By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Over the past four years, Jake Collelo and Ken Tenan learned to take every opportunity they could at Bristol Eastern High School.
Recently named valedictorian of the senior class, Ken made some of his best memories by joining the cross country team as well as the indoor and outdoor track team. Besides sports, Ken has immersed himself in a variety of extracurricular activities and volunteer services, such as Boy Scouts, the Math Team, and robotics club as well as the Quiz Bowl Team, chess club and debate club. In addition to receiving a number of academic awards, including the Governor’s Scholarship Semi-finalist and the CAPT Scholar, Ken is a member of the Math Honor Society as well as the National Honor Society, Latin Honor Society and Science Honor Society.
Ken, who serves as vice president of his class, has experience working as a campaign assistant for the Republican Town Committee in Bristol, helping candidates distribute information in the community.
“The greatest lesson I learned…is take every opportunity you can,” said Ken, who has also has also received recognition for athletic accomplishments.
For Jake, some of his best memories were made throughout the four years he played baseball. Jake, who has played baseball throughout his life, said he wanted to continue playing the sport when he entered high school. Jake was recently named salutatorian of his senior class.
“Baseball was definitely a major part of my high school career—it was a great memory,” said Jake, adding how he also enjoyed being a part of the National Honor Society and taking AP classes.
In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Science and Spanish National Honor Society, Jake also served on the Bristol Eastern Math Team during his junior year. He has also received different academic awards, including the Yale Book Award and the AP Scholar with Honor Award “in recognition of exemplary college-level achievement” on his AP exams.
Jake added he also enjoyed getting involved in the National Honor Society tutoring center. Even when high school became challenging, Jake said he learned to stay committed to everything he was involved in and stayed focus.
“High school taught me to stick with a lot of things,” said Jake, who also has been recognized for his athletic achievement. “Definitely get involved with something, whether it be a sport or a club or an activity. It’s definitely worthwhile because not only do you enjoy [it], but you also meet friends who have the same interests as you.”
After high school, Jake will attend the University of Connecticut and Ken plans to attend Brown University. Both Jake and Ken said graduating at the top of their class is an honor, showing that all of their hard work paid off.
“It’s definitely rewarding,” said Jake. “We worked hard for this for four years.”
“It’s a sense of accomplishment,” said Ken.