GROTON -- Meet 11 seniors, the top 5 percent of their graduating class from Groton-Dunstable Regional High School:
Catherine Cullen, valedictorian
"My time at GD has been filled to the brim with activity and was constantly a balancing act of school, work and sports. I am a three-year varsity soccer athlete as well as a four-year varsity basketball player and captain my senior year. My experiences on the team pushed me to always strive to win and to improve myself. I also took a rigorous courseload that included seven AP courses over junior and senior years. During the summer between sophomore and junior years, I spent eight weeks taking college courses at Harvard University. One of my most meaningful activities was volunteering in the classrooms at Seven Hills Pediatric Nursing Home in Groton, where I helped to engage severely disabled children in activities and provide them with a stimulating environment. In the fall, I will be attending Boston University to study biomedical engineering. I have been accepted into the Kilachand Honors College and received the Presidential Scholarship. My hope is to one day bring technological advances in medicine to developing nations and apply them to those specific cultures."
Emma Ordermann, salutatorian
"I moved to Groton when I was 8 years old, after having lived in Tylers Green England for five years. I run Cross Country in the fall and play Varsity Lacrosse team in the Spring.
"I have spent most of my extracurricular time at GD participating in the music program and Drama Guild. I was thrilled to be chosen for Chamber for my junior year and had the most amazing opportunity to perform during the London Olympics in summer 2012. I will be enrolling in Northeastern University in the fall, majoring in Chemistry and where I hope to continue singing and acting. I hope to study abroad and be part of the co-op program at the university."
"Buon giorno, mi chiama Olivia Fay Bell Box. I can parse my way through Italian, but I aspire to be fluent. I enjoy playing my fiddle, I am a beekeeper and honey enthusiast; last season I harvested 60 pounds of honey. I like to rollerblade, bike ride and run. I work at Nashoba Paddler and volunteer at community dinners, do trail work and upcycled at Earth Day. I will be attending Hamilton college and this fall, will be studying abroad in London. I plan to major in Environmental Science and aspire to work in agriculture and conservation, ideally, I'd like to be a bee doctor."
"Aside from being a nerd, I am captain of both cross country and track teams, which had a huge impact on my high school career. This summer I will be working on a farm and as a counselor at Track Camp in town. This fall I will be attending Fordham University and I have no doubt that GD has prepared me well. I will sorely miss the people who I may have come to take for granted over the years and it scares me to think that things will never be quite the same. People will change and grow apart and find new homes, but I am glad we are all here together for a little bit longer."
"I have run cross country for four years and this year I was one of the captains, receiving the Cross-Country Coaches Award. In the spring, I am on the track team, running the two-mile and 400 hurdles and last summer I worked at the Squannacook River Runners track camp. In the winter, I focus on robotics and I am part of FTC Team 2875 based out of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. I am involved with Boy Scout Troop 3, Groton and last year I was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, my project was making the Track and Field Record board for GD. One of my most inspirational experiences in high school was our Boy Scout's Troop trek to Philmont Scout Ranch where I was elected Crew Leader and my leadership skills grew tremendously. We encountered many great adventures including a bear and intense storms. In my free time I fool around with Arduino, programming in Java and gaming. I will be attending Virginia Tech and studying mechanical or electrical engineering. My goal after college is to start a robotics business with my brother Daniel, where he does the start up and I do the hardware."
"Throughout high school I have worked hard to maintain my grades as well as balance extracurricular activities. I have participated in the Spanish Club as president for the past three years, the Leadership Team, cross-country and horseback riding. Horseback riding has provided me with a stress relief as well as taught me valuable lessons about working to support my hobbies. Volunteer opportunities have greatly influenced my time at GD, working with the Spanish Club and collaborating with the Lowell Wish Project allowed me to interact with people much less fortunate than I am and encouraged me to be grateful.
I will be attending UMass Amherst as a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, with a focus on math and Spanish."
"Although I have always thought of myself as a jock, I have accumulated nine varsity letters, was a league in all-star football and was a captain for two varsity sports teams, my first love will always be math and there is nothing in the world that intrigues me more. Some may say math is boring but those people surely have not experienced the Bing Bang Boom lesson on logs or have had pie on PI day. I am thankful to have had great math teachers at GD to increase my interest and guide me in the direction of pursuing a career in engineering. I will be attending WPI to pursue Biomedical Engineering."
"I've run for four years on the cross-country and track teams and have been captain for both. I was awarded athlete of the month for cross-country in October and was given the Leadership Award. I also play Recreational Basketball. I work as a track coach at Squannacook River Runners camp and work year-round at Celltreat Scientific Produducts. I am a member of the math team and was on Lincoln Lab's robotics team, team 2875 this year. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, ukulele and banjo and I read a lot of novels. I will be attending WPI and studying either robotics or electrical engineering."
"I grew up admiring my sisters as role models and quietly following in their footsteps in many respects but now I am excited to start forging my own path. I will be attending Gettsyburg College in Pennsylvania with an intention to double major in Biology and Environmental Studies. Although two major parts of my high school experience were the Tyngsboro-Groton Dunstable swim team and my experience in the Bahamas at Island School, nothing can replace the memories of being at GD."
"I have a passion for music and often play original songs on my piano. If you ask anybody close to me, I try to live by the mantra: "We are all leaves on the same tree." Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti for 10 days and it was the best experience of my life. I have a strong Christian support network outside of school and an incredible group of friends in school. I hope someday to live a very minimalist life and work to help those who have been deprived of their rights. I am still unsure of what career path I am headed down, but I know it must involve human rights."