By LISA CAPOBIANCO
As their senior year comes to a close, Bristol Eastern High School students Alexandra Allen and Emily Stadnicki have their eyes set on the future.
The valedictorian of Bristol Eastern’s Class of 2017, Allen will attend George Washington University where she will study accounting and political science this fall. While she hopes to become a certified public accountant for a firm, Allen said there is a chance she may also venture into politics, since she will attend school in D.C.
“I have always been a numbers person, so I easily fell in love with accounting,” said Allen, adding how she always wanted to attend a big college in the city. “Community engagement is also important to me and the easiest way to get involved is through politics.”
The salutatorian of Bristol Eastern’s Class of 2017, Stadnicki will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she plans to study biochemistry and math. Although she never met him, Stadnicki said she will walk in the footsteps of her grandfather, earned his Ph. D. at WPI.
“My grandfather was a biochemist. He created different medicines,” said Stadnicki. “I never met him, but he’s had such an impact on the way I see the world. He just had such a love for life and helping people, and I want to continue his legacy.”
For the top seniors, juggling academics, extracurricular activities and work did not come easy.
From serving the math team and band to indoor track and soccer to varsity lacrosse, Stadnicki dove into different areas of interest throughout high school.
Although she enjoyed being a part of so many different groups of people, Stadnicki said what she accomplished outside Bristol Eastern was a rewarding part of her high school experience.
Through her involvement with the Bristol Soccer Club, Stadnicki has helped children with special needs enjoy the game of soccer.
“It’s been the most rewarding experience that I’ve done since my sophomore year,” said Stadnicki, adding how she will always remember the bonds she formed with her teammates.
Although she enjoyed participating in the National Honor Society and running brackets for the dodgeball tournament, Allen also found working with youth to be a rewarding part of her high school experience. For the past 10 years, Allen has trained at Risu Martial Arts Academy, where her job entails teaching and guiding children.
“My job is to teach and guide kids through martial arts so that they may become well-rounded people,” said Allen. “It’s such a rewarding experience seeing a student embrace their confidence and succeed.”
Looking back on their time at Bristol Eastern, Stadnicki and Allen grew in a variety of ways, especially in the area of leadership.
Through her experience serving as a student representative for the Board of Education this past school year, Allen used her voice to bring a change to the high school midterm schedule. Last December, Allen addressed the board about adopting a half-day schedule for midterm exams, which were originally administered on full days of school.
In May, school officials unanimously approved the change, which will take effect during the 2017-2018 school year. The new schedule now mirrors that of final exams, which, like midterm exams, count for the same weight in students’ grades and cover material from the same period of time.
“I realized that we students also had a voice in school policy,” said Allen, adding how she hopes future student representatives also will ‘speak up in order to make a change for the better.’ I had the honor of speaking up for myself and others in hopes of change.”
Besides serving as band president and captain of the varsity soccer team and lacrosse team, Stadnicki also joined Bristol Eastern’s new freshmen mentor program, which gave her an opportunity to offer an additional support to incoming high school student.
“I hope I showed them that you can really do whatever you want in the school,” said Stadnicki. “It’s possible to succeed in many different areas of your interests as well as academics. You can make so many new friends and new memories.”