Portsmouth Secondary School has announced the following students as the top 10 of the class of 2022. The list is presented in alphabetical order.
Elliot Abong is a charismatic leader who meets every task with determination and a positive attitude. Throughout his four years at PHS, Elliot was committed to academic excellence and striving for success. Elliot took 19 advanced and specialized courses throughout high school. Elliot also successfully completed the Professional and Technological Education program at the Academy of Engineering. His excellent performance in these rigorous courses is a testament to his tremendous work ethic and commitment to his studies. In addition to his impressive academic achievements, Elliot was a member of the athletics team and mentor to his peers at Portsmouth Leadership Academy. Elliot’s accolades also include being a member of the Modern World Language Honor Society and a recipient of the Lassell University Book Award. Elliot is looking forward to attending Boston College and he hopes to study abroad during his college years.
Pau Alcolea Vila
Pau Alcolea Vila is an exceptional student who has demonstrated his ability to adapt and excel in new environments. Prior to PHS, Pau attended school in New York and Spain before moving to Portsmouth in his senior year. Although he was a new student, Pau adapted quickly to his new school due to his outgoing and friendly attitude. Across all content areas, Pau has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic as well as an immense passion for accomplishing his personal and academic goals. Throughout her four years of high school, Pau excelled in a variety of advanced and specialization courses. Pau was also actively involved in school clubs and activities. He was a member of the varsity swim team, engineering club, and math team. Pau is a very motivated and dedicated young man who hopes to pursue his studies in a field that interests him greatly. Pau will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he will major in engineering.
James Andersen will attend the United States Naval Academy where he will major in nuclear engineering – a goal he has worked tirelessly since 8th grade. James is selfless in all he does and wishes to dedicate his life to service. Passionate about civic duty, he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and volunteered for the Warren Fire Department. James shone academically at PHS, taking 18 advanced and honors courses. He is a leader respected by his peers and teachers and has been described by his guidance counselor as one who leads by “vision and collaboration”. James is Vice President of the National Honor Society, President of the Modern World Language Honor Society and Mentor at Portsmouth Leadership Academy. He is also a member of the varsity boys’ math team and tennis team. James received a number of accolades during her four years in high school, including recognition by the Society of Women Engineers as the top student in the science field. He is a young man of honour, integrity and compassion who is always looking for ways to give back to his community and his country.
Maria Chytka is an impressive young woman who has been described by her guidance counselor and teachers as an exceptional student and an exceptional person. Excelling in all academic fields, she exemplifies what it means to be a true scholar. During her 4 years of high school, Maria took 18 advanced level and specialized level courses. This year, she was the only finalist for the school’s National Merit Scholarship. She was also the recipient of the 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership Award. Maria is an active member of her school and local communities. She is president of the National Honor Society, secretary of the Modern World Language Honor Society, member of the math team, co-founder of the Engineering Club, mentor at Portsmouth Leadership Academy, senior patrol leader for its Girl Scout troop. and member of the parish council of Saint-Barnabé. Athletically, Maria has been a member of the women’s soccer, swimming and outdoor track and field teams. His list of accolades includes the University of Rhode Island Alumni Book Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal for Science, and St. Michael’s College Book Award for Academic Achievement and Social Awareness. She demonstrates compassion, integrity and empathy in everything she does and possesses a sincere desire to help others. Maria will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she plans to major in Mechanical Engineering – Aerospace, with the ultimate goal of working for NASA.
Nathan Janssen was described by his guidance counselor as “an innate problem solver who can think and react quickly”. He is highly motivated, enthusiastic and has achieved outstanding results in all academic fields. While at PHS, Nathan flourished in the Project Lead the Way Engineering Career and Technical program. Within his team, he was a valued member for his leadership and unique concepts. He has been involved with FIRST Robotics for 5 years and was part of the team that qualified to participate in the April 2019 Robotics FIRST World Championship. He is also a member of the Engineering Club and has had internship experiences with the Navy. He was recognized for his academic achievements in mathematics and engineering. In the fall, Nathan will bring his passion for engineering to George Washington University where he will major in Mechanical Engineering.
Amory Kirwin was described by his guidance counselor as having an “exceptional human being with exceptional strength of character”. At PHS, it was evident that Amory always possessed a strong drive and intellectual curiosity, as evidenced by his rigorous course load. Within the classroom—and through his kindness, maturity, and open-minded nature—Amory maintained strong relationships with his peers and teachers throughout his high school career. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Modern World Language Honor Society, and the Student Council, and has also been a member of the women’s cross-country team, women’s track and field team, and swimming. Within the Portsmouth community, Amory has also been involved with the Newport Children’s Theatre, empowered young women through the Days for Girls organization and worked as a cantor in both church St. Mary’s and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Her singing skills also earned her first place in the classical category of NATS Boston. In the fall, Amory will major in History/Russian at the United States Naval Academy.
Described by his guidance counselor as someone “who can instantly grab a room’s attention” and “has a knack for making people feel heard and their voice matters”, Nathan Levine has left its mark on PHS. He excelled academically, balancing a rigorous honors course load and advanced placement classes with his extracurricular activities and athleticism. Treasurer of his class, member of the Jazz Band, the PHS Marching Band, the Math Team, the Portsmouth Leadership Academy and the National Honor Society, Nate immersed himself in the school community. For the past 4 years, he has been a member of the boys varsity football team, winning all divisions for D1 football. Known for his musical talent, Nate was a Junior All State snare drummer, snare captain in the band, and a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. While at PHS, he established himself as a leader among his peers, even establishing the school’s men’s volleyball intramural team. In the fall, Nate will attend Marquette University where he will major in data analytics and finance.
Owen Malone is a smart, driven young man who has earned the respect of his teachers, peers and teammates. During his time at PHS, he excelled both academically and athletically. Owen not only took 14 advanced and honors courses, but he also took 3 college-level math courses at Roger Williams University during his middle and high school years. Since his freshman year, Owen has been a member of the math team, and in 2019 he was recognized as the top scorer on RIML Island. He is also a member of the Modern World Language Honor Society and the National Honor Society. Outside of the classroom, Owen is a member of the varsity boys’ baseball team and indoor track team. He is an extremely bright and curious young man who considers one of his greatest strengths his willingness to help others learn. In the fall, Owen will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) majoring in math while continuing his baseball career at the college level.
Garen Seibert is an insightful and compassionate young man who exemplified what it means to be a Portsmouth patriot. On the academic level, he has taken numerous AP courses and completed the CTE Engineering course, thus demonstrating his willingness to rigorously question himself. Furthering that educational resume, Garen is also a Fellow of the National Honor Society, the Modern World Language Honor Society, and recently received the Sue Birnie Brady Award for Excellence in AP Literature. In addition to these academic accolades, Garen was a vital member of Model UN, where he not only demonstrated incredible leadership, but also demonstrated a passion for environmental issues while forging strong relationships with his peers. These traits also carried over to his leadership role with the New Patriots Club, where he helped welcome new students to the PHS through social experiences and peer relationships. In the fall, Garen will attend the United States Airforce Academy where he will continue his solid academic background by majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Described as a bright and optimistic young woman whose smile – according to her guidance counselor – “made others want to be around her”, Sophia Sousa was never afraid to challenge herself, as in evidenced by his enrollment in several Honors and AP courses. Balancing her studies with athletics also showed Sophia’s competitive nature and leadership on the football field during her four years at PHS. She also excelled as a gymnast, but unfortunately an injury prevented her from pursuing this path. Not letting that deter her involvement, Sophia has defined perseverance by using her knowledge and experience to coach groups of 5 and 6 year old gymnasts, allowing her to stay close to this community. Continuing to use these leadership qualities, Sophia also participated in the Peer Leadership Program, where she mentored first-year students through a socio-emotional program in their counseling and followed them through their second year. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Modern World Language Honor Society, and the Creative Writing Club. This fall, Sophia will attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she will major in economics.