Class of ’23 Senior Spotlight: Sam Kaplan

Name, city of residence:

Sam Kaplan, Santa Cruz

Grade you started at MMS:


What inspires you?

Child-like curiosity

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

That would be physics, it is creative and practical at the same time. It offers a different way of looking at the world.

If you had the power to change on thing in the world, what would it be?

I would want to make people feel like they have a duty to everyone else in the world. I would make giving and self-sacrifice not just a generous act, but a necessary act that was normal.

If you could anywhere, where would you go, and why?

To New York City, because I admire the efficiency of it and it seems like there is so much opportunity there.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

Staying curious and engaged in physics while also putting so much energy into dance is a big challenge. It’s hard to be obsessed with two things. 

What is your dream job and why?

Dancer; I love the way that it combines exercise, artistic expression, curiosity, hard work and intellect.

What are your three favorite things?

Good conversations, dancing and positive energy

Favorite book:

“The Cartooning Introduction to Philosophy” by Kevin Cannon and Michael F. Patton. I have not found a book that breaks down such a complicated subject in such an easy to understand way. It is fun and thought-provoking. 

What do you want to do after high school?

I want to go to college to study dance and possibly physics or environmental science.

Something that you are proud of – and why:

I’m proud of my own discipline. It has got me far in a short amount of time in dance, and it is giving me the freedom to pursue it as a career.

Something that makes you smile:

Joking around with my classmates

A favorite MMS memory – and describe why:

At the end of each winter concert, getting into a big circle and singing “wherever you rest your head tonight…” I remember feeling so much love in those moments. 

The three most-played songs on your favorite playlist:

I’m not sure, I don’t listen to playlists often, but I love the songs: “One Day” by Matisyahu, “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Benjamin Clementine and “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone.