Titan spirit underscores Toll Gate Class of 2018 Top 10

By Jensen Coppa
Posted 7/3/18

Toll Gate 2018 Top 10 Scholars Toll Gate Principal Candice Caluori is in awe of the spirit of the Class of 2018. She said they have shown her all the amazing work they can do with a little help from one another.

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Titan spirit underscores Toll Gate Class of 2018 Top 10


Toll Gate 2018 Top 10 Scholars

Toll Gate Principal Candice Caluori is in awe of the spirit of the Class of 2018. She said they have shown her all the amazing work they can do with a little help from one another.

Caluori says that this year’s class improved the school in not only extracurricular activities. She also found them making changes around the school, such as painting a lovely school mural on one of the walls of the school, and creating a picnic area outside for seniors.

“This year’s senior class was great catalyst for other classes to embody,” said Caluori. “They will be missed.”

1. Grace Reed

Grace Reed was the Valedictorian of her senior class. She will be attending Brown University in the fall to study cognitive neuroscience. Reed plans to go on a pre-med track, and is also thinking about pursuing political science as a double major.

Reed was elected onto the student council all four years of high school, voted treasurer two years, and vice president for one year. She was also the president of the National Honor Society.

In Reeds senior year, she founded the Civic Action Coalition at Toll Gate.

“Our group seeks out opportunities for students to become involved with important local and national political issues,” wrote Reed.

Reed was a member of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus: High School Honor Choir and Chamber Chorus. Reed was also a Best Buddy, which is a program that pairs students with intellectual and developmental disabilities students and hang out with them.

She was also an Ask Mentor, and they help freshman students during orientation and the first days of school. She was a member of the Student Ambassadors program her senior year, along with being a varsity runner on the cross-country team. In her free time Reed taught herself how to play acoustic guitar.

Reed won first place for National History Day for her senior individual exhibit on Bauhaus her freshman year. She received gold at the national level and third place in Rhode Island for her performance on the National Spanish Exam. Also winning the Harvard Book Award, and the Renee Tetrault Newell 9/11 Scholarship. She was recognized for studying two foreign languages: Spanish and French.

“My intrinsic love of learning and desire to take that learning to the next level motivated me to challenge myself academically and put in the time necessary to succeed,” said Reed.

2. Natalie Mann

As the second ranked student at Toll Gate, Natalie Mann was class Salutatorian. Mann said she found herself wanting to constantly make her family, friends, and teachers proud of her.

Mann will attend the University of Pittsburgh Honors College to study mechanical engineering.

Mann was elected drama club director, concert band president, Academic Decathlon captain, a member of the symphonic band, and National Honor Society treasurer. She also interned at the Tyco Women In Technology Program, and was an active member in Saint Luke’s Church.

She won the Yale Book, and the Rensselaer Medallist awards.

Mann says she will always remember the many hours spent in the auditorium, since it was consumed with countless amounts of laughter, friendship, and pride.

“I’ve always desired to make my friends, family, and teachers proud, and I was willing to put in as much effort as needed to do so,” wrote Mann.

3. Colleen McGrath

Colleen McGrath was ranked third in the class. She will be attending Boston College in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences this fall, but is still uncertain what she wants to do in the future. McGrath says she is planning to go pre-med.

McGrath was a member of the Bishop Hendricken High School Orchestra, the Toll Gate lacrosse team for two years, and on the best buddies.

McGrath was also taking sewing classes out of Cranston at Jerilyn Perry’s Sewing School to help create a part of her senior project, which was sewing a shirt and skirt. She also helped Perry create t-shirts, and dressed for girls in Haiti for community service.

While doing those things, McGrath won first place for National History Day, and was inducted into the National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society.

Having the close-knit friends over her school years really helped McGrath. She said having people who understand where you grew up, while going through similar experiences was unforgettable.

“I had always wanted to make something better out of what I was given. Additionally, I had always had a planner and have been motivated from a young age,” wrote McGrath.

4. Katherine Norman

Katherine Norman was ranked fourth in her class. She has decided she is going to take a year off from attending a college or university. When she pursues higher education, she would like to double major in history and women’s studies, and maybe even go to law school.

In school, Norman was involved in French Honor Society, National Honor Society, and a student ambassador. Outside of school she had a job at Fitzy’s Pub, while also volunteering at multiple places: Ocean State Theater Co., imPossible Dream, and Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center.

She was a World Language Student of the Month, and won the Brown Book and Air Force Math and Science Awards.

She said she will mainly remember the crazy amount of work she did throughout school, and how much fun she had along the way.

“My teachers, friends, and personal goals motivated me. I always to excel and I am some times too hard on myself. I push myself to make me, and the people around me proud,” wrote Norman.

5. Kyle Viti

Kyle Viti ranked fifth in his class; he will attend Boston College in the fall to study computer science.

While being a member of the National Honor Society, along with the Spanish Honor Society, Viti won the Holy Cross Book Award, third place Guitarist in All-State RI, and was Vice President of the student Senate.

Viti also was involved in the Drama Club as stage manager; Mock Trail as lead prosecutor; Jazz Band, Stage Band, and Jazz Combo.

Viti said he found motivation from many people, and will especially remember all the fun times that he had with his friends in Drama Club.

“My parents, friends, and teachers, as well as my personal drive to go above and beyond the expectations of others,” wrote Viti.

6. Michael Lautieri

Michael Lautieri is ranked sixth in his class, and will attend the University of Rhode Island to study elementary education in the fall.

Throughout high school Lautieri found himself involved in the Academic Decathlon, Drama Club, Symphonic Band, along with being inducted into the National Honor Society, and the Italian Honor Society.

Lautieri has also won the URI Book Award.

When looking back on high school, Lautieri said his most memorable moment is when Warwick Vets closed as a high school, and having to attend Toll Gate. He said it gave him the opportunity to meet new people, and have new experiences.

When Lautieri was asked about what motivated him to succeed in school he wrote,

“My family and my inner drive to always do my best.”

7. Nick Petrone (tie)

Nick Petrone was ranked seventh in his class. He will be attending Boston College as an undeclared major, but is planning on going into biology.

He was a member of the football team. Petrone also ran cross-country, indoor and outdoor track. He was also track captain.

Petrone was on student senate, student government, and Vice President of the senior class.

Petrone won three athletic awards. He won the Toll Gate Football Scholar Athlete, All-Division Indoor Track, and Academic All-State Indoor Track awards.

He said he excelled in all his class due to “spite.” Since he said he found himself always trying to be better than his peers.

“I didn’t realize that anything I was doing was special until midway through last year,” wrote Petrone. “I didn’t realize how many doors that work had opened to me until I took a step back and actually looked at my scores and grades.”

7. Mary Greenwell (tie)

Mary Greenwell and Nick Petrone tied for seventh place class ranking.

She is going to attend Eastern Connecticut State University in the fall where she will major in Business Administration, with a focus on International Business.

Greenwell was captain of the varsity field hockey team, ice hockey team, and Varsity Athletes Above Substance Abuse. She was also a member of the varsity softball team, and in the concert band.

Throughout high school, Greenwell was inducted into the National Honor Society, and French Honor Society. She won the RI Reds Unsung Hero Award, the Bill Nangle Leadership Award, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Award.

She also went on to winning numerous awards for her sport teams. Greenwell won the Hobey Baker Award, for her excellence as Toll Gate hockey goalie, saving up to 40-70 shots per game. Within the Division 2 League she won the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) Girls Hockey First Team, RIIL Girls Field Hockey First Team, and the RIIL Girls Field Hockey All-Academic Team her senior year.

Greenwell writes about how she is so grateful for the amount of support her fellow team players put forth with her. She says how they taught her that anything is possible.

“The people in my life have always been my motivation to go above and beyond,” said Greenwell. “My friends and family have never let me settle for anything less than my best. My teammates have always been great motivators consistently providing positive encouragement.”

9. Izabella Tran

Izabella Tran has been ranked ninth overall in her class. She will be attending Emmanuel College in Boston to major in biology.

From the start, Tran was on high honor roll all four years. She was a member of the best buddies at Toll Gate. Tran was also a member of the Art and Illustration Club, and was an ask mentor student ambassador. She was also inducted into the National Honor Society her junior year, to continue on senior year.

As Tran said with all the tribulations of high school, she will remember the teachers who gave her confidence that she didn’t always have for herself at the time. She also thanked her parents for working 72-hour weeks combined to give her the best.

“Giving my mom the life she deserves motivated me to succeed,” wrote Tran. “By succeeding in my future career, I can provide her with a life that she deserves because it is my turn to work hard.”

10. Robert Fargnoli

Robert Fargnoli was ranked tenth. He plans to attend the Community College of Rhode Island on the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship and then transfer to URI to complete his Bachelor Degree in computer science.

While at Toll Gate, Fargnoli was a member of multiple band groups: concert band, symphonic band, jazz band, and jazz combo. He was also Jazz President senior year.

While enjoying playing music, he was also inducted into the National Honor Society, Rhode Island Honor Society, and the French National Honor Society.

Fargnoli wrote that he will always remember the times he spent playing in the multiple bands. As he said,

“I truly enjoyed my years in the program.”

He said it is due to his amazing teachers who showed him that he is capable of success in the future.


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Many congrats to the top-ten students mentioned above and the top-ten-type teachers that molded them into the leaders they are becoming.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Many of these students also credited their parents for their support. That a candidate for office (hopeless though he may be) would disregard their contribution to their children's success while pandering to the teachers union and using a fake title is an insult.

Those parents will certainly join the thousands of honest, taxpaying voters who will reject his pathetic campaign on Sept. 12.

Thursday, August 2, 2018