Vets top 10 demonstrate hard work, determination
Warwick Veterans Memorial High School Principal Gerald Habershaw is confident the students who worked hard enough to be part of the top 10 in their class have bright futures.
“They are an outstanding collection of students who have proven leadership skills. They have an idea of what they want to do in the future and are pursuing those goals.”
These students have been motivated by these goals throughout their high school careers. All are attending four-year institutions, majoring in a range of fields from business to aviation. Some are staying in Rhode Island while others are moving to different cities and states to begin the new chapter of their lives. But, through their hard work and determination, they have the opportunity to prove successful in any endeavor they wish to take.
Olivia Roy comes in first in the Class of 2013. Throughout her high school years, the valedictorian has shown motivation not only in her classes, but in her activities outside of the classroom as well. When she was asked about what motivated her to excel and achieve such a high rank, she revealed that she always wanted to succeed.
“That’s a tough question … I motivated myself to excel. Obviously college and scholarships were important to me, but I have always wanted to work to the best of my ability.”
Along with receiving academic awards like that Harvard Prize 2012 Book Award and the Herbert & Clairborne Pell Medal for U.S. History, Roy was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She was a member of the tennis team, the yearbook committee, the math league, the anti-bullying club and the autism awareness club.
“My best friends have contributed most to my enjoyment of high school. I will never forget the experiences I have had with them.”
Roy will attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall, majoring in Business and taking classes in the honors program.
Although Warwick Veterans Class of 2013 Salutatorian Johnathan Moore has not yet decided his major in college, his successes in high school have given him the opportunity to excel in any path he chooses in the future.
Moore has reached above the standard in his academic career, leading to awards such as the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award from the University of Rochester, and the Award for Mathematical Excellence. He was able to compete in the state science fair in both 2010 and 2012, and has challenged himself every year by enrolling in five honors or Advanced Placement courses.
Moore stands out as a leader in his extracurricular activities. He was a team captain for boy’s basketball and volleyball, and in 2012 was voted Prom King. From 2009-2012, he was nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. He was also a member of the anti-bullying club.
He attributes his high school achievements to those closest to him.
“My friends, also my family and parents, and God.”
Moore will attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall with an undecided major in the honors program.
Class Essayist Nick Thompson has a high school history marked with achievements both in school and out of school. He was active in band, which is shown by his position as secretary and treasurer of the Vets concert band, and his involvement in the jazz band as well. For his instrumental accomplishments, he was awarded with the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Thompson will remember band class the most as he takes the next step into a new chapter of life.
Thompson has also shown motivation outside of school. He is an Eagle Scout in Troop 183, and he is a black belt in Kenpo-Jiujistu Karate.
Academically, Thompson has been awarded membership to the National, Rhode Island, and Spanish Honor Societies. He has also earned the Robert MacNaught Scholarship. He was motivated to do so well because he wanted to be accepted into an upstanding university. Through all of his hard work, Thompson will be attending the Florida Institute of Technology and majoring in Chemical Engineering.
Through his work in the future, Michael Manni hopes to make a difference in the world. That is very possible, considering the Vets Class of 2013 number four student will be attending Boston University in the fall to double major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
During his time at Vets, Manni was the senior class vice president, allowing him to make friends that helped him excel.
“My friends were always both great supporters and competitors that helped motivate me and make me enjoy high school.”
Manni believes that high school has helped to define him as a person, and has allowed him to gain knowledge for the future, which is shown by his memberships in the National, Rhode Island, and Spanish Honor Societies.
Ranking number five in her class, Kristen Gregory has had many academic and athletic achievements during her time at Vets.
Gregory was a member of the varsity girls’ soccer team and a varsity girls’ basketball captain her junior and senior years. Athletics have played such a huge role in her life that she was even awarded the soccer 12th Player Award after missing the season due to an injury. Gregory even attributes her coaches and teammates to her successes in high school.
Motivated by her high hopes for college, Gregory was also given the Frank Ferri Scholarship. She will be attending the University of Rhode Island in the fall with an undeclared major in the honors program.
Jamie Yates will attend Emerson College in the fall, majoring in Writing for Film and Television. She was driven to succeed because she wanted to be accepted to a high-ranking school.
Along with her achievements in class that led her to memberships in the National, Rhode Island, and Spanish Honor Societies, Yates has also shown leadership and passion through her involvement with the girls’ tennis team.
A member of the team for all four years, she was a captain her senior year. The tennis team was one of her favorite activities throughout high school, and she says it is something that she will remember the most.
“I played amongst my friends as both a single and doubles player throughout the years and created many fond memories. This team atmosphere playing a sport that I love is something that I will miss very much next year.”
Although she had a very active high school career, Reyna Amat believes that what she will remember the most is how she came out of her shell her sophomore year and opened up to making more friends.
“I will most remember starting Shaolin Kenpo Karate in 10th grade, and becoming so much more social. I have really broken out of my shell, and have made amazing friends. That journey is what I’ll remember most about high school.”
Amat’s time in high school was definitely a journey. An active member of the Vets band, she was part of both the jazz band and the concert band playing the clarinet, and became the concert band president her senior year. All of her work in band paid off and she was given the John Philip Sousa Band Award.
Her motivation to excel rose from the fact that she wanted to be a good role model for other students, especially because she wants to become a pilot, which is an incredibly difficult career path.
Amat will be attending Bridgewater State University in the fall and will major in Aviation Science.
Katie Evans has made athletics one of her priorities in high school. She was on the varsity soccer, swimming, and outdoor track teams, and was a captain of the swimming and outdoor track teams her junior and senior years. Evans was also an MVP for both outdoor track and swimming in 2012, and the RIISL Division 3 Swimmer of the Year.
Evans gives most of the credit for her success to her mother and brother, who encouraged all of her hard work. But, her teachers gave her the drive to do what she loved to do.
“I also owe credit to my teachers, especially my HAT and AP teachers who encouraged me to be creative and insightful and furthered my passion for writing.”
Her goal to attend a highly competitive school has been achieved, as she will be going to The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester in the fall with a major in studio art and a minor in creative writing.
Katie Gregory has chosen to attend the University of Rhode Island and has achieved her goal of being accepted into both the nursing and honors program in the fall. Her many achievements in school have given her that opportunity.
Gregory’s high school history is a mixture of athletics and academics. While she was a member of the soccer and basketball teams all four years, she also took part in the science Olympiad and the Athena Challenge at Brown University. Gregory also took third place in the state science fair, and was able to compete in the state History Day competition.
She has also made herself well known among her classmates as a member of the executive committee and the yearbook club.
“I will remember all of the fun times spent with my soccer and basketball teams, and all of the memories I have made with my friends,” she said.
A member of the Warwick Vets Leadership Academy, Justin Thornton has applied what he has learned during high school in order to gain acceptance to the University of New Haven, where he will study Management of Sports Industries.
Thornton has received several awards, including the General Treasurer’s Award and the Saint Michael’s College Book Award. He was also inducted into the National Honor Society, the Rhode Island Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society. Thornton was a member of the varsity ice hockey team for two years.
His teachers motivated and pushed him to success, but he has other motivations as well.
“The determination to be the first member of my family to go to a four-year college motivated me to excel.”
Now that he has achieved such a goal, Thornton believes that he will take memories of the fun times with his friends and hockey teammates.