The Warwick Vets High School Class of 2011 saw 250 seniors receive their diploma during graduation. Many of them showed great involvement to their school and willingness to succeed throughout their four years.
Principal Gerald Habershaw characterized the class as a fun group of students with great personalities and hardworking.
The top 10 students will be attending colleges including Quinnipiac University, Providence College, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Rhode Island College.
Many of them served in different roles during their four years including members of the executive committee, multi-sport athletes in addition to being part of the school band. Habershaw’s final message to the class is to find something they like to do and stick with it.
As the recipient of this year’s valedictorian, Defreitas was the President of the Guitar Club and also the Editor-in-Chief for the Warwick Vet’s Creative Society.
She will attend Boston University this fall and major in both film and creative writing.
She won honors that included a humanities award for excellence in the subjects of English and History and also a creative writing award.
Playing the guitar after school on Fridays and meeting beautifully creative people were a few of Defreitas’s fondest memories in high school. She said that she wants to better her family that motivated herself to excel.
“My English and art teachers encouraged me to always create and have helped me discover who I am,” she said.
Nunes, class salutatorian, was a two-sport athlete in soccer and indoor track and served as President of the Concert Band.
There were awards that he acquired including the Bausch and Lomb Science Award, which are presented to students, who show academic excellence in science, have taken rigorous courses in science and based on their PSAT Math, SAT Math and/or ACT Science/Math scores. Nunes also won the Rensselaer Math Medal, most outstanding chemistry student, jazz and concert band most outstanding musician and outstanding math student as a senior.
In the fall, he will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute [WPI] and study chemical engineering.
He said that his parents and friends have helped him the most in school. His parents have always pushed him to do the best he could and his friends have shown him to have fun and enjoy high school. Two teachers that Nunes enjoyed the most were Foreign Language teacher Susan [Senora] Erinakes and Math teacher Keith Randall.
“My motivation came from always trying to better myself, by saying “Okay I’m done but how can this be better”,” he said.
Balancing both sports and academics was something Deming was able to do well as he finished third in his graduating class.
While providing leadership as captain of the varsity Indoor Track and Volleyball teams, he also was secretary of the student council and member of the executive committee.
Deming will study sports management in the Isenburg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
He was a member of the Rhode Island Honor Society and National Honor Society and obtained the St. Michael’s College Book Award, which is awarded to an inductee of the National Honor Society that demonstrates commitment and leadership roles within their community service endeavors.
All the friendships that he made with his teachers and classmates are something he will remember most about high school.
“Knowing that I wanted to be successful and that good grades would get me there [motivated me to excel],” Deming said.
Serving as president of the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) program and being a three-sport athlete in basketball, tennis and track, Fontaine will attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT where she plans to study liberal arts.
At Vets Fontaine was on the executive committee board, was named Health Student of the Year and a member of the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies.
During her high school tenure, there were various memorable events that stood out for her including the prep rallies, spirit week, school dances and dancing with the teachers.
Several faculty members made a big impact on her especially Mr. and Mrs. Rix and Susan [Senora] Erinakes. She said that her family and friends have also contributed to her high school success.
“My parents always pushed me to do my best [motivated me to excel],” Fontaine said.
Marisa Ann Major
Major, who placed fifth in her class, will attend Rhode Island College where she plans to study in their Radiological Technology Program.
While at Vets, she was a three-sport athlete in soccer, gymnastics and lacrosse in addition to being on the yearbook committee.
Her was a member of three honor societies including the Rhode Island, Spanish and National. Major received the Ida Jackson Biology Award and Rhode Island College Presidential Scholarship.
Major will miss the football games, homecoming dances and proms the most because there were a lot of memories made whenever everyone came together for those events. Her teachers played a big role as she said they helped her have fun and do the very best work she could.
“After my freshman year, I was determined to get all A’s in all of my classes, which I did,” she said. “I am truly proud of myself for all of my achievements during my high school career and I am determined to continue my success throughout the many years ahead of me.”
A member of the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams, Picozzi provided a leadership role as captain in both sports in addition to being a two-time All-Division player in soccer.
Picozzi was the recipient of the Franklin Pierce University Book Award, which is presented to a student based on excellence in academics, strong character and contributions to community service. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society.
The University of Rhode Island will be her next stop where she plans to study in the College of Pharmacy.
Picozzi said that she would most remember the sports teams she played on, the friends she made and when the girls soccer team made it to the Division I semifinals during her sophomore year.
The people that have guided her throughout her four years include her parents, English teacher/Social Arts Coordinator Cyndi Rix, Athletic Director/English Teacher Ken Rix and Principal Gerald Habershaw and his family.
“I have always strived to be the best that I could be and I chose pharmacy because of the science courses I took with Mr. [David] Mather,” Picozzi said.
Another University of Rhode Island bound student, Mambro will double major in marine biology and ocean engineering. At Vets he was a member of the drama club and Academic Decathlon team.
She was also a member of the sophomore executive committee, creative writing society and won the Harvard Book Award, which is given to a student who demonstrates academic excellence, exemplifies service and commitment and demonstrates exceptional achievement that makes the student stand out among its peers.
Mambro said she enjoyed taking marine environmental courses with science teacher Lee Steitz because it inspired her to want to study marine biology in college. She also will remember English teacher Julie Petitbon because she was an amazing teacher who could make her laugh until her “stomach hurts.”
“My supportive family is the reason for my success,” she said. “On the other hand, if it weren’t for my amazing and true friends, I never would have enjoyed high school.
Cooney, who finished eighth in her class, was a two-sport varsity athlete in both soccer and softball and a member of three honor societies including the Spanish, National and Rhode Island.
In the fall, she will attend Springfield College majoring in physical therapy while studying in The School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies.
Some of her fondest memories include attending the Warwick Vets high school football games especially on Friday nights, the pep rallies, school field trips and everything that got her “out of classes.”
Her teachers, friends and family were the people who have contributed the most to her high school experience.
“My family, have always valued education and motivated me to work hard,” Cooney said.
Earning 1st Team All Division for soccer during his junior year and 2nd Team All-Division his senior year, were just several of honors that Giarusso earned while finishing ninth in his class.
Giarusso served as captain for the boys varsity soccer and volleyball teams and will attend Providence College in the fall and will in major in accounting in their school of business.
He was a member of the National Honor Society and Rhode Island Honor Society. He was recognized as the most outstanding student in physics and Italian.
Playing soccer, volleyball, attending homecomings and winning sidewalk chalk were some of his favorite moments while in high school. Giarusso said that faculty members such as social studies teachers Paul Kennedy and James Areson, as well as math teacher Kathleen O’Grady, played important roles in his high school achievements.
“My parents have always taught me to work my hardest in everything I do,” Giarusso said.
Bell served as treasurer and secretary of the school band, was the governance’s student moderator and performed in the jazz band. She will study at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth but is currently undecided on a major.
Throughout her high school tenure, Bell was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Rhode Island Honor Society. She won the URI Alumni Book Award and Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership Award.
The day-to-day activities and the funny little moments she experienced were something she will always remember. Bell credits her family for contributing to her success in school and said her friends made it her experience fun for her.
“I have always learned to give nothing less than my best,” Bell said.