By LISA CAPOBIANCO
For as long as Alicia Gorski and Marisa Rizzo could remember, they have always supported each other during their past four years at Plainville High School.
Knowing each other since kindergarten, Alicia and Marisa have been known to do everything together from playing volleyball to joining the Girl Scouts and Student Council to making the National Honor Society.
This month, the two friends will graduate together at the top of their senior class as valedictorian and salutatorian.
“We’ve been best friends since kindergarten—we’ve always been able to help each other,” said Alicia, who is valedictorian.
“We do everything together,” said Marisa, adding how she will miss having Alicia there for support next fall.
One lesson Alicia has learned throughout her four years of high school: “Don’t sweat the small stuff—it’s a lot easier when you take things in stride and learn from them.”
Throughout high school, Alicia learned to maintain a balance between her academics and extracurricular activities. Maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout her four years, Alicia has currently served as president of the Student Council while playing on Plainville’s volleyball team for four years. Besides being a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Science National Honor Society, Alicia has volunteered to teach volleyball to local children, helped at the local food pantry, and participated in Relay for Life. She has also held a part-time job at a local law firm.
This fall she will attend the University of Connecticut with a major in chemical engineering. Looking back on what she has learned throughout high school, Alicia said one lesson she will take with her after graduation is “not to sweat the small stuff.”
“It’s a lot easier when you take things in stride and learn from them,” said Alicia, who also served as one of the captains for the volleyball team this previous season.
Like Alicia, Marisa has also maintained a balance between her academic life and student involvement. Not only has Marisa been a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and the Science National Honor Society, but she has also played volleyball for the past four years, receiving the title of Most Outstanding Player in 2013. As a junior, Marisa started a peer tutoring club at Linden Street School, where high school students who excel in math help elementary students with math after school hours. The salutatorian served as one of the first peer tutors, and currently, ten additional Plainville High students have volunteered in the group.
This fall, Marisa will attend Bentley University where she will major in Actuarial Sciences.
“I’m going to be the first in my family to go to college,” said Marisa, who has also maintained a part-time job for three years. “[My family is] really supportive.”
Reflecting on the achievements of Marisa and Alicia, Plainville High School Principal Steven LePage said the two students embody success. Alicia and Marisa are graduating out of a class of 153 seniors.
“They represent positive character, community service—they’re kind…humble…they’re also extremely intelligent,” said LePage, adding the two students are self-driven. “They make it rewarding for teachers to see students learning at such a high level.”
By LISA CAPOBIANCO