Spaulding High School is proud to announce the top 10 graduating seniors in the Class of 2023 based on cumulative grade point average through the third quarter of this year.
The honored graduates are listed in alphabetical order, as the determination of valedictorian and salutatorian, based on grades for the entire four years of high school, will be announced at graduation on June 9th.
Cassidy-Ann Bernier, daughter of Duane and Michelle Bernier of Rochester, will attend Fordham University in the fall, majoring in English. Cassidy’s long term goal, however, is to attend law school to pursue her dream of becoming a defense attorney.
Here at Spaulding, Cassidy is recognized as an outstanding student through her participation in National Honor Society and French Honor Society. She has taken on several leadership roles serving as co-president of Mu Alpha Theta, secretary of the FBLA, and president of the National Technical Honor Society where she also serves as a student ambassador for the Richard W. Creteau Career Technical Center. Cassidy has been an active member of Class Council and a lead fundraiser. She has also served as the historian for the Class of 2023.
This year she took her passion beyond the classroom, setting up an extended learning opportunity (ELO) working with a local attorney. She describes this experience by stating it was the “most meaningful activity I participated in during high school was my internship within a law office. Becoming a defense attorney has been a goal of mine ever since I was young. Being provided with this opportunity granted me access to career knowledge that is difficult to learn by a simple lecture or Google search. This experience further helped me cement my ambitions for my career path. While this internship taught me about the daily life of an attorney, the most memorable aspect was the personal growth it bestowed on me. Ultimately, this internship taught me plentiful information regarding my aspired career and improved both my work and social skills. I am incredibly grateful to be given this experience for the knowledge and memories it has provided me.”
Alice Blanner, daughter of Alan and Mindy Blanner of Wakefield, plans to attend American University as a Data Science major this fall. She was also accepted to the University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Rochester Institute of Technology, Simmons University, University of Washington, and Marquette University.
At American University, Alice was awarded both the Dean’s scholarship, and a National Merit Scholarship through Liberty Mutual. Additionally, she is a recognized member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society for her high academic achievement throughout high school. Alice is one of our top math students whose strong skills earned her the RIT Computation Book Award last year.
As a leader in our community, Alice serves as vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), as well as co-president of Mu Alpha Theta, our math peer tutoring club. While in FBLA, Alice placed second and third overall in the state competitions in both the accounting and business calculations categories. In her community of Wakefield, Alice has volunteered with the Lions club and the Acton/Wakefield Watershed Alliance.
Reflecting on her time at Spaulding, Alice says, “I joined FBLA my junior year, and over the last 2 years, it has helped me build my leadership skills in a supportive environment and connect with people all over the state, while strengthening my knowledge in specific business subjects. I was able to go to conferences where I competed and placed on tests about Accounting and Business Calculations, and learned valuable skills, such as confidence, perspective, and leadership, that I will utilize in my future. Not only was FBLA educational, it was also incredibly fun and enjoyable. I learned and benefited so much from my time with FBLA, and I was able to do so with my friends, classmates, and amazing advisor.”
Haley Faucher, daughter of Tisha and Michael Faucher, has been accepted to many prestigious colleges including: Boston University, Emerson College, University of Maine, and Quinnipiac University. Haley has ultimately decided to join the ranks of The Wildcats at the University of New Hampshire, majoring in English and Journalism.
During her time at Spaulding High School she has been a part of a wide variety of activities. Haley was the co-captain of the soccer team, participated in indoor track and field, and balanced both outdoor track and tennis in the spring. Haley’s athletic involvement continues off the field as a member of the Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT). Through her affiliation with SALT, she was heavily involved with the planning of our pep rallies, dances, and spirit weeks.
Haley is a recognized member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Class Council, and Future Business Leaders of America, where she has participated in the planning and execution of community service related activities and fundraisers.
Outside of school, Haley has worked with young students at the Rochester Child Care center and last summer worked for the Acton/Wakefield Water Alliance, assisting with the mission to protect the lakes and slow down the erosion threatening the environment.
When asked for the most meaningful activity during SHS she replied, “ As part of the Creteau Technical Center, my most meaningful activity was my photography program. I spent two school years growing my portfolio and refining my photographic technique. Not only a creative outlet, it allowed me to discover one of my favorite pastimes, and one that I hope to continue to exercise in the future. I made lasting memories surrounded by newfound friends and role models. My high school experience would not have been the same without this opportunity.”
Sam McLaughlin, son of Lori and Dave McLaughlin, will be attending the University of New Hampshire. He was accepted by audition into the B.M. Piano Performance Major and awarded into the Honors program with a music scholarship.
Music is Sam’s passion. In addition to being an accomplished pianist in the Jazz Band, he is percussion sectional leader, Choirmaster of eighty students in chorus, president and founder of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and has as amazing singing voice that he has showcased as the lead in Spaulding High School musicals such as The Descendants and Suessical. Sam was honored in All-State Mixed Choir and All-State Chamber Choir where he ranked eighth highest Bass singers in the state. He received the Step it Up award voted by peers to the student who has shown the most growth musically and personally, as well as the Jazz Musicianship Award, given to dedicated and gifted musicians, particularly in the study of jazz.
Sam has also shown himself to be a leader outside the music department. He spent four years in Student Leadership and was a National Honor Society member. He has volunteered his time greeting returning service members at Pease Air Force Base, organizing group visits to elderly residents unable to leave the home providing life affirming company, and participated in a Sleep Out that raised $5000 dollars to help homeless youth.
Sam was a semifinalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholars and received the Fremont and Jess Memorial Scholarship. When asked what was one of his most meaningful activities he participated in during his high school career he replied, “Being president of the new Tri-M Music Honor Society has been a blast. It’s been really great to provide service to the community through music. One of our first projects involved going to the Monarch School and performing for their students, and it was one of the most heart-warming things I’ve ever been part of. It was so nice to bring art to those kids and we cannot wait for what that connection turns into!”
Natalie Meulenbroek, daughter of Molly and Jeffrey Meulenbroek of Rochester, will attend Tufts University, School of Arts and Sciences, where she will pursue studies in International Relations with a minor in Studio Art.
Natalie has served as Class Council vice president, National Honor Society vice president, Environmental Club president, Student Leadership member, and founder of the Spaulding News. She also enjoys weightlifting, art (specifically oil painting), and spent last summer pursuing the study of political science at the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program.
Some of her community service activities include: Waypoint Sleepout, Chamberlain Street School Game Night, and McClelland School STEM Wars. She has also worked at Lickee’s and Chewy’s Candies and Creamery in Dover.
A Book Award recipient, Natalie also won two Silver Key Awards at the Scholastic Art Awards competition. She describes as most personally meaningful, her extended learning opportunity for which she wrote and published a literature review in a peer-reviewed journal on “The Acoustic Communication of the Killer Whale, Orcinus orca” in the High School edition of the Journal of Student Research.
Emma Pare, daughter of Brian and Kelly Pare of Rochester, will attend the University of Vermont (UVM), where she has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship. She plans to major in biochemistry with a minor in pharmacology. She plans to pursue medical school in the future. In addition to UVM, Emma was accepted into St. Michael’s College, University of Maine, Plymouth State University, Russell Sage College, University of Connecticut, Hawaii Pacific University, University of New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University, and Colby Sawyer College.
A proud member of the Spaulding High School marching band and chorus, Emma is a section leader and drum major. She was awarded the band First Chair Award and the music department Eagle Award. She participated in select choir, was accepted into the All-State music festival, and is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
Emma is the president of the Class of 2023, the president of the Spanish Honor Society, a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and the Spaulding swim team. Emma was awarded the Russell Sage Book Award as a junior and has been a member of the Student Leadership team throughout her high school career.
Her community service activities include: We Care Food Pantry, Rochester Cares Clean-up Day, Chamberlain Street School Game Night, Trunk or Treat and Snowflake Social, and McClelland Elementary School’s Stem Wars. As part of Student Leadership, she has participated in a yearly caroling trip to elementary schools and a local retirement home. She has participated in the Waypoint SleepOut to raise awareness for youth homelessness. In addition, she works at Village Pizza and Water Country where she has been promoted to Aquatics Supervisor and Lifeguard Instructor for the 2023 season.
Emma reflects on her favorite memory at Spaulding by saying, “For Valentines Day, my leadership team took a trip to a retirement home in Rochester. This would typically just be any trip to a lot of students, but it was especially touching for me. Normally we carol to elementary schoolers, however this trip we chose to make an extra stop and I am beyond grateful for. The interaction between students and these adults was special, and really opened my eyes on how Spaulding students should make it a tradition to visit these places more often.”
Purnika Poudel, daughter of Arjun and Shrijana Poudel, will attend Dartmouth College, where she will study Cognitive Science and Linguistics on their pre-med track. Purnika plans to pursue medical school in the future as she aspires to be a physician. She was also accepted into Colby Sawyer College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and the University of New Hampshire.
Purnika has been actively involved in Class Council, Health Occupations Students of America, Environmental Club, National Honor Society, French Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Seacoast Students for Sustainability. In her spare time she enjoys reading and baking.
Purnika completed the Medical Assisting program at Somersworth Career Technical Center and completed an internship at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in the ICU and CCU. The team at Frisbie was so impressed with Purnika that she has been offered a position as a lab assistant starting after graduation.
When asked about her most meaningful high school experience she shared, “I participated in helping to pack a storage container full of humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe. The organization’s name is Project Kuchengetedza Zviwanikwa (PKZ) and one day during the summer, there was a massive shipping container and multiple trailers full of goods in the senior parking lot. There were so many materials being sent over like blankets, clothing, and medical supplies. So for three hours that day we spent our time filling the container from back to front, stacking boxes like we were playing Tetris. It was a lot of work and it was super hot outside so we were all working up a sweat. It helped me truly appreciate the resources I have access to here, and how lucky I am to be able to help an organization that does so much good. I hope that this summer we are able to do this again because I truly loved it the first time I did it!”
Hannah Raab, daughter of Jeffery and Stacy Raab of Rochester, dedicated herself to excellence in academics, leadership and athletics throughout her high school career. Hannah was accepted into University of New Hampshire, Endicott College, Rivier University, Salve Regina University, Stonehill College, High Point University, Regis College, St. Joseph College, The University of Tampa, Colby Sawyer, Simmons University, University of So. Maine, University of New Haven, Plymouth State University, Franklin Pierce University, Keene State College, and New England College. Looking to major in Nursing with the goal of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she has chosen to attend Rivier University’s Honors Global Scholars program. She is also a Rivier Women’s volleyball recruit.
Hannah is a member of the Spaulding volleyball team, as well as a travel club team. In addition to volleyball, Hannah was captain of girls’ varsity lacrosse and ran the school sports’ Instagram page. Her extra-curricular and community service involvement has been exceptional. She participated in Future Business Leaders of America, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), Health Occupations Students of America (president), National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and the Student Athletic Leadership Team (participating with other student athletes in both school and community service activities). It should also be noted that she has maintained a part-time job since her sophomore year.
She states that, “The most meaningful activity I participated in during high school was both volleyball and SALT. Volleyball allowed me the ability to play my favorite sport with my best friends. Both my travel and school teams will forever hold my favorite memories. It showed me the importance of being a student-athlete and helped me find mental toughness and confidence, especially being a woman in sports. It also showed me how to be a role model for younger athletes. SALT allowed me to collaborate with other student-athletes to better our school community, and our community as a whole. SALT also allowed me to participate in a plethora of community service activities that were both rewarding and enjoyable.”
Emmeline Sevey, daughter of David and Minda Sevey, has been a devoted student, leader, and friend throughout her high school career. She will be attending Brigham Young University with a prospective major in Vocal Performance, minoring in French. She is excited to make a career in the music industry.
Emmeline is a gifted student who actively engages in her own learning. She is the president and historian of the National Honors Society, member of the Tri-M Music Honors Society, and Mu Alpha Theta, providing peer tutoring to students at Spaulding.
Emmeline is an accomplished vocalist with a long list of accolades and awards. She has carried that enthusiasm for music and added her leadership skills as the chorus Section Leader and Drum Major for the marching band. She has been awarded the RIT Creativity Award, High Honors, Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award, All-State Four Year Award, and All-State top scorer.
When asked what her most meaningful experience was at Spaulding, she said, “I was accepted in the All-State Music Festival all four years of high school, but I only actually attended it in person twice due to the pandemic. My Junior year was the first year I went to All-State in person, and finally I was in the choir with so many talented students my age, and I felt so honored to be there. The experience was incredible, the music so moving. Finally, after years of anticipating when I’d get to go, I went. And I made so many new friends. Because of the All-State audition, I was also eligible to attend a similar festival pertaining to the North Eastern region of the country this past April. That was also just a life-changing experience. I’m so grateful to have had these opportunities; they have helped me to shape my musical career, which means a lot to me.”
Hannah Stewart, daughter of Carlene and Douglas Stewart of Wakefield, will be studying Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing. Having been accepted to University of New Hampshire, Bryant University, Keene State College, Merrimack College, and Southern New Hampshire University, Hannah has chosen to attend the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, where she is enrolled in the Honors Program. She is excited for the next chapter of her life as an entrepreneur!
While a student at Spaulding, Hannah was elected as president of the Future Business Leaders of America, received the Saint Michael’s College Book Award, and volunteered for Acton/Wakefield Watershed Alliance, helping take care of our environment.
Hannah has been a valuable member of the Spaulding community; she is an ambassador for the business program at the Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and Class Council. She is an athlete as well, participating in varsity tennis, slalom water skiing competitions, and Miss Karolys Dance Factory.
Hannah states, “The most meaningful activity I have participated in during high school is definitely Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I was voted president of our chapter, and this was my first major leadership role. Through public speaking, helping to organize this year’s chapter and competing, I have become a more confident person. FBLA is what helped me discover my passion for business, giving me a greater sense of direction for my career.”