Junior SJ Lasley, who first met Will in kindergarten, writes about her experiences with him and how he embodied what it means to be a Maverick.
Will McKone was a Maverick in every sense of the word. He was good, compassionate, respectful and fun-loving. He was a friendly face to everyone who knew him and to those who didn’t.
I met Will around 12 years ago on the first day of kindergarten. He was tiny and blond with the rosiest cheeks I had ever seen. While the rest of us hid behind our parents’ legs and refused to speak to anyone, he came in with one goal in mind: to become everyone’s friend.
In first grade, he regularly performed magic tricks for the whole class. After a magic show, he told me that he knew a “real-life magic trick”: No one ever touches anything because a thin layer of particles surrounds everyone and everything. My tiny six-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend it, and I refused to believe him. He accepted my confusion, didn’t argue and walked toward another one of our classmates to share the same magical finding. I later learned that he was, in fact, correct. I still think about that day and how he managed to know so much at such a young age. He never rubbed it in; he was only interested in sharing his delight and innocent curiosity with others so we could all experience the magic.
Will never changed from my first impression of him: outgoing, smart, compassionate, curious and a leader. Years later, during our fifth-grade graduation ceremony, he received the highest award given to a Lower School student: The Chidsey Award. Since then, any time a big award was to be presented, my friends and I would all turn to each other and say, “Will McKone.” And, sure enough, his name was always called. It became an ongoing joke between me and my friends. It was never a surprise — it was always deserved. That’s the kind of kid he was.
Last year, Will won the Maverick Award. His introduction sums it up perfectly: “Will is that student who is a “game-changer,” one whose very presence in our classrooms, hallways, and on the baseball diamond elevates the level of performance, the level of positive vibe, the level of mature perspective.” While on The Review, Will created some of my favorite videos ever posted on our website, and he won a top-notch award from the National Scholastic Press Association. Again, no one was surprised, and everyone knew he deserved both awards and many more.
In the midst of this tragedy, we will remember him and carry on his legacy. Always on our minds and forever in our hearts. A friend, a classmate and the true definition of what it means to be a Maverick.