'Just the beginning,' Toll Gate grads tells classmates

Posted 6/11/19

By TARA MONASTESSE Empty seats were scarce at Toll Gate High School's 47th graduation ceremony, where 288 graduates crossed the stage at the Community College of Rhode Island on Thursday to receive their well-earned diplomas and finish their high school

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'Just the beginning,' Toll Gate grads tells classmates


Empty seats were scarce at Toll Gate High School’s 47th graduation ceremony, where 288 graduates crossed the stage at the Community College of Rhode Island on Thursday to receive their well-earned diplomas and finish their high school careers.

Gianna Cirella, a member of the Class of 2019, also graduated posthumously alongside her fellow classmates during the ceremony, which paid tribute to her memory and the perseverance of her surviving family members.

During her time at Toll Gate, Cirella served as goalie for the Toll Gate Titans soccer team and drew many people to her easygoing and upbeat personality. Her sudden passing in November of 2017 from a sepsis infection may have taken her life, but that did not stop her from finishing the journey she had started with her classmates four years ago. Gianna’s mother Tara Cirella came onstage to accept her daughter’s diploma posthumously, at which time the entire auditorium rose to give a minute’s worth of thunderous applause.

The Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund continued to honor Cirella’s memory this year by advocating for a bill mandating statewide sepsis protocols, and by establishing a scholarship program for Toll Gate students in her name.

Principal Candace Caluori described the graduating class as “all strong and talented individuals” in an opening address. She said that the class embodied all of the school’s core values, that they would leave behind a legacy, and that she looked forward to seeing all that they would do in the future.

“Whatever your choice is, embrace it,” Caluori said.

The Class of 2019 faced its fair share of trials, including the consolidation of Warwick Veterans Memorial High School in 2016 and the passing of Principal Stephen Chrabaszcz to a sudden heart attack that same year in September. Resilience was a common theme throughout the night, with many of the night’s speakers commenting on the grace and maturity with which students handled these obstacles.

“But through it all, you persevered,” said David Testa of the Warwick School Committee in his address, which praised the young members of the class for coming together even when faced with difficult challenges. “You were there for each other.”

“There will always be better days ahead,” Mayor Joseph Solomon told the graduating students on the topic of adversity. Solomon acknowledged the “diverse talents and interests” that defined the Class of 2019, and said that every person in the room shared his pride in the graduating students.

“Do not become so obsessed with making a living that you forget to make a life,” he said, regarding the career paths the newest Toll Gate graduates would take after crossing the stage.

Salutatorian Rebecca Carcieri reminisced about the memories that brought the Class of 2019 together, from late nights out with friends to school sporting events and dances. She also spoke of the outstanding resilience displayed by the class even during their lowest moments. Carcieri was president of the National Honor Society, president of the Concert Band, captain of the Mock Trial team, and a member of the Italian and Rhode Island honor societies. She will attend Brown University in the fall.

“It is at this stage in our lives that we must consider the people that we decide to surround ourselves with, and cherish those who have our best interest at heart. Now, we must delve into our truest passions because it brings us joy, not because others are telling us to do so. It is up to us to take the reigns, put our priorities first, and consider what we want at the end of the day,” Carcieri advised her classmates regarding the future that would soon be upon them.

Valedictorian Alexander Gavitt addressed his classmates with parting words of encouragement, asking them to appreciate the journeys in life they would take over their final destination and to seek unfamiliarity in order to lead a more enriching life. During his time at Toll Gate, Gavitt served as treasurer for the National Honor Society, captain of the Math Team, captain of the Mock Trial team, and was inducted into the Rhode Island and Italian honor societies. He will attend Dartmouth College in the fall.

“There are so many great people and wonderful opportunities in this world, and you do yourself a great disservice if you limit yourself to only the familiar pattern,” Gavitt said. “Life’s greatest joys come when we accept change and find new things that we can enjoy. So dare. Dare to reach for the stars, because you never know what joys you will find in the process.”

Steven Defreitas, president of the Class of 2019, presented the class gift and told his classmates to look forward to the lives they would lead after high school. He ranked fourth in his class and will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

“Graduation is a celebration of the past, but it is also a celebration of experiences to come in the future,” Defreitas said. “This is just the beginning.”

Graduating students will pursue many paths with their new diplomas, including military service and entry into the workforce. Over 90 colleges and universities across North America will welcome graduating Toll Gate students as freshmen in the fall.


The following students graduated from Toll Gate High School, Class of 2019, on Thursday, June 6, 2019.
N – National Honor Society
x – Rhode Island Honor Society
z – French Honor Society
s – Spanish Honor Society
i – Italian Honor Society
c – Warwick Area Career & Technical Center
C – Skills USA Winner
D – Senior Project, Passed with Distinction
* – Senior Project, Honorable Mention
+ – Running Start Students

Anisah Syria Abdul-Rashid
\Jamie Marie Aceto
c Charles P. Adams
Kendell Calev Kyle A. Aguilar
c Leandro Garcia Aldana
*zxN Allaire Elizabeth Allen
*sxN Ashley Marie Amore
Nadine Marie Andrade
Carley Andreason
Larissa Anika
*xN Aiden Areson
*x Voski Armenakyan
xN Ashley Lynda Armstrong
Cole Baker
* Jazmin Elizabeth Barratt
c* Michael David Bastien
Ccx Jordan Beaumier
* Alexis M. Bertwell
Shaun Anthony Bibby
Leslie Blackburn
DsxN Stephanie A. Bodkin
c Alexander M. Bonenfant
Jeremy Bonin-Kwasney
Molley S. Boudreau
x Sarah Eleanor Bouthillier
Logan Bowen
x Jacob P. Brennan
sxN Jake Brodeur
Dx Ethan Brown
Ranya May Bryant
*x Emma Butler
Mya A. Caetano
c Nickolas M. Camara
x Nathan A. Campano
Anthony Clayborne Carani
DixN Rebecca Marie Carcieri
Courtney A. Cardenas
Olivia Marie Cardi
*zx Samantha Elizabeth Carlow
+x Kathryn F. Carlson
xN Jenna L. Carmichael
c Hunter B. Carpenter
c Jalen Sean Carpenter
x Haiqing Chen
x Julia Lauren Choquette
Gianna M. Cirella (posthumously)
Nicolas Anthony Clark
x Adam J. Cole
c* Deanna Emily Constantine
* Kevin G. Costa
Skylar Alexis Courtney
Ezra W. Cox
* Savannah Rose Cozza
c Samantha Lee Curran
c Caleb Revens Davenport
*x Connor Davis
Sarah Elizabeth DeCosta
DsxN Steven Anthony DeFreitas
Anthony Daniel Deleon
c Michael Patrick Delisle
Dx Matthew A. DePardo
c Matthew Ernest DePari
Cosmo Marcus DePaz
Cc Lisa M. DeSouza
Brianna L. Devine
Kloe Devine
x Cathryn Ann Dewolf
Kyle William DiGiacomo
x Danielle R. Dionne
*x Baylee Elizabeth DiOrio
* Hailey Ann Dobish
Isabel B. Donnelly
c* Wade C. Duarte
c Joshua M. Dufault
Jazlynn C. Duru
c Brandon M. Dutra
*xN Emily Rose Edge
John J. Egan
c Jake Enos
c Jonathan Evans
c Megan Piper Ferragamo
Jayda Anne Ford
Kevin Ford
George A. Foronda
Cc Jacey Lynn Foshey
c Jarod James Foshey
Jaslin L. Francisco
Adrian Alejandro Franco
c Breanna Fraser
*sxN Isabella Rea French
Ian L. Frenze
Gabriella A. Gallucci
Joshua M. Garcia
c Jacob Gardner
DixN Alexander E. Gavitt
*x Robert Anthony Gemma III
*sx Cameron Linwood Getchell
Muhammad Ghouri
*x Sophia Marie Gilbert
Caleb Riley Giles
zxN Brigid Meagan Gill
*sxN Jessica Clare Gilman
Juliana Rose Glick
Darlene Elizabeth Gomez
Dezmond Gomez
Jason Fernando Gomez
Kanne R. Goodness
Dx Haley S. Gregoire
Brianna G. Grijalva
c Max A. Grossguth
Julia Lynn Grossi
c* Tyler Jayson Grossi
c Justin Francis Guevara
*sxN Kiernan Edward Habershaw
Kaleigh Elizabeth Harris
sx Griffin Thomas Hart
c Taylor A. Harwood
Katelyn Ashley Hawes
Kensley Hawkins
zxN Logan Everest Heberg
Morgan B. Henderson
Kara E. Holstein
c Calia Rose Howard
Jared M. Hughes
x Kelsey Hunter
c Cameron K. Jackson
cx Madison M. Jackson
*x Brianna C. Jankowski
c Austin Cyr Jencks
Alexander G.G. Keenan
Faith Olivia Keenan
c Bethany Rae Knapton
sxN Nellia M. Kostadinova
*xN Olivia Ruth Lafazia
xN Abigail A. Langevin
Jake Langevin
DsxN Jenna Margaret Lautieri
c Serena Paige Lavoie
Cc Ryan J. Leigh
*ix Collin Mitchell Levin
x+ Alison Marie Lewis
+ Michael Richard Lewis
Katelyn R. Lima
x Anyee Lin
Mallorie Michelle Link
Jake G. Lombardi
*xN Jenna Rose Longo
Oliva Lopez
zx Erik Scott Low
Dx Megan Isabella Lunn
Amber Synclair Lyde
c Michaela E. Lynch
Justin Madeira
*x Noel Jean Marold
*x Connor George Marot
Ccx Michael Martins
c Hope Angela Mason
c Dylan D. Massey
Trevor Raymond Mathews
zxN+ Emily Elizabeth May
x Kiley Paige McAleer
c Emily Nicole McAteer
Sean P. McGiveney
Celene Marie McKinnon
* Alex M. Medeiros
c Julio Eduardo Medina
Aiden Robert Meservey
c Christopher Daniel Miller
Matthew Alan Miranda
x Dylan R. Mitchell
*x Julia Hannah Modeen
c Joshua M. Moniz
John A. Moore
c Tyler J. Moran
Carmelina Morente-Hernandez
*x Aaron Christopher Moring
* Benjamin B. Moua
Michael Raymond Leo Murphy
c Matthew Joseph Murray
Daydrian S. Nam-Mork
sx Sabrina E. Nardone
c Michael J. Negri
*zx Emma G. Newell
Jayce Ryan Nickerson
* William R. Niles
x Emma G. O’Brien
KayLee Fay O’Connor
sxN Alyssa Quinn O’Keefe
x Taylor Hazel Odell
c Arianna M. Ortiz
Isabella Rose Ottone
Dylan J. Ouillette
x Adrianna Lyn Pacheco
DsxN Patricia K. Pakpahan
Haley Ann Palardy
c Camden Martin Palumbo
c* Dennis Vincent Paolucci
Sarah Marie Papa
c Mackenzie R. Patnaude
x Jacob T. Paul
sx Christian Thomas Pella
sxN Edward Joseph Pereira
DzxN Natalia Andrea Perez Useda
Cc Austin W. Pickup
Dx Daniel R. Pierce
c* Kyle Pinheiro
Francesca J. Pistacchio
Samantha Pistacchio
Jason Anthony Plante
Nicholas Andrew Podgorski
Jack Griffin Powell
*sx Andrew Jacob Powers
c Madison Powers
*x Leah Katelyn Prak
Abigail M. Preuit
*sxN Nicole Lorraine Procaccini
c*x Kathryn E. Quinn
d Liliana Maria Ramsey
c Myrissa Marie Randall
Luca Razzino
zx Liam M. Redmond
Devin John Rhodes
Jason Michael Riner
*x Serena Marie Rios
c Marcos A. Rivera
Alexander G. Rizk
*x Larah G. Rizk
cx Tiphne Marie Roberts
Cc Michael Francis Robillard Jr.
* Benjamin D. Ross
Kaleb Heath Rubera
Brooke J. Rubolotta
c* Bryan J. Rubolotta
Kylie A. Russo
xN Ryan M. Sabol
Cameron James Saccoccia
DsxN Elise G. Saccoccia
Susie Elizabeth Salhany
Elda O. Sanchez Garcia
*x Mason Savaria
x Brandon Thomas Scott
c James Joseph Scotti
Tyler Joseph Scotti
DsxN Isabella Jolie Senerchia
DsxN Alyssa C. Silvestre
xN Joseph C. Silvestre
Zane Silvestre
c Cameron W. Simas
Kavi T. Simpson
x Zachary Paul Skuce
Christopher Jakob Souza
c Emily C. Spremulli
x Dale Douglas Staradumsky
c Jacob W. Staradumsky
DxN Marissa Stern
Teagan C. Stringfellow
Madeline Rose Succi
Christopher T. Sullivan
c* Joshua Travis Summers
c Brenton L. Sunderland
Christine Isabel Tack
Connor M. Tainsh
Alyssa Marie Tavares
Brian M. Tavares
Dalton Kincade Taylor
x David Joseph Taylor
Marcus A. Thibeault
c*x Hannah D. Tillotson
c Kolby Liam Toole
Cc* Courtney Trenn
c Arianna Andrea Tromp
* Cody KaiJun Tu
Marlon Vallejo-Rivera
zx+ Elizabeth Christina Vecchio
Laci M. Vieira
William D. Waggoner
*zx Dylan T. Walsh-Randall
Jenalyn E. Warcup
c Samantha N. West
x Emily Williams
Elanah C. Wilson
c Ryan Blake Wilson
Kyle Anthony Wright-Perry
Brittney Jolene Wysong
David J. Yabut
c Rebecca Anna Yaseen
Jaquelin Jasmel Zuniga-Urizar
z Jennifer J. Zuniga-Urizar


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toos bad they culdnt be consolidated two

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Dave Testa

it should also be noted that Valedictorian Alexander Gavitt was also a National Merit Scholar no small feat!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019