By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Graduation may be near, but for seniors Molly Watstein and Nicole Truszkowski, the memories they made at Bristol Central High School won’t be far out of their minds.
Whether it was taking their senior bow on stage during the drama club’s spring production of “The Addams Family,” or sharing a few laughs together in their Latin class, Watstein and Truszkowski said they have had a lot of notable high school moments—both big and small.
“There were some big moments, but I think my favorite ones are the small moments,” said Truszkowski.
“Those little moments really complete the experience,” said Watstein, who is president of the drama club. “We had such a great four years here. The people here are more than friends—they’re really family.”
One big moment for the students was coming in at the top of their graduating class. Watstein is the valedictorian for the Class of 2017, and Truszkowski is the salutatorian.
What made that moment even bigger, however, was the timing. Last month, their principal, Peter Wininger, traveled to Orlando, Fla., where he was declared the winner of the Varsity Brands “Principal of Principle” Award. This national award honors principals who “understand the essential link between school spirit and school achievement.”
When Wininger found out that he was a nominee for the award in March, Watstein and Truszkowski were ecstatic to celebrate with the school community during a surprise pep rally held for their principal.
“He brings that energy, and the teachers stem off of that,” said Truszkowski. “That stems off to us.”
“He’s the kind of guy that knows your name when you walk by in the hall,” said Watstein, who escorted Wininger to the pep rally while dressing up as the school mascot. “He’s always got your back.”
Although the seniors have been able to balance student activities and academic success, competition was one word that Truszkowski and Watstein did not use to describe their working relationship throughout the past six years they have known each other.
“We both have a mutual respect for each other,” said Truszkowski. “That’s what happens at this school—we’re all happy for each other and proud of each other.”
Looking back on their high school experience, the top seniors found studying abroad to be a rewarding experience. Last summer, Watstein visited Italy, and even saw Japan during her freshman year through People to People Student Ambassador Program.
“My favorite part is just being able to experience the culture,” said Watstein. “Just being in the historic buildings and seeing everything…is just a really great experience.”
Truszkowski traveled to France and Italy through the student exchange program, which she called one of the best experiences of her life.
“I got to experience suburban Italy and rural France, so it was really nice to see how people around the world go to school and spend their weekend,” said Truszkowski.
This fall, Watstein will attend Wesleyan University where she will study astrophysics.
“When you think about astronomy and astrophysics and everything out there in the universe, we just know so little about it,” said Watstein, noting her passion for learning. That’s what makes it so appealing to me—I want to find out everything there is to know.”
Truszkowski will attend the University of Connecticut where she plans to study biological sciences in the honors program.
“I’ve always loved science—it has been a passion of mine,” said Truszkowski, adding how she enjoys helping others. “There’s always going to be something you can discover.”
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.