By KAITLYN NAPLES
Even though they are the top two students for this year’s Bristol Central High School graduating class, Eric Aldieri and Sean Heiser still feel like every other senior.
“This is definitely a huge honor, but I don’t feel any different from the other students,” Aldieri said, who is this year’s valedictorian headed to Villanova University in the fall to study astrophysics.
Heiser agreed, and said he was honored to be named this year’s salutatorian, especially since he knows all of his peers in the senior class were qualified.
“Holding this title is a huge honor,” Heiser said, adding that he will be attending Boston College in the fall to study economics and finance.
Looking back at the last four years, both students had many moments to be proud of. For Aldieri, one of his proudest moments was being the recipient of an award for the track team – The Joshua Chora You’re Looking Beautiful Award, an award in memory of Joshua Chora who was a former Bristol Central student who was involved in a fatal car accident two years ago.
“It’s the kind of award for being committed and making your coach smile,” Aldieri said, adding he was proud to have been able to stand out to his coach and fellow team to be the recipient of this award.
Heiser said he was most proud of being the co-captain of the soccer team in which was a position he was elected to.
“It’s a huge honor having led the team during every game and practice,” he said, adding that the position of co-captain shaped him as a leader.
When asked to what or whom they both attributed their success to, both Aldieri and Heiser mentioned their education experiences at Catholic schools. Aldieri, who attended St. Joseph School, said he also wouldn’t be where he is without his parents and the work ethic they instilled into him. Aldieri added he was grateful for the support of Gale Dickau at Bristol Central who helped him, and many other students, write his college essay.
“Plus, the teachers here (at Bristol Central) are absolutely wonderful,” he added.
Heiser felt the same way, and said without his education at St. Matthew School, and the support and guidance of his parents and sisters’ successes, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“Every teacher’s contribution along the way definitely made an impression and helped build my character,” Heiser added.
When thinking about memories over the last four years, the two seniors reflected on their times spent on the soccer field together.
Aldieri said he will always remember the team’s 13th win against Pomperaug, when the final goal was scored.
“We were all jumping up and down and hugging each other, it was like the epitome of high school,” he said, adding that the 13th victory was the most for the soccer team in the last 10 years.
Heiser added he will remember all of the memories that came with playing soccer for the last four years, especially senior night.
“That was the moment when we look back on the last four years, and we’re all together and realize that we made it this far,” he added.
Moving forward into the future, Aldieri reminded his peers to always “view everything in a positive light.”
“Negativity is a major killer of your ambition and motivation; look at things with optimism,” he added.
Heiser wanted to tell his peers to make their own paths, and “do what you want to do and do it with all your heart.”
Bristol Central’s graduation will be held on Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium.
Comments? Email knaples@BristolObserver. com.
By KAITLYN NAPLES