1. Emma Meharg
Cranston High School East’s Class of 2014 valedictorian Emma Meharg, 18, plans to major in Business Economics while continuing her education at Brown University.
During her high school career, Meharg served as secretary of Student Council and on the Class Council and participated in gymnastics and the Peers as Leaders program.
In addition to being named valedictorian, Meharg’s special awards and recognitions include Cranston East Honors, membership in the National Honor Society and the Harvard Book Award. She was also a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist and Presidential Scholar nominee.
“I will remember most the relationships that I have made, the skills that I have learned, and the memories that I have made,” Meharg said of her high school years.
Meharg credits her teachers for challenging her, her parents for supporting her and her friends for making school enjoyable.
“My teachers have contributed to my success in high school by continuously challenging me to better myself not only as a student, but also as a person,” she said. “My parents have supported me in all of my endeavors without putting pressure on me.”
Meharg attributes her motivation to succeed to her older sister Hannah, East’s 2013 salutatorian, who served as her role model.
“Watching her excel in high school academically, athletically and socially, while also being a kind and compassionate person, has encouraged me to work hard and better myself,” she said.
2. Lauren Granata
Lauren Granata, 17, the Class of 2014’s salutatorian, will study chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University this fall. Granata received several special academic awards and recognitions during her tenure, including membership in the National Honor Society, a Cranston Teachers’ Alliance Scholarship, the Ross Scholarship and an American Math Award. She was also captain of the cross country team and a member of the swim team.
“Being with my team every day allowed me to form really strong bonds with all of my teammates, especially those who I have been swimming with since freshman year,” she said. “I will always remember cheering for my teammates and hearing them cheer for me.”
Granata firmly believes her success came from her dedicated teachers, whose friendship and generosity got her so far.
“All of my teachers have helped me succeed, both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said. “Their willingness to stay before and after school has helped me tremendously.”
Granata also believes her older brother, East graduate Joey, was a main factor of her success.
“His advice about teachers, schoolwork, friends and high school life in general has helped me through my four years,” she said. “I know that in the next four years ahead of me, Joey will continue to offer me his insight.”
3. Emely Anico
Brown University is the next stop for third ranking Emely Anico, 17, who plans to study international relations and economics.
Captain of the soccer and lacrosse teams, Anico served in many positions during her high school career, including vice president of Student Council and secretary of National Honor Society for the school. She was also a member of Peers as Leaders and the math tutoring program.
“Sports are such a time-consuming commitment, and I have made some of my best friends through my time on those teams,” said Anico. “I am most sad to leave my teammates and coaches, who have helped to better me in every way.”
Anico was also recognized for her academic efforts with the Wellesley College Book Award, the Harvard Book Award and a Social Studies Award.
While Anico believes that her close group of friends made her high school experience unforgettable, she attributes her success to her family.
“My entire family has motivated me to excel, specifically my parents. They work so hard for everything they have and I never want that hard work to be in vain. I know they are always proud of me, regardless of what I choose to do with my life,” she said.
4. WenWen Chen
Fourth-ranked WenWen Chen, 18, will attend Northeastern University in Boston to pursue a degree in finance.
Chen’s extracurricular activities include serving as the vice president of FCCLA and the vice president of DECA. She also participated in Science Olympiad and the Math Team, was a violinist in Cranston East Orchestra and earned membership in the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies.
“I will remember my helpful and wonderful teachers that I have had throughout these years. I won’t ever forget those meaningful meetings of FCCLA where we worked on our service projects,” she said.
Some of the many awards Chen received include the Society of Women Engineers Award, the Secretary of State Civic Leadership Award, the Excellence in English Award, an Excellence in Spanish 5 Award and the Spirited Award.
Chen said she’ll always remember her high school teachers and friends, and is determined to provide a better future for herself and family. She attributes much of her successes to her mother.
“My mother helped motivate me to succeed in school. She always emphasized the importance of receiving an education and doing well in school,” she said.
5. Anthony DeAngelis III
This fall, fifth-ranked Anthony DeAngelis III, 17, will attend the University of Rhode Island to major in pharmacy, with plans to complete the six-year program and receive a doctorate.
Deangelis’ list of extracurricular activities is extensive. He was a member of the Class Council, the Neuroscience Club and the indoor and outdoor track and field team, and served as the Student Council Executive Board communications director, a Peers as Leaders freshman mentor, a math tutor, the school announcement spokesperson and a volunteer at Miriam Hospital.
DeAngelis’ special honors and recognitions include membership in the National Society of High Scholars, National Honor Society and Rhode Island Honor Society, as well as the 2014 Secretary of State Civic Leadership Award, Cranston’s Best & Brightest Award, the Ronnie Gill Jr. Memorial Scholarship, the Joyce Wicks Corrente Scholarship, the Esther and Harold Saabye Scholarship, the Ross Scholarship, the English Book Award, the Spirit of Excellence Award, the Science Award, the St. Michael’s College Book Award for Community Service and Volunteerism and the Louis A. Bruno World Language Award.
“I will remember most my involvement in extracurricular activities, which have broadened my outlook on life and made me a more outgoing and confident person,” DeAngelis said. “I have made many memories by participating in all of them.”
DeAngelis said his parents and sister have contributed most to his success, and that he “would not be where I am today without their continuous support.” He also thanked his teachers and counselors for their guidance.
6. Mitchell Golde
Mitchell Golde, 18, plans to attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall, and is officially undeclared at present but is considering the International Engineering Program to pursue a dual degree in engineering and a language. He plans to minor in music performance.
Sixth in his class, Golde took part in a number of extracurricular activities while at Cranston East, including playing mallet instruments in winter percussion ensemble, marching band and jazz band and cello in the orchestra. He also served as vice president and president of the French Club, and earned membership in the National Honor Society.
Among Golde’s special honors and recognitions are the Brown Book Award, the MVP Award from the East band directors, the Lorenzo English Scholarship, the U.S. Marine Music Award, recognition as a Rhode Island Scholar, the Elks Scholarship Award, the Picerne Family Scholarship and the Ross Scholarship.
Golde said the combined East-West music department trip to Washington, D.C., in April stands out as a key memory from high school.
“It was just wonderful to be a part of that experience and make new friends,” he said.
Golde credited his teachers, parents and friends, saying they “have always been there for me, and that has contributed significantly to my success and enjoyment of these four years.” His motivation, he said, stems from his “ardent desire to learn.”
7. Catherine Morris
Catherine Morris, 17, ranked seventh in the class, plans to attend the University of Rhode Island to study biology.
A member of the cross country and indoor track teams, Morris served on the Class Council’s Executive Board and was a member of the BBC for morning announcements.
Among her special honors and recognitions are the Yale Book Award and the Principal’s Award.
“I think I will remember the opportunities I have had most,” she said. “Over the past four years, I have had as many opportunities as possible, and it has given me the chance to get the most out of my high school experience.
Morris said her teachers “have contributed most to my success.”
“A few specific teachers I have had have done a lot to help me get through challenging times, and they have never failed to give me constant encouragement,” she said.
“My motivation to excel has always come from myself. When it comes down to it, I have never considered it an option to give anything but my best.”
8. Madison Borrelli
Madison Borrelli, 18, plans to attend Wheaton College in the fall, and expects to major in physics and minor in French.
Eighth in the class, Borrelli played lacrosse, served as a math tutor and was a member of Peers as Leaders and the Science Club.
Among her special honors and recognitions are membership in the National Honor Society, the Excellence in French Award, the Excellence in English Award and the Junior Scientist Book Award.
“What I will remember most about high school are the friends that I have made and the time we spent together,” Borrelli said. “My supportive parents and the excellent teachers at East contributed most to my success and enjoyment of high school because they were always willing to help.”
Borrelli said she was “motivated to excel because I wanted to be able to have my choice of colleges where I know I would be happy.”
9. Julia Lawson
Julia Lawson, 18, plans to attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall to study animal science and technology. She also hopes to pursue a minor in studio art.
Ninth in the class, Lawson was involved in athletics and other extracurricular activities. She served as captain of the cross country and swim teams and as secretary of the National Honor Society, and was a member of the track and field and lacrosse teams, Class Council, Peers as Leaders and the Senior Studio Art Class.
Among Lawson’s special honors and recognitions are the Scholastics Silver Key in Painting, the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson Book Award, the Excellence in Art Book Award, all-division girls’ cross country, membership in the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies, the Bernard McLaughlin Memorial Scholarship and the Ross Simons Jewelry Scholarship.
“The art classes I have taken and the sports I have participated in are what I will remember most from my high school years,” she said.
“I believe my coaches, teammates and teachers are the people that have contributed most to my success during my high school career … The success and achievement of friends and family around me is what motivated me to excel. Some of my best friends and peers have shown me that with enough effort and time, I can achieve my best in all areas. My strive for success began when I became close friends with other people in the top of the class, such as Emma Meharg, Lauren Granata and Emely Anico. These friends have given me confidence to achieve any goals I set for myself, and they demonstrated proper work ethic needed to achieve success.”
10. Fong Thuck
Fong Thuck, 17, plans to attend the University of Rhode Island to study nursing.
Tenth in the class, Thuck’s extracurricular involvement included the volleyball team, math tutoring, Peers and Leaders, Math Club and Class Council.
Her special honors and recognitions are membership in the National Honor Society, Thunderbolt Honor Roll, the Red Sox Scholarship, the Mayor Allan Fung Scholarship, the Ross Scholarship and the Picerne Scholarship.
“I will remember all the experiences I’ve been through and all the people who changed a young girl into an independent woman,” she said. “My family, friends, and teachers have encouraged me. My father has always encouraged me to do the best that I can to live a better life than he does. He wants me to make good money instead of working relentlessly. Without his motivation for me to achieve greater, I wouldn’t be the highly progressed student that I am now.”