As the top students of the class of 2012 look ahead to their own promising futures, they offer advice to new students who will be embarking on their high school careers next year. Here are Meriden’s 2012 valedictorians and salutatorians.
FRANCIS T. MALONEY HIGH SCHOOL
Jamie Erdman, Valedictorian
High School Highlights: Erdman played varsity softball and volleyball (captain) and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at Maloney. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, a Governor’s Scholar semifinalist, recipient of a Harvard Book Award, a Record-Journal Scholar Athlete and a CIAC Scholar Athlete. During her high-school years, she coached volleyball at the Boys and Girls Club, was a junior counselor at the Laura A. Cuno Camp, and played summer travel softball.
Future Plans: Erdman heads to the University of Connecticut in the fall to study Psychology and Pre-Law.
Words of Wisdom: “Keep working hard and stay motivated.”
Nicholas Mann, Salutatorian
High School Highlights: Mann served as captain of the FIRST Robotics team and was a member of the Key Club, the National Honor Society and the World Language Honor Society at Maloney. He received a Fairfield Book Award and was recognized as Student of the Month in Chemistry, Spanish and Career Technology Education. Throughout his four years at Maloney, Mann also volunteered as a tutor at Nathan Hale Elementary School.
Future Plans: Mann will major in Film and Video Production at Quinnipiac University next year.
Words of Wisdom: “Take advantage of the opportunities you have here and always strive to do your best.”
ORVILLE H. PLATT HIGH SCHOOL
Ruchi Sheth, Valedictorian
High School Highlights: Sheth’s numerous academic honors include the Carolyn Hitchcock Medal in Biology, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents’ Award, Excellence in Latin III, and a U.S. History Award. She was also a Governor’s Scholar semifinalist and was named Platt’s Outstanding Junior Girl. While at Platt, she served as co-captain of the tennis team, president of the Chemistry Club and secretary of the Junior Civitan Club. She was a member of the Key Club, the Latin Club, the National Honor Society and the Student Senate. Sheth also took part in Wesleyan Upward Bound, worked for the Panther Press, served as Student Representative to the Board of Education, and was stage manager for school drama productions. She has volunteered at MidState Medical Center, the Macy’s/Make a Wish Foundation, Santa Letters and Relay for Life.
Future Plans: Sheth plans to major in Chemistry/Pre-Med at Wesleyan.
Words of Wisdom: “Never be satisfied with what you know you can do. Try to challenge yourself and expand your capabilities.”
Emily Schmidt, Co-Salutatorian
High School Highlights: A National Merit Scholarship Commended Student and a Connecticut Middle Level Schools Scholar Leader, Schmidt has also won the Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award. In addition, she was selected as Student of the Month in Social Studies, Fine Arts and Science. Drum major for the Marching Band, she also played in the Concert Band, the Pit Orchestra and the Jazz Band at Platt. Schmidt was a member of the Key Club and the Chemistry Club and has volunteered for the Meriden Humane Society, the Bradley Home and the Meriden Health Department.
Future Plans: Like Sheth, Schmidt plans to study Chemistry/Pre-Med. She will pursue her studies at Boston University.
Words of Wisdom: “Get as involved as possible.” Initially shy, Schmidt says that the more involved she got in high school, the more she broke out of her shell and gained confidence.
Peter Piech, Co-Salutatorian
High School Highlights: Piech has served as president of the International Club, treasurer and secretary of the Spanish Club and received Excellence Awards in Spanish I, II and III. He was chosen Platt’s Outstanding Junior Boy and has been recognized as a Platt Scholar Athlete. An Eagle Scout, Piech is webmaster for the school website, was on the soccer and tennis teams, and played in the Marching Band, Concert Band and Jazz Band. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and received a Rensselaer Medal Award. He has also volunteered at the Meriden Public Library and at St. Andrew’s Church, where he was lead liturgical acolyte and lector.
Future Plans: Piech intends to major in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Words of Wisdom: “Stay determined. Never get discouraged. Stick with it and see it through.”
HORACE C. WILCOX TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL
Jose Delgado, Valedictorian
High School Highlights: Delgado, who hails from Meriden, played varsity soccer (tri-captain) and tennis at Wilcox. He also took part in his highly successful Skills U.S.A. team and was a member of both the student council and the National Honor Society. While working to maintain his top class rank, he also held down a part-time job at Anthony Jacks restaurant in Southington.
Future Plans: Delgado will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall. He is undecided about his major.
Words of Wisdom: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try hard because you don’t want to regret things.”
Cassondra Acampora, Salutatorian
High School Highlights: Like Delgado, Acampora has been active in sports at Wilcox, playing varsity basketball and softball. The Wallingford teen is also a member of the National Honor Society and has served as a Senior Mentor to incoming freshmen.
Future Plans: Acampora will major in Elementary Education at the University of Connecticut Waterbury campus.
Words of Wisdom: “Try your hardest. Live high school to the fullest because it goes by so fast.”