Johnston High Class of 2021 President Nick Cronan wins Russo Law Scholarship

By PETE FONTAINE
Posted 7/2/21

To say that Nicholas “Nick” Cronan will rank among the all-time best students in the 53-yar history of Johnston High School would be an understatement of huge proportions.

Just ask …

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Johnston High Class of 2021 President Nick Cronan wins Russo Law Scholarship

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To say that Nicholas “Nick” Cronan will rank among the all-time best students in the 53-yar history of Johnston High School would be an understatement of huge proportions.

Just ask Robert V. Russo, a highly-accomplished attorney and distinguished JHS alum who serves as president of the Johnston Town Council.

“Nick Cronan is a marvelous example of the type of person and student this country needs to bring cohesion back to a fractured society,” Russo said. “Nick was president of his class for four years, was a member of Students Against Dangerous Decisions, served as a Panther Cub where he would tour the elementary schools and serve as a role model for younger students and is an A student in Honors level classes and is well liked by his peers.”

It is those credentials and other impressive qualities – and the fact that Cronan has an interest in pursuing a career in the legal field – Russo recently awarded the highly-active President of the JHS Class of 2021 with the now prestigious Robert V. Russo Law Scholarship.

“The recipient of this scholarship has to have an affinity for the law and law related fields and Nick will be majoring in criminal justice when he enters Johnson & Wales University in the Fall and would like to eventually go on to law school,” Russo said.

Russo, like his brother Greg who heads up the Science Department at JHS, has given back to his alma mater on countless occasions and has been awarding the law scholarship for seven years.

“My brother believes it is important to support students that have attended his alma mater and feels it is his way of giving back to the community that he takes tremendous pride in serving our town,” Greg Russo said. “Our family has also been giving a scholarship for many years with the 2021 grant going to Lala Olagundoye.”

The son of Gloria Butler, Cronan maintained a 4.3 GPA (Grade Point Average) and earned memberships in the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies, was a member of JHS’ famous Float Committee that ranks among the most unique student groups for its extraordinary coordination that has upheld the tradition of homecoming unlike another school in the state, and as noted the Panther Cubs, who provide mentorship for younger students.

“I thank Mr. Robert Russo for awarding me this esteemed scholarship,” Cronan said in a sincere tone of voice and with a smile on his face. “It has always been a goal of mine to be well-rounded both inside and outside of the classroom, and Mr. Russo’s generosity and success have encouraged me to continue pursing my hopes and dreams for the future. I would also like to thank my Student Council Advisor and teacher Greg Russo for his continued support and dedication the past four years, which have enabled me to keep reach for the stars.”

Meanwhile, Greg Russo – who has been a driving force behind the storied successes of countless events through years at JHS – continued: “Nick’s leadership skills were evident in all aspects of high school from preparing the annual Homecoming floats, participating in the Battle of Classes, serving as a mentor to students at Thornton Elementary Scholl and planning all the activities for his class.”

Throughout a busy student schedule, which includes serving as a busser at Luigi’s Restaurant and Gourmet Express since 2019, Greg Russo emphasized: “Nick performed all tasks readily and with a smile. He was always the first to roll his sleeves up to get the job done. The scholarship is an effort to reward Nick for his community involvement and academic achievements and to celebrate the success of alumni from Johnston High School as were my brother and his Family.”

So, Cronan’s memorable milestone 12-year ride has reached the end and as he told his classmates, their beloved families and friends of JHS during his commencement address when he thanked everyone from administrators and classmates during an impressive and at times tear-jerking Commencement Address: “I would like to take a moment to thank you for all the tireless efforts and countless hours spent to ensure that his night would be possible.”

“Here, in person, one final time as your Senior Class President, looking at the many bright, smiling faces that have made our class so respected and loved by many.”

And a class headed by Cronan, a talented teenager who led his class with dignity and respect despite disappointments and countless cancellations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, held just about every office for his class from his days at Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School to his final days on Chery Hill where he will no doubt rank as one of the most prolific Panthers of all time.

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