, drinks WaWa iced coffee and confirms she has never eaten a hamburger. This Distinguished Honors student, in the top 5 in her class with a 3.95 GPA is full of confidence, energy and ambition and she wants to lead, not follow! Samantha expresses her brutally honest opinions and unconventional thinking freely. She is always in pursuit of knowledge and learning.
“Grand adventures await those who are willing to turn the corner.”
Samantha shares her birthday with poet, writer, composer, singer, musician and artist
Sheldon Allan “Shel” Silverstein [1930-1999] who hoped people would “experience a personal sense of discovery.” Samantha aspires to make an impact on the world and “change how people think or at least make them think. Nothing is gonna get done if you keep everything you think to yourself.”
Sam made phone calls, canvassed a little and “wore my button every day” when she
worked in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office. She wrote an editorial “Candidate of change well practiced at changing his mind” that appeared in the Monday, July 28th Courier Times on the “Opinion” page. Samantha tried to change some minds of the “countless young people parading with Barack Obama tote bags, t-shirts, pins, etc.” who were charmed by his clever campaign slogans.
The Corcoran family, originally from New York, moved into historic Bristol on the Delaware in 1997, after a short stay in Newtown.
Samantha’s parents are Lenox inside sales rep, Janet Marie [Kaminski], N. Babylon H.S. ’84 and owner/operator of Fratere Brothers, LLC trucking company Joseph Francis Corcoran, Sr. Deer Park H.S. ’77.
From her dad, Sam has learned to voice her opinion and from her mom, she has learned to be nice. “She tries to help me be a better person!”
Her brother, mechanic Joseph Francis, Jr., defensive lineman of the BHS class of ‘03 called trucks “fratere” when he was a child, thus the impetus for the company name.
An avid reader, preferring non-fiction over fiction, and an aspiring writer, sports have played only a little part in Samantha’s scholastic career. Sam has just finished a “catharsis”, a form of emotional cleansing memoir that she was encouraged to publish.
She participated in the band 4th through 10th grade, playing the saxophone (commonly referred to simply as sax). “Everyone played the flute or the clarinet; I wanted to be different!”
She tested out kickboxing and karate as a kid while her family still resided in NY and then started the 3rd grade in the Snyder-Girotti Elementary School when they moved to their North Cedar Street home. It was basketball and soccer at the Grundy recreation center and then she tried softball, “but just wasn’t for me!” A bit of field hockey and bowling in the 9th grade but “wasn’t good at it!” Samantha committed to managing the BHS wrestling team for 3 years because “I was smart and I could add”. The coach “wanted me to wrestle in the lightweight class and I wasn’t going for that!”
Samantha has felt accomplishment in cross-country!
She has enjoyed running with the very connected group of girls for the last 2 years.
Social Studies teacher/cross country & bowling coach/ steeplechase athlete, coach Ronald Brian McGinn, “a pretty colorful person”, had enticing signs “with smiling faces” around the school.
Per Coach McGinn, “Samantha Corcoran marches to her own heart beat. As one of the co-captains on Bristol High School's Cross Country team, she discovered much about perseverance. She did not improve during the season as she expected, and this weighed heavily on her desire to participate in the sport. It was Sam's awareness and respect of team that brought her through the difficult times. She discovered that she was loved by her teammates, not because of her ability to run, but rather because of her ability to laugh, to joke, to train. She was an indispensable member of a unified whole; her own personal progress more valued by her coach and teammates than the running of any specific time. Sam desires great things of herself, so a lack of progress is difficult for her to accept. However, in her XC experience, Samantha was able to transcend her high expectations of individual performance with the need and reward of team play. Sam has much to offer the world as an individual, however she shines best when working in an excellent team environment.”
Her plans include running track in the spring, “McGinn is trying to push me towards distance.”
Her favorite subject is AP European History, or she thrives on the challenge of Physics because it “tests her intellect and her patience”. She’s endured 3 years of Spanish but confides she is far from fluent! Regarded to be amongst Hemingway's greatest works, the 1940 really descriptive “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is her book of choice! The novel graphically describes the unutterable brutality of civil war.
As for television, it’s “House” for Samantha. The irreverent, controversial Dr. Gregory House [Hugh Laurie], who trusts no one, least of all his patients “reminds me of myself, always thinks he’s right; he’s like me!”
Romaine lettuce Caesar salad is her favorite food but she loves her mom’s Chinese soy sauce pork loin with pasta.
Her future goal is to become concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system, an orthopedic surgeon, as Sam is “interested in bones and how they hold up”. Typically this requires completing 4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years of medical school. Samantha has been accepted to Pitt, among the nation's most distinguished comprehensive universities but has also applied to St. Joseph University, MIT, University of Vermont and NYU.
Change historic Bristol on the Delaware? “Sometimes too close!”
Keep the same in the town? “The closeness! It’s nice to know there’s always someone to talk to in the town”
She feels that everyone should come experience historic Bristol on the Delaware to get the full experience.
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