CLASS OF 2020

Hendricken Top Ten: Hawks resilient in a time of uncertainty

By LAURA WEICK
Posted 7/31/20

Bishop Hendricken High School’s 60th graduating class is one that has shown resilience in a time of uncertainty.

“This class is not only historic for graduating during a pandemic, but …

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CLASS OF 2020

Hendricken Top Ten: Hawks resilient in a time of uncertainty

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Bishop Hendricken High School’s 60th graduating class is one that has shown resilience in a time of uncertainty.

“This class is not only historic for graduating during a pandemic, but they are a wonderful group of young men,” Hendricken President Fr. Robert Marciano said. “They adapted so quickly that we were up and running [with distance learning] so quickly.. Outstanding work, 99 percent participation, just terrific. Hendricken men are resilient.”

The ten seniors who graduated with the highest GPAs also stood out to school leaders.

“They’re a really special group,” Principal Mark DiCiccio said. “They’re not only academic, but they’re involved on so many levels with leadership academics, athletics, arts, just a really great variety of good young men in that. It’s going to be really exciting to see what they accomplish for themselves, their family and Hendricken as well.”

Logan Cuthill

Logan Cuthill, this year’s valedictorian at Hendricken, credits his friends, classmates and teachers for contributing to his success.

“The teachers at Hendricken made it very easy to become interested in the material, so my successes were the simple result of being way too excited to learn,” Cuthill said. “Studying side-by-side with so many other dedicated students also helped me push myself to be the best I could be.”

Cuthill will attend Northeastern University this fall, where he will study mechanical engineering. Having been a member of the FTC Robotics Team, Cuthill developed a passion for engineering, hence his choice of major. He was leader of the group’s build team as a sophomore, a team captain junior year and team president senior year.

Cuthill was also a defender on the school’s varsity soccer team and a hammer thrower for the track and field team. He was a four-year member of the Visual Arts Academy and part of a 2019 mission trip to Peru.

“I think that the class of 2020 is particularly collaborative and non-competitive, which makes school less of a challenge and more of a community. Also, Coach Johnston and Coach Rakovic have devoted so much of their time outside of regular school hours to help me thoroughly take advantage of soccer and robotics at Hendricken, and I would be remiss to not mention their profound impact on my high school experience.”

Cuthill is a recipient of numerous awards. He has won the Visual Arts Academy Director’s Award, Excellence in Drawing Award, the Harvard College Book Award, the Brother Vincent G. McNally Spanish Book Award, the Bishop Hendricken Art Award, University of Rochester Xerox Award, the Rhode Island State Science Fair: First Grant and second place at the University of Rhode Island Chemistry Contest Division I. He is also a National Merit Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and National Math Honor Society.

Regarding COVID-19’s impact on his plans, Cuthill said that he plans to take things one day at a time.

“Mr. Wynne has always said that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans,” Cuthill said. “This is never truer than now, so my plans are to do my best in college and to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to me. As for the world, I don’t think anyone has any idea where it is going, least of all a high school student.”

Timothy Moren

Salutatorian Timothy Moren’s GPA was only a tenth of a point behind Cuthill’s according to Fr. Marciano. He medalled five times at the U.S. Academic Decathlon Nationals in 2019, also serving as evidence of his intelligence.

“The most memorable part of my high school career was traveling with the Academic Decathlon team and Sister Carol Anne to Bloomington, Minnesota for the national competition,” Moren said. “While it was a stressful week, it brought our team closer together, and we still found time to have fun in between the competitions.”

In addition to the Academic Decathlon, Moren was involved in the FIRST Tech Challenge, math team, quiz show team, the Bishop Hendricken Leadership Academy and veterans’ advocacy group SABER (Student Advocates of Blessed Edmund Rice). He is a National Merit Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. Moren was awarded the Joseph W. Ince award at the URI Chemistry Competition, and the Rhode Island State Department Civic Leadership Award and the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award. He credits his family for helping him succeed.

“The people who contributed most to my success were my parents, Michael and Kathleen Moren, who gave me a safe, loving home, and my brothers, Hugh, Daniel, and Michael, who were the best role models I could have asked for,” Moren said. “My brothers are also graduates of Bishop Hendricken and they’ve helped and supported me every step of the way through my own high school journey.”

Moren will attend the University of Notre Dame to study aerospace engineering, which he believes is the perfect fit in order to address future challenges.

“The pandemic did not change any of my plans for the future, although it did reinforce my decision to choose the University of Notre Dame, as it means I will be closer to my family members,” Moren said. “I hope the various crises facing the world right now serve as a wake-up call for everyone and bring about lasting, systemic change to prevent future crises or injustices.”

Grant Dator

Ranking third in his class is Grant Dator, who plans to attend the Ivy League school Dartmouth College in the fall with a major in engineering. Like many of his classmates, COVID-19 has impacted his worldview, but not necessarily his future plans.

“I do not see my plans for the future changing in any way, but the last four months have given me a greater appreciation for the health and welfare of my family and community,” Dator said.

During his high school career, Dator was captain of Hendricken’s varsity swimming team, which won four state championships. Dator was also a member of the Ultimate Frisbee club, the Ambassadors Club, Arts Academy, Science Olympiad and Model Legislature. He also tutored at the Writing Center.

Some of Dator’s accomplishments include the University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Book Award and the Arts Award for Excellence in Calligraphy. Dator is an AP Scholar with Distinction, National Merit Commended Scholar, All-State Swimmer and an Eagle Scout.

Dator cited his swimming coach Dave Hanson, chemistry teacher Sister Carol Anne Murray, Dean of Academics Vincent Mancuso and social studies teacher John Manning as people who helped contribute to his success. He also was motivated by other people in Hendricken’s community.

“I wanted to make the most of the great opportunities that my parents and Bishop Hendricken provided for me,” Dator said. “I was also motivated by the support and competition of my fellow classmates.”

Luke Dolan

Luke Dolan of North Kingstown graduated fourth in Bishop Hendricken’s 2020 class. He plans to study mathematics at the University of Notre Dame in the fall, but the COVID-19 pandemic taught him that plans can change at the drop of a hat.

“The last four months have taught me to be more flexible,” Dolan said. “If my current plans for the future prove unfulfilling, I will be more willing to change those plans to better suit my desire for happiness and the needs of the world.”

Dolan has accomplished many academic achievements including the Holy Cross Book Award. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Rhode Island Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. Dolan is also a two time National Spanish Exam Silver Medallist.

Outside of academics, Dolan has been involved in many school activities. For three years he threw the hammer and the shot put for Hendricken’s track and field team. Additionally, Dolan was involved in the school chorus, the arts leadership academy, the math team, the Ambassador’s Club and the choir for the school musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” Dolan has been in the school’s Spanish club all four years of high school, serving as secretary twice and treasurer once. In his freshman year, Dolan was class treasurer. Dolan also worked as a math tutor for a year as well as in the school’s writing center.

Dolan said that his desire to improve himself in order to meet his goals has motivated him throughout his high school career. Dolan cited his teachers, including math teacher Thomas Morey and social studies teacher John Manning as challenging him to improve.

Dolan explained that he will cherish the relationships formed at Hendricken throughout his life.

“I will remember the friends that I have made the most, and the many unforgettable memories I have made with them,” Dolan said.

David Weekers

David Weekers graduated fifth overall from Hendricken. He cherishes the memories he made while attending the school.

“In all honesty I think I will remember the fun times I had with my friends during senior year the most,” Weekers said. “As happy as I am to move on to college, I think my friends and I really came into our elements during our last year at Hendricken, and it is my hope that I will stay in touch with them even as we move on.”

Weekers will attend the University of Alabama in the fall, but he hasn’t decided on a major yet. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic helped him develop a new perspective about the world.

“The events of the last few months probably won’t change my immediate plans very much,” Weekers said. “However, they have made me realize how fragile our society and the way we live our daily lives is. I have gained even more respect for those who protect our communities as first responders, nurses, soldiers, etc. As someone who is not sure what job I want in the future, these people have inspired me, and it is my hope that one day I may find a way to serve my community like they do every day.

During his first two years at Hendricken, Weekers participated in the Science Olympiad, Spanish Club and the student newspaper. Weekers joined SABER and the Academic Decathlon his junior year, when the team won the state championship and placed second in their division in nationals. He also joined Leadership Academy his senior year.

Weekers is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and National English Honor Society. He is a recipient of the Rhode Island Civic Leadership Award.

Weekers’ parents were integral to his success, according to him, and he feels that their support helped motivate him.

“What most motivated me was the idea that the better I did in school, the more opportunities that would be available to me as I moved on in life,” Weekers said. “I’m still not sure what I want to major in or what job I will work, but I am sure that Hendricken has prepared me well for the vast majority of careers I could potentially pursue.”

Joseph D’Alfonso

Joseph D’Alfonso ranked sixth in his class on top of his long resume of leadership roles. D’Alfonso was president of the Hawks’ Writing Center, president of the veterans’ advocacy group SABER and Percussion Captain in the Hendricken Concert Band. D’Alfonso was also a member of the Academic Decathlon, Hendricken Pep Band and Hendricken Orchestra.

“[What I will remember most about my high school years is] playing in the pit orchestra for Hendricken musicals, traveling to Minnesota for US Academic Decathlon Nationals and spending time with friends,” D’Alfonso said.

The North Kingstown resident is a National Merit Scholar, AP Scholar With Honor, Culture Fair 1st Place Winner, two-time Academic Decathlon champion, United States Academic Decathlon Division III runner-up, member of the National Rhode Island, Mu Alpha Theta and Spanish Honor Societies. D’Alfonso is also a recipient of the Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal for United States History, the Villanova Book Award and the 2020 Outstanding Achievement in Music Award. He is also a member of the National English Honor Society.

“The support and affirmation of others, coupled with my own desire to study at a good university and achieve my professional goals [motivated me to excel],” D’Alfonso said.

D’Alfonso plans to attend Vanderbilt University this fall, where he will double major in human and organizational development and economics and history.

“The current pandemic and ongoing protests for racial justice have not changed my future plans,” D’Alfonso said. “If anything, they have illustrated America’s need for the intelligent, creative, and unitive leadership for which I have striven and will continue to strive.”

Jonathan Martin

North Kingstown’s Jonathan Martin is tied for rank number seven in the class of 2020. He credits his friends and family, particularly his parents, for helping him be successful as a Hendricken student.

“[I’m motivated by] the drive to do high quality work in tough classes, as well as the support of my friends and family,” Martin said.

Martin’s resume illustrates his passions, particularly in music. He was involved in Bishop Hendricken’s Pep Band, Concert Band and Indoor Percussion Ensemble as a section leader. Martin was also a member of the school’s math team and Spanish club.

Awards Martin has won include the American Mathematical Society Award, the Instrumental Music Director’s Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Percussion Ensemble Award and the Athletic Band’s Spirit Award.

Martin plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute this fall, where he will major in chemical engineering. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic did not alter his future plans, but inspired him to do his best to prepare for a post-pandemic world.

“My plans for the future are not changing very much,” Martin said. “I still plan on attending WPI in the fall and completing my first year of college and beyond. Overall, I believe that the world will become more cautious and make sure that what has happened does not happen again, and I hope to take part in finding ways to keep it from happening.”

Justin Richard

Tied for seventh place in his class, Hendricken’s varsity golf team’s captain Justin Richard had a hole-in-one high school experience.

“What I will remember most from high school is my time on the golf team and all of the memories and friendships I made through the golf team,” Richard said.

In addition to his time on the golf team, Richard was also a member of the school’s quiz show team, Science Olympiad, Math Team, Model Legislature and Ambassadors Club. He also worked as a writing center tutor.

Richard won multiple honors including the Providence Journal Second Team All-State Golf and the Joseph Cichon Coach’s Award. He was also a National Merit Commended Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society.

Richard’s parents and grandparents have always been there for him to help him succeed, and he is grateful for his Hendricken education.

“My desire to learn as much as I could motivated me to excel and make the most of my opportunities afforded to me at Hendricken,” Richard said.

Richard will attend Vanderbilt University alongside his Hendricken classmate D’Alfonso. He plans to major in economics.

“My plans have not changed, but the pandemic has only confirmed my plans to major in economics and hopefully make a difference so that some of the hardships experienced during the pandemic could be lessened through economic initiatives,” Richard said.

Alexander Pate

Tied for ninth in the class of 2020, Alexander Pate is motivated by helping others. As a Peer Mentor for the Options Program, a volunteer at Rhode Island Hospital, a peer editor for the Hawks Writing Center, member of the Visual Arts Academy and member of the Ambassador’s Club, Pate has dedicated a significant portion of his time to making the world a better place.

This passion also extends to Pate’s career path. Pate is from Cranston, and plans to attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall, majoring in neuroscience.

“The pandemic has not changed my plans for the future, but instead it has strengthened them,” Pate said. “I hope that it inspires people to come together in new ways and make a difference.

Pate is also a recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Presidential Volunteer Service Award, a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the National English Honor Society and a member of the National Spanish Honor Society.

Pate said that the most memorable parts of his high school experience include his peer mentoring, hospital volunteering and getting his driver’s license. But what he will look most fondly on are the people he met along the way.

“The people who contributed most to my success were my grandparents,” Pate said. “All of them taught me valuable lessons that helped me to grow and succeed during my years at Hendricken. The people who made high school enjoyable were without a doubt my friends,” Pate said. “Even though I will be hundreds of miles away from a couple of them, I plan to keep in close contact with them.”

Robert Whalen

Robert Whalen tied with Pate for ninth in his class. Hailing from Tiverton, Whalen credits multiple people for making the school an hour away from his town feel like a home.

“My friends were the ones that were able to make school fun but also challenging because we pushed each other to do our best,” Whalen said. “My basketball coach Tiago Gomes worked me so hard that I was always able to get my mind off the bad things that happened at school or at home. Ms. Davenport was the advisor for Student Council who was just as willing to wake up early to help out with our activities and deal with how I didn’t get enough sleep that night. And most importantly my dad, who sacrificed so much to make sure I was able to go to Hendricken and even make sure I stayed there, diving upwards to four hours a day just to bring me to school, drive back to work, come back to pick me up and then drive me home.”

Whalen was Class President, a member of the Math Team and an editor for the Hawks’ Writing Center. Whalen is also an athlete. He played baseball and basketball all four years of high school, and would have been captain of the varsity baseball team his senior year if COVID-19 had not cancelled the team’s games.

Whalen’s accolades include the Seth Magaziner Leadership Award, as well as membership in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society.

Whalen plans to attend Clarkson University with a major in environmental engineering. He said that the pandemic has not changed his goals, but has helped him learn that sometimes people need to adjust how they achieve their goals.

“I want to see the positives that are in this world,” Whalen said. “Many rough things happened during my four years at high school and life was not easy on me. But people are usually pessimistic about the bad things in the world and never mention the good. I’m not talented like most people think I am, but I work hard, and I am motivated to work hard because I want people to look at life in a more optimistic way.”

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