Nicholas Galanos 2006
Nick currently attends the United States Naval Academy on a full scholarship. Having been nominated by Congressman Paul Hodes and Senator Judd Gregg, he was chosen on the basis of academic and moral achievement from among 17,400 applicants to fill the 1430 spaces available. Originally recruited to play Division I lacrosse at Hofstra University in New York, Nick turned down this offer in order to serve his country, and made the Navy lacrosse team as a walk-on in the first semester of his freshman year.
After graduating from St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, Nick attended Brooks School in North Andover, MA on a full scholarship, where he graduated with highest honors. He was selected for the Student Exchange Scholarship program junior year allowing him to study abroad at Glenalmond College in Scotland for five weeks.
Nick also distinguished himself athletically in high school as captain of the Brooks School hockey and lacrosse teams. He received the “All Independent School League Award” two years in a row for varsity hockey and lacrosse as well as the top goal scorer and point leader awards for hockey and the Robert C. Best Award for lacrosse.
Nick, a parishioner of St. Luke the Evangelist parish in Plaistow, NH served as a Eucharistic minister there. He still credits his fifth grade teacher at St. Joseph and the index card system of note-taking she taught as “helping him get better organized and focused.”
Joseph Graziano 2006
After achieving the highest grade-point average in his class of 323 students at Central Catholic High School, Joe was named valedictorian in 2010. He attained outstanding SAT scores including a perfect 800 in critical reading. A voracious reader with a passionate love of learning, Joe still found time in high school to participate in the chorus, Theater Guild, and Campus Ministry Team. He also plays the piano and saxophone and loves hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. He is currently a sophomore double-majoring in philosophy and theology at Providence College in Providence, RI which awarded him a full-tuition scholarship.
Regarding his alma mater St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, Joe asserts, “St. Joe’s formed the firm foundation on which I built all that I have learned since. All education must build off of what came before. At St. Joe’s, I received the cornerstone for my further education. Beyond mere education, however, at St. Joe’s, I learned the paramount lessons of friendship, including how to make friends, how to keep friends, and how leave friends but never lose them.
For these lessons, and above all for bringing God into the lives of children, I am ever in debt to St. Joe’s, a school that can’t compare.”
Patricia Letayf 2003
Patricia, who recently graduated from Tufts University, majored in International Relations with a minor in Economics. At Tufts, she was a member of the Sigma Iota Rho Honors Society for international relations and was actively involved with the Catholic Community at Tufts (CCT). She also coordinated BookMatch, a competitive after-school reading program for fourth and fifth graders in two elementary schools in Medford, MA. For her studies, Patricia has been able to travel to various countries in the Middle East for research with a group called the New Initiative for Middle East Peace. Her sophomore year, Patricia traveled to Israel and the West Bank, and in her junior and senior years, Patricia co-led two delegations of students—one to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and another to the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq.
Shawnna Prendergast 2003
After being named valedictorian of the Salem High School Class of 2007, Shawnna was awarded numerous scholarships including the Simmons College Dean’s Scholarship and the Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship, as well as scholarships sponsored by the Salem Youth Soccer Association, “Dollars for Scholars,” Londonderry Family Practice, and the Parkland Medical Center.
Shawnna recently graduated from Simmons College in Boston, MA, where she majored in nursing and minored in biology. She was a Student Nurses Association Peer Mentor, worked as a Licensed Nursing Assistant, and also found time to run and play in multiple soccer leagues. In January 2010, she traveled to Nicaragua and volunteered in different health clinics through a travel course offered by Simmons in conjunction with its nursing department. A Dean’s List student, Shawnna was member of Sigma Theta Tau International (the Honor Society of Nursing), the Simmons College Honor Society which only accepts the top ten percent of the class.
Karissa (Pignone) Fitzell 1994
Better known as “Mrs. Fitzell” by her students, Karissa currently teaches third and fourth graders at St. Joseph Regional Catholic School. After her own graduation from the school, she went on to attend the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsboro, MA and then Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. She discovered her desire to teach during an on-campus early childhood internship in her junior year of college. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Child Development in 2003, Karissa taught preschool at the Children’s Place on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA for three years, leaving to accept a position at St. Joseph School teaching third grade. She completed her Master of Education degree in 2007 through a one- year intensive program offered by Franklin Pierce University while continuing to teach at
Karissa still remembers her own first grade teacher, Mrs. Provencher, who “enchanted me with her gentle and fun teaching style.” Immediately realizing that “St. Joseph’s was the perfect place for me,” Karissa credits her alma mater with being a school where “my curiosity about God and religion was cultivated.” As a student, she always considered her school a home, and she now recalls, “This feeling of being at home lingered throughout my time at St. Joseph’s. It remained in my life throughout the years, bringing me back twenty years later to re-attach myself to the community that once so warmly welcomed my family and me. I feel blessed with the utmost responsibility for instilling in my own students the values that I attained as a St. Joseph student. I will always remember my student years at St. Joseph’s as the ones that had the most impact on my quest to know God, my desire to learn, my appreciation for community and charity, my lifelong friendships, and my understanding of the responsibility to respect others.
Grade 3 at SJRCS
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