Congratulations to Grace Malone, the Minisink High School Class of 2022 valedictorian; and Antonella Lombardo, the Class of 2022 salutatorian!
“Grace and Antonella’s academic achievements are the result of very hard work and recognizing how important that is for their future career goals,” said Interim Principal David Telgheder. “They’re role models for all students in our district. We’ll be watching their future accomplishments with great pride.”
Grace’s GPA is 102.64. She will attend Syracuse University and plans to earn a degree from the university’s Bandier Program for Recording and Entertainment Industries. She expects to work in music marketing or touring artists management.
“Grace possesses a natural talent for music,” said Mr. Telgheder. “Her musical inclination has allowed her to be a music intern for the Wind Ensemble director. She is a social media manager and promoter for local bands and artists, and she offers private music theory and piano lessons. She’s an ambitious, determined student and inherently talented, hardworking and unstoppable. She will absolutely succeed in her pathway in life.”
‘The things you are doing now are just a lead-up to the bigger picture.’
Grace stressed that Minisink Valley gave her the ability to strive, which will help her in college.
“Through the people I met in the school, whether that be other students or my teachers, I’ve been able to develop valuable skills that I will be sure to take with me into the future,” she said. “I especially enjoyed the extracurricular activities the school offered, such as the music program that I have been apart of for all four years. Since I will be going on to work in the music industry, I give a lot of credit to the program and its directors for how well-prepared I feel to meet my future challenges and goals. I will be sure to take the work ethic that Minisink has helped mold with me into my future college academics.”
She advised her peers to push themselves, but not too much.
“It’s easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed, especially in your senior year, so be sure to take time for yourself,” said Grace. “A great way to take a step back from how overwhelming school work can feel is to get involved. Join clubs or organizations that you’re passionate about since, in my experience, that has helped mold me into a person I can more-or-less say I am proud of. It’s easy to make good, beneficial connections with people who are interested in the same passions that you are. Always remember, though: The things you are doing now are just a lead-up to the bigger picture. Don’t go crazy trying to be perfect at everything, for this time of your life is only a tiny portion of a massive future.”
Antonella’s GPA is 102.37. She will attend Rochester Institute of Technology, where she’s been accepted into the accelerated Physician Assistant Program.
“Antonella has taken part and led in anything and everything,” Mr. Telgheder said, “including as National Honor Society vice president, Key Club Division 13 Lieutenant Governor, Drama Club vice president, Voice of the Valley member and president of HOBY NYE Area 18 Alumni Association. Her accomplishments demonstrate her drive and determination, but something that isn’t displayed on paper is her radiant personality Her positive attitude and smile is contagious. Success surely awaits her no matter her destination.”
‘ …There is no test for character other than life; no number can ever measure the quality of who you are.’
Antonella expressed her gratitude for the support and love given to her by the Minisink Valley community.
“As I prepare to pursue my career in medicine, I have come to value the teachers, students, community organizations and faculty who have endlessly supported me in my endeavors, entrusting me to take on leadership roles, to step out of my comfort zones, and teaching me so much about myself and life,” she said. “I’ve learned from my teachers that I can have security and comfort in not knowing the answers, and that there’s nothing wrong with having a little curiosity.”
Antonella also offered advice for future graduates.
“Although I’ve spent the past 13 years dreaming of the destination, I’ve come to realize that it isn’t about the journey or even the destination at all: it’s about the company,” she said. “The speed of time may be the inevitable, but only you have the power to alter the course of your day — to spontaneously talk to someone you’ve never met before, to take a new hallway route, or to brighten the day of someone else’s, especially when they’re having trouble seeing the light.”
She urged students to have a quest for knowledge and try new things.
“Time moves fast when you’re set in a routine, and your brain takes in less information when you aren’t experiencing anything new; learn from others, hold onto the memories, and get involved as much as you possibly can,” Antonella added. “Even if you don’t have your license, you’re at the wheel — if you want something done, you reach out, and you be independent. Your impact on others will come back tenfold, for there is no test for character other than life; no number can ever measure the quality of who you are.”