Emily Monigle – Delaware Secretary of Education Scholar

December 1, 2021

Emily Monigle has had a busy 2021. Besides being valedictorian of her senior class at Cape Henlopen High School with a GPA of 4.17, being part of state championships in both lacrosse and field hockey, and being named the state Player of the Year in lacrosse, she was recognized as a Delaware Secretary of Education Scholar and is Delaware’s representative for this year’s USA Today High School Sports Award.

It takes a lot to juggle that, particularly when you add in the 18-year-old’s community service, which includes participating in beach cleanups and helping with the food bank at Rehoboth Elementary.

Balancing all that includes hanging out with friends on weekends and driving or biking around Dewey.

“Sometimes we’ll get pizza and then eat it on the beach and watch the sunset,” she says. “My family has a beach house in Dewey, so a lot of the time we’ll just get food and go hang out on the dock.”

She considers Inlet Bridge one of her favorite places to go if she wants to clear her head.

“I would absolutely love to listen to music and just drive the Inlet and then pull in. There’s this little spot that you can go to, to see the sunset over the bay and look at the bridge,” she says. “[You] can walk on the bridge – sometimes my friends and I, if we just having a rough day, would bring our skateboards and skateboard on the bridge just for fun.”

delaware student athlete Emily MonigleWhen it came to academics, Monigle fit in time to study or do her homework whenever she could. She’d do homework on the bus while others listened to music or were on their phones; get up as early as 5:30 a.m. to study before she got ready for school; or would even do her homework during boys’ lacrosse games.

“I vividly remember going to a few of the boys’ lacrosse games, obviously supporting our boys’ team, and I would be studying for my test the next day in the stands. I would just bring my notebook, and at timeouts or at halftime I would read over my notes and quiz myself,” she says.

Monigle says her school supported her “immensely.”

“Even when I would miss school for a game, or sometimes for a practice during school, they always made it very easy for me to make up my work that I missed at a convenient time for me,” she says. “I was never given any issues or face any difficulty in getting caught up due to sports.”

Additionally, she used the school library for SAT studying during her free period and “used the iPad we were all given to my advantage to complete all my assignments online.”

“If you’re ever facing struggles or hardships in life, just gain perspective. Take a step back and look at it from a different view and you can always find the good in the situation.”

From Emily Monigle’s Valedictory Speech

A lot of these early mornings or time crunches are because of late arrivals home after lacrosse and field hockey practice. Cape’s high school lacrosse team has won 12 consecutive state championships while its field hockey team has won four consecutive state championships, and she’s been on the field for seven championship-game victories during her high-school years (last year’s lacrosse championship was canceled because of the pandemic).

Monigle has played lacrosse since she’s been in first grade, and she says that’s where she’s met a lot of her friends, spending loads of time with them during and after practice.

“[Whenever] we had team picture day, we would go to the beach to take our pictures. And then instead of just going back to the field, we would run and work out on the beach after, which doesn’t even really feel like a workout because you’re on the beach running, which is always fun with your whole team. And then we’d have team dinners after practices.”

The “little things” about Rehoboth Beach – including time spent in the community – is what makes Delaware special for Monigle.

“A lot of people [outside Delaware] can’t just go on a drive or have the ocean and the bay five minutes from their house or be able to bike to the beach,” she says, adding that it’s also nice to have places “like Dover and Wilmington, which are big cities, and be able to come down for an hour drive and be at the beach.”

Monigle is attending Penn State in the fall, but she doesn’t necessarily plan on playing sports once she’s on campus because she doesn’t “want to major in anything with sports like coaching” and would rather focus on academics.

“I think I’m going to major in a track like pre-med and carrying that on top of playing a sport, which is almost like a full-time job in college, just [wasn’t] appealing to me,” she says.

She says she might play club or try and walk on, but she wanted to choose her college “based on the academics and the school I liked rather than solely base it on sports.”

But at the end of the day, Monigle has a deep love for where she grew up.

“I would honestly say it’s one of the best places you could live, especially as a kid,” she says. “I know that a lot of adults move here when they’re retiring, but as a child, growing up here as a community and everyone who you’re surrounded by all the people, whether you barely know them or whether you’ve grown up with them, everyone’s just so close-knit.”

“I think that anyone would be lucky to live here, honestly.”