Warwick Veterans Principal Gerald Habershaw said that with the threat of the school closing, this year was an emotional one for the student body and faculty. He said the students rallied and demonstrated that Vets deserved to remain open.
This year the school went from 25th in the state to being ranked within the top 20 in GOLocalProv’s high school listings for 2014 and their NECAP scores improved. It was a big year for sports and the enthusiasm was obvious.
The class of 2014 was essential, providing encouraging role models for the underclassman, Habershaw said.
“The class of 2014 is a highly motivated and well-rounded one. Especially those in honors and AP classes, they were not only outstanding academically, but participated in sports and other extracurriculars. They were all very competitive with each other, but they are also very supportive and friendly with one another.”
The valedictorian of the 2014 class has sheer will power when it comes to sports and education, most of it coming from her friendly but competitive nature with her sister, Lauren. On top of her outstanding grades, Almonte also shows promise in numerous sports. For Vets, she played soccer, basketball and lacrosse. She ended up a captain of all those teams for her senior year. She was president for the Italian club and participated in the Math League. She was soccer and lacrosse all division as well as an honorable mention in basketball. Almonte also won the Coaches Award in soccer. She received the Italian Essay Award, 2nd place in the State History Day and is a National, Rhode Island, and Italian Honor Society inductee. Almonte is attending Boston College in the fall with an undeclared major. Although she is moving on from Vets, Almonte says she will always remember the friends she made in high school and the teachers that helped make her experience great.
She said, “My family and friends have always supported me and contributed most to my success. All my friends have pushed me to do better and helped me along the way.”
Seventeen-year-old Lauren Almonte, Emily’s twin sister, will be attending Stonehill College in the fall to study English and graphic design. Her high school career was successful. As salutatorian, she also played and captained the varsity soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. She is the secretary of the Italian Club and is also in the National Italian Honor Society. She was 3rd Team All Division for basketball. Almonte won the English Achievement Award and even wrote her own murder mystery novella for her senior project.
Almonte said, “Competing with my sister and classmates motivated me to excel.”
Her best memories were made playing sports for the school year round. She believes her family was a “big encouraging factor.”
Ranked third in the class, Morrissette is an avid athlete. For all four years he played football, baseball and indoor track for Vets. He captained the indoor track team for two years. He won numerous athletic awards, including all division in indoor and football. In baseball, he was on the all-academic team. His academic accomplishments include being a math peer tutor, a member of the Math League, in which he got the top score for the school, and president of the Spanish Club. He won the Saint Michael’s Book Award, the Air Force Math and Science Achievement Award, Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Mathematical Society and was a Rhode Island Scholar for Achievement on the SAT.
He said, “My family, especially my mom, twin Kyle, and brother Andrew have contributed to my success. If it weren’t for them, I would not have been able to achieve as I did. My brothers helped make me competitive while my mom and dad taught me to do my best.”
Morrissette will attend Emmanuel College as a pre-med student to study biology with a concentration in health sciences.
Nicole Luiz has a passion for learning that was sparked early in her education. She has a competitive spirit not only academically, shown in her grades and her participation in Academic Decathlon, the Executive Committee, French Club and Math League, but also athletically. She was on the varsity teams for soccer and lacrosse. She was in the concert band and the vice president of the jazz band. She was the vice president of Civic Consciousness for the Distributive Education Club of America (DECA). She received the U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award, the St. Michael’s Book Award for Leadership and Community Involvement and the Sportsmanship Award for soccer. She also placed first with the Travel and Tourism team with DECA, 2nd place in the State History Day and went on to compete at nationals. She thanks her family for all their support.
“My mother deserves so much credit for always supporting me and getting me through the busiest four years of my life,” Luiz said. “All of my family constantly supports me. My AP classmates have become part of my family and made these years enjoyable.”
Her next four years will be spent at Worcester Polytechnic Institute studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in environmental studies and sustainability.
Amy Sevigny’s favorite memories are from her four years in both Concert and Jazz bands and the community they created for her. She said, “It was an amazing experience being a part of something so close knit as we were. Band was my one stress outlet that I could always count on having every day.”
She also was on the executive committee her senior year. She has won the Rensselaer Medal Award, Excellence in Chemistry and Picerne Family Scholarship. She has also been inducted to the National and Italian Honor Society. With a love and talent in Chemistry, Sevigny will be attending Northeastern to study Chemical Engineering. She wrote, “I wanted to have the best chance of success in my future, meaning college, and I knew good grades and passion would get me there!”
Joe Silva, who ranked sixth in the class, says his senior year was most memorable and he will remember it forever. Silva said, “The most memorable thing will be me using my Pac-Man costume during the pep rally and homecoming game. They were great experiences and I had so much fun!”
This fall he will be moving on to study biotechnology at the University of Rhode Island. During his time at Vets, Silva participated in the Math League, Science Club, Drama Club, the lacrosse team and the Biotechnology Academy. He also received 3rd place at the Skills USA Biotech competition, a Harvard Book Award and the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. Silva believes that Dr. Caroline Savery, the leader of his Biotechnology Academy, helped him find his true passion for science. He thanks her and his family for all his success throughout high school.
Kyle Morrissette played on the varsity football, indoor track and tennis teams, and captained indoor track and tennis. He was on the Academic All-State for indoor track, a football Defensive MVP for his school as well as player of the year in 2012 for football and 2013 for tennis. He was 2nd team All-Division for football. Academically, he was part of the Math League, vice president of the Italian Club. He also won the Air Force Mathematics and Science Award and the Excellence in Physics Award.
His family, especially twin brother Jeremy, and his older brother Andrew helped motivate him through his high school career. He will be studying Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech.
Eighth ranked in her class, Rachel believes that teachers “are what makes or breaks a student’s success and enjoyment in high school.” She thanked her teachers, especially Mr. Paul Kennedy, Mr. Michael Costello and Mrs. Julie Petitbon for making her high school years so rewarding. She was a class officer, vice president of leadership for DECA, the French Club president and also played varsity softball. She is a member of both the National and Rhode Island Honor Society. She won 1st and 2nd place in the National History Day and the Science Fair for both the school and state.
She said her motivation came from her family and friends, but also her elementary school. “Growing up with intelligent individuals in an academically competitive elementary school, Warwick Neck, it was almost natural that I became a hard working, diligent student.”
She will be majoring in Actuarial Mathematics at Bryant University.
Kassidy William’s motivation came from her passion to succeed throughout life. She participated in sports, volleyball for two years as well as performing arts. She was a member of the Vets band for all four years. She was also a participant in the Hendricken Theatre Program and Orchestra. Williams even won the Lady Hawk Award from Hendricken. She received the Outstanding Senior in Spanish Studies Award and the Jason Naylor Memorial Band Spirit Award.
“My family, friends, teachers, and all the people I’ve met through the Hendricken theatre program contributed to my success and enjoyment.”
She will be attending New York University to study English Education.
Sean Cole said, “My fondest and most meaningful memories will always be the times I had with friends. Spending time hanging out with good friends is one of the most important things in my life and those moments will always keep me happy.” He thanks the atmosphere created throughout his family and the Vets community for supplying him with motivation on top of his own need for success.
He was on the golf team for Vets as well as the Math League and a member of the Science Club. At the Science Olympiad this year, Sean won two bronze medals. He is also on the Rhode Island and National Honors Societies. The Vets Social Studies Department also gave him the Outstanding Social Studies Student Award. Cole will be attending the University of Rhode Island to study Physics.