2009-06-11 / News

Four island students among top NKHS graduates on Saturday

By Sam Emrich

On June 13, the North Kingstown High School Class of 2009 will participate in the graduation ceremony culminating four years of scholastic achievement. Of the superior scholars that compromise the top 10 of the graduating class, four are from Jamestown. Colleen Bailey, Kendra Davis, Alex Seidler and Emily Falces excelled both in and outside the classroom, obtaining spectacular grades, prospering athletically and holding leadership positions in school organizations.

During her years at NK, Colleen Bailey managed to be member of the National Honor Society and play on the powderpuff football team. She also held a steady job and played a varsity sport. If that’s not impressive enough, she did it all while ranking fourth in the class of ’09.

“I played on the volleyball team for four years and I was a co-captain my senior year,” Bailey said. “For the past four years I’ve also been a religious education teacher at my church and this year I started working at the Rhode Island Food Bank with a friend once a week.” Bailey says she babysits to earn money and worked about “eight hours a week and five hours on the weekends” during the school year. Bailey is also a National Merit Commended Scholar, a title honoring students with exceptional PSAT scores.

When it comes to leaving NKHS, Bailey says she can’t believe the time has finally come. “It’s a great school and the best place I could have asked to be,” she said. “I just can’t believe it’s over. It has flown by.” Next year, Bailey will attend the University of Notre Dame.

“When I got the acceptance letter I was really excited,” Bailey said. “I did early action so I found out about a week before Christmas. The best Christmas present I could ask for was finding out that I got in there.”

Though currently undecided, Bailey says she is leaning towards a major in mathematics.

Ranked fifth in her graduating class, Emily Falces transferred in her junior year to North Kingstown High School from Toll Gate High School. At Toll Gate, Falces was a member of the concert band.

At NK, Falces continued her musical pursuits and joined several other organizations. “I was a member of the National Honor Society, symphonic band and math league,” she said. “Those were my top three activities.”

Falces was also a National Merit Commended Scholar and a member of both the Rhode Island and World Language honor societies. Falces has studied French “since middle school” and plays the piano in her free time. “I love playing the piano,” she said. “I’ve done it for years and taken lots of private lessons.”

Intending to continue piano, Falces plans to attend Mount Holyoke College with a double major in neuroscience and music. The ambitious graduate also says she is considering expanding her musical talents. “If I can, I might start a new instrument,” she said. “One thing they have (at Mt. Holyoke) is A capella singing groups. I’ve never sung before, but I think I’d like to learn.”

Regarding leaving the comfort zone of high school, Falces says she is confident with her school selection. “I visited the school I’m going to and the academic rigor is great,” she said. “I think I’ll really like it there, be comfortable and become more independent.” With her sights set on Massachusetts, Falces stressed her happiness in her new community. “I’m really glad I moved to North Kingstown High School and Jamestown,” she said. “It’s been really nice living here.”

Alex Seidler, ranked seventh in the senior class, says a large portion of his time outside of the NK classroom was dedicated to varsity sports.

“I kept pretty busy between football and lacrosse,” he said. “That was my focus with after school activities.” Seidler was a senior captain of the NK varsity lacrosse team this year.

Over his four years at the high school, Seidler was a member of the National Honor Society, a Leadership Academy participant and a freshman orientation leader.

Additionally, Seidler participated in community service through his church and went on a service trip to El Salvador his senior year. Seidler says the trip was a “medical mission” through NEVOSH, the Northeast Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity. “When I was down there this year, just the medical tent alone helped like 400 patients per day,” he said. “They do this every year because these people have nothing and they have to wait so long for medical attention.” Seidler says he was able to turn his service experience into his senior project, a graduation requirement.

According to Seidler, visiting El Salvador and being forced to speak Spanish stirred his thoughts about a potential field of study in college. “I’m going into business next year,” he said. “I haven’t declared anything, but I’m thinking about minoring in a language, too.”

Seidler plans to attend Boston College in the fall, but says he will stay connected in Rhode Island. “I’m excited for next year because I get to make a lot of new friends and meet new people, but I know I’ll always have the friends I made in Jamestown and NK by my side.”

Kendra Davis is ranked ninth in the graduating class. This year she was president of the National Honor Society, varsity captain of the swim team and editor-in-chief of the award-winning NK school newspaper, “The Current Wave.”

“I’ve been on the paper for three years, since my sophomore year,” Davis said. “I was managing editor last year and this year I became the editor-in-chief. My biggest priority was the school newspaper.”

Davis was also involved in peer tutoring through the National Honor Society and plays the classical guitar, a hobby she hopes to continue after high school. “I’ve been playing for 10 years,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll take private lessons, but I’ll definitely keep it up as a hobby.”

Davis is currently wait-listed at Haverford University, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, but should receive her response within the next two weeks. “I haven’t heard back from Haverford, but I’m going to hear back by June 15, so I’ll know for sure then,” David said. “I check the mail every day religiously because I really want to know.”

If not accepted to Haverford, Davis says she plans to attend Villanova University in the fall with a major in communications with a focus in journalism and minor in linguistics. Either way, the aspiring journalist says she looks forward to continuing her academic pursuits. “I feel really good,” she said. “I’m still going to stay connected with people here, but in general, I’m looking for new opportunities.”

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