At a special breakfast held last Friday to honor their students’ outstanding achievements, Johnston High School announced and celebrated the top 10 students of the graduating class of 2017.
“I just want to start off by saying this is probably going to be the highlight of my day; it’s all downhill from here. I wish I could start my day like this every day, with something congratulatory,” said Principal Dennis Morrell.
Continuing a yearly tradition, the event was held in the school’s library and recognized the accomplishments of the students as well as their parents.
“We thought it was important to have the parents here. Not only are you going to be footing the bill for them for the next four years and maybe through grad school, but we recognize that, without your support for your children, they wouldn’t be where they are today,” said Morrell. “I’ve known them all since sixth grade and said when they walked in as 11-year-olds and then when I saw them again here, they haven’t changed. They’re still the same kids with the same challenges and the same needs – maybe a little taller.”
Morrell encouraged the soon-to-be graduates to enjoy the moments left in their high school careers and to have fun beyond graduation. He said he knows that, after high school, the students will continue to be self-motivated and focused.
“I’m really proud of their accomplishments, I’m proud of the fine young men and women that they have become, they are so respectful, they are so responsible, and that means a lot to us as school leaders,” he said. “It’s not only the academics I tell them, it’s who they are as people, it’s about personal responsibility, it’s about being kind to one another, and they have it.”
Class Advisor Erin Ferraro presented all 10 with a fountain pen commemorating the occasion. Attendees included guidance councilors and school staff, along with members of administration who each offered advice and well wishes.
“This is a bridge, from high school to whether it’s trade school or college or to the workforce, this is a bridge just like there was a bridge for you from middle school to high school,” said assistant superintendent Dr. Arthur Petrosinelli.
“This is life, and with your parents or grandparents supporting you, that’s the key to any success.”
This year’s valedictorian is Laura Wilson, and Adam Bouchard is salutatorian. Rounding out the top 10 are Nour Abaherah, Vincent Florio, Karla Gonzalez, Kristiana Parrillo, Vanida Singharath, Zachary Szumita, Nicholas Turcotte and Alexia Zambarano.
“I just want to say congratulations, we’re really proud of your accomplishments. Parents, you did a great job. To have one of the top 10 students of a high school class is a major, major accomplishment,” said DiLullo. “Good luck in college or whatever training you’re going to after high school. We’d love to hear how you’re doing once you leave us and let us know of all your successes.”