Those two words could have been the title of Johnston High School’s prestigious Senior Honor Awards Night that speaker-after-speaker declared the Class of 2022 …
Those two words could have been the title of Johnston High School’s prestigious Senior Honor Awards Night that speaker-after-speaker declared the Class of 2022 succeeded in countless ways despite having been plagued for two years by the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are here this evening to honor academic, artistic and athletic excellence,” began Superintendent of Johnston Public Schools Dr. Bernard DiLullo Jr. “When students attain such excellence, it is not a matter of hoping, wishing or wanting. While these components are necessary for success, they are not sufficient to achieve success. In order to be a truly honored student, hard work, effort, commitment and a desire to do your best are essential.”
Thus, DiLullo, who delivered an impressive and heart-warming keynote address, told an audience of proud parents, alumni, faculty and staff: “You are here this evening because you not only wished for success, you made a commitment to achieve success and set a consistently high standard for yourself.”
As Dr. Donna Pennachia, the principal at JHS, offered: “This evening is a time for all of us to reflect on your successes from these last four years and to celebrate you for some of your many accomplishments. Accept your awards with pride. You deserve this recognition.”
Perhaps Charlene Hohlmaier, the Class of 2022 President, said it best emphasizing: “We have worked very hard and are deserving of each award or scholarship we will soon be receiving. Our successes could not have been accomplished without the support of our families, friends, teachers and coaches. Most importantly, we should be proud of the dedication and drive we have displayed throughout our time here in high school. Whether we have excelled in athletics, academics, musical or artistic endeavors, together we have quite and impact on our school community in positive ways.”
So much so, in fact, the Class of 2022 rewrote the tradition-rich and storied JHS history book by having not one, but two Valedictorians.
Enter Miss and Mr. JHS Class of 2022 — Glorianna Crichlow and Victor Fragoso — who vaulted to the “Top of their Class” and achieved the coveted crown of “number one student” status.
Crichlow, in fact, who like Fragoso received many awards and scholarships, has been accepted to Harvard University where she will enroll in the fall and study Political Science. Fragoso is headed for Bryant University and will study economics.
In all, there were a total of 11 Major Awards like the Principals’ Leadership Awards that went to two-sport star, award-winning dancer and accomplished disc jockey Joseph Acciardo.
Rebecca Clements, whose twin sister Janet made countless contributions during their time at JHS and will enroll at Bryant University in the fall, was awarded the Student Council President Award, while Hohlmaier won the Senior Class President Award.
Seven JHS seniors — Alan Aucone, Janet Clements, Julia Droukas, Alexia Evangelista, Mackenzie Hanna, Lexianna Santos and Dannielle Warren — were honored with the Aspiring Educations Award.
In all, there were 23 Departmental Awards for Excellence ranging from Excellence in Art (won by Shannon Hartley) to Excellence in Physical Education and Health (won by Joseph Acciardo and Emily Iannuccilli), to the John Philip Souza Band Award (won by Benjamin Annicelli) to RI Army National Guard Scholar-Athletes (Emily Iannuccilli and Carlos Monteiro), U.S. Air Force for Math and Science (Emily Patenade), U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence (Glorianna Crichlow), U.S. Marine Corps Athletic Excellence (Charlene Hohlmaier and Hunter Remington), U.S. Marne Corps Semper Fidelis for Music Excellence (Victor Fragoso), to the prestigious Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal Award for Excellence in United States History (that went to Ava Palma) and the Rhode Island College Book Award (won by Denise Robinson).
Likewise, there were a total of 33 scholarships adding up to thousands of dollars for deserving students.
“The Class of 2022 has a host of talented students,” said Robert LaFazia, Chairman of the Johnston School Committee, who was joined by Vice President Joseph Rotella, and members Dawn Aloisio, Susan Mansolillo and Maryann Andreozzi, who took part in the presentation of the prestigious Janice D. Mele Memorial Scholarship to Glorianna Crichlow. “Janice was a champion of education; the same holds true for the Class of 2022.”
One of the night’s most moving messages came from Nicholas DiIorio when he presented the DiIorio Family Scholarship named in memory his late brother Matthew DiIorio, who was “Mr. Everything at JHS” during his undergraduate days at JHS and last an advocate for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a disease that took his life at the age of 40 last year.
“My brother was the torch of gratitude,” said Nicholas DiIorio. “Congratulations to the Class of 2022; I encourage you to go on with that torch as well.”
Yet another of the night’s mighty moments came when Matt Gingras, Director of Choral Groups for the JHS Music Department presented the Rachel E. Carson Memorial Scholarship to Benjamin Annicelli and Abigail Salas in honor of the late and popular student who passed away in 2018 in her senior year from a rare disease and continues to be remembered as a lover of animals and life.
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