Hoboken High School’s class valedictorian is about to leave the mile-square city for four years at an Ivy League school.
Gabrielle Frederick is a singer, theater actor, student council member, and recent recipient of a $5,000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc scholarship. The scholarship, which was awarded in part due to Frederick’s 4.54 grade point average, will likely help the cost of her tuition for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“The friendships that I made were a huge factor [in my development],” said Frederick, “and being on the stage had a huge part in contributing to how I developed as a person.”
Frederick said that she plans to study either marketing or entrepreneurship, or a mix of the two.
“I really want to be able to combine my creative side with my passion and drive for education,” said Frederick. “I think [business] would be the perfect outlet for me.”
“We did things together and had fun together as a family. We had an amazing year.” —Jennifer Ponzoni, vice president of the student council
Salutatorian Erin Ranieri, a drama club member and captain of the girls’ volleyball team, was recently selected by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association for their “Scholar/Athlete” awards program, which honors one student from every High School in the state.
Ranieri said that she has been able to juggle sports, theater, and her studying from the support of her family and school faculty. In fact, Frederick and Ranieri both starred in the school’s recent production of “Footloose.”
“My mom and dad [always] push for success,” said Ranieri, adding, “the teachers and especially the class advisors have always been there [for me].”
Ranieri said she plans to attend Rutgers in Newark to study marketing, management, and advertising.
Student Council Vice President Jennifer Ponzoni echoed the sentiments of her classmates.
“The moments that stood out to me the most were when we had the whole class together,” said Ponzoni. “We did things together and had fun together as a family. We had an amazing year.”
Ponzoni said she plans to attend school to study the culinary arts, and hopes to one day open her own restaurant.
“I’m going to miss this school and everyone in it,” continued Ponzoni, “[as well as] all the great teachers that helped the students [along the way].”
Advisors give praise for the class of 2012
Class advisors Patrick Ciriello and Judy Burrell expressed their appreciation for the class they’ve been with for the past four years.
“When we met them as freshmen, they were so underdeveloped,” said Ciriello. “You were waiting for them to find their way.”
“Eventually you start to notice their [personalities],” continued Ciriello. “As an entity, the whole group is amazing.”
Ciriello said that recently, he was impressed by the class’ school prank, which was pulled off with the cooperation of Principal Noreen Lazariuk. The prank involved concealing the main office and other administrative rooms in plastic wrap and foil, as well as “decorating” the halls with toilet paper.
“They were silly but smart enough to pull off something funny that wasn’t [too much] of an encumbrance,” said Ciriello, who splits his time between teaching physical education and coaching swimming and girls’ volleyball.
“They really bond as a class,” said Burrell, who teaches Geometry and coaches Cross Country. “Whatever we did as a group, everyone participated in. They really stood out.”
“Whatever we asked them to do as advisors, they stepped up and did it,” added Burrell.
Ciriello particularly praised Ranieri and Frederick for their accomplishments across a variety of fields.
“They had to piece their activities together with holding high honors [in their schoolwork] here,” said Ciriello. “It’s impressive.”
The class of 2012 is scheduled to graduate Monday, June 18 at 6 p.m. in JFK Stadium.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at email@example.com.