Friday, April 1, 2016

Students of the Month

The following students are being honored as students of the month.  They are nominated by staff members for outstanding academic achievement, a random acts of kindness, or a significant contribution to the school, community, or a noteworthy cause.  Please take the time to read each biography to learn about their varied interests and talents.  Impressive young men and women.  

Olivia Aumais
My name is Olivia Aumais, and I am a senior here at GD.  I’ve lived in Groton my whole life, with my two brothers, my parents, and my dog Sally.  I’ve gotten to play on the Varsity lacrosse team all four years, and be a part of the history making State Finalist team, which is one of my favorite memories from high school.  I also played on the Varsity field hockey team as a junior and senior, and I played rec basketball, which I got to end my career with a championship.  

After high school I will be attending Christopher Newport University, where I will be playing lacrosse for the Captains.  I plan on going the Pre-Med route, and coming back up to Massachusetts for med school, where I can specialize in Pediatric Oncology.  I am very grateful to have my oldest brother Matt be a role model for me, and to have my best friend Meg Colantuoni, always there to push me and support throughout high school. I want to say thank you for having me be Student of the Month, I’m pretty sure I only got nominated for this because I bring Mr. Mastrullo Reese’s every week, but nonetheless it is a honor.       


Charlie Andrews
I’ve been a part of our school’s robotics team, the Robotomies, my entire high school career. I saw them at the activity fair my freshman year, and I’ve been a member ever since. In my three years on the team, I learned more about engineering and robotics than I ever have in a classroom. I learned, for example, how to program computers, and now I’m the lead software team member. It wasn’t until this year, however, that all of that learning finally paid off. 

We managed to increase our ranking in competitions by a whole order of magnitude, going from 30th to 3rd, and we’re all still learning. Over the summer, for example, I plan to teach myself computer-vision so that next year we can build a robot that is capable of seeing and analyzing the world around it in the same way people do. I plan on continuing my learning in this field even after high school graduation, with aims to get a minor in computer science (alongside a major in physics). I don’t know where and how I’ll be learning, but I know that I’ll be learning for as long as I can.


Steven Bettencourt
Hi, my name is Steven Bettencourt (image far left), I am 17 years old, and I am currently enrolled as a junior at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School. I am a triplet currently living in Dunstable and have two siblings, Sarah and Sam, who are attending GDRHS as well. Before entering my freshman year at the high school, I had always been intrigued by engineering and technology and was always looking for ways to learn and do more in these fields. At about the age of five, I knew exactly what I wanted to study in college and do as a profession. I wanted to be a Robotic Engineer. Upon entry into my high school career, I found great interest in our robotics team. 

At first, I was a bit hesitant because I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into and did not have a whole lot of experience with robotic engineering outside of school. But, as the robotics season progressed, I developed a great deal of new and useful skills, became more and more involved, and am currently a co-captain along with being the head robot operator of our team. One individual that has greatly influenced and mentored me over the past three years is Mr. Mark Rocheleau. Mr. Rocheleau is not only a teacher at the high school, but has also been an active mentor on our team for the past three years. He has inspired me to think outside the box, work to the best of my ability, and continuously pushes me to reach my fullest potential. For the future, I plan on attending a 4 year college studying Robotic Engineering and Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering. I look forward to what lies ahead of me and am extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me and all the people along the way who have helped me achieve success.

Christian Curll
Hello, my name is Christian Curll and I am a senior at GD.  I have lived in Groton my whole life.  Since my Sophomore year I have been part of  the Co-op wrestling team with Leominster High School,  I am also a two year captain of the team.  This season I met my goal of qualifying for States.   For the past two years I have been a youth wrestling coach at my wrestling club, Doughboys Wrestling Club in Lowell.  I am also part of their high school club team.  Most of my time outside of school consists of wrestling and conditioning.  I  will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute this fall with a major in Electrical Engineering.   I will also be part of their wrestling team.  I am very excited to join the team at WPI, but am also saddened by my imminent departure from GD.  

Whitney Ellis
My name is Whitney Ellis, I am a freshmen at GD.  I have lived in Groton all my life, with my Mom, Dad, and brother Christopher.  My brother graduated last year from GD and now attends Endicott College.  When I'm not in school I am normally hanging out with friends, family, or playing sports. I play Soccer and Softball, I enjoy both sports very much. When I get older, it is my goal to go to college and play Softball. I'm not sure what the future holds for me as of now, but I try to put school before everything. Sometimes balancing it all at once can be hard. I always try my hardest in school and my great teachers seem to help make anything possible. It has been a good year for me so far and I am looking forward to the next three.

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Olivia Fordham
My name is Olivia Fordham,  I am sixteen years old and a Sophomore here at GD. I moved to Groton three years ago with my Mom, Dad, sister Bethany and brothers Nick and Matthew. I am enjoying my high school experience so far and appreciate all the support from my Teachers. My favorite classes are U.S History and Biology. Outside school I have been playing basketball and enjoy watching the Celtics. I also enjoy spending time with my friends, family and listening to music. Through hard work and determination I hope to reach my goals for the future.  

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Sophia Irby
My name is Sophie Irby and I am currently a junior at GDRHS. I have lived in Groton my whole life with my mom, dad, older brother Nick, and little sister Kat.  My brother is a senior this year at GD and will be attending Bentley University next year. He has made high school much easier for me, and I hope to do the same for my younger sister who will be a freshman here in the fall. I play on the lacrosse and field hockey team, and play rec basketball. Last year when I was a sophomore, my lacrosse team made it all the way to the Division II State Finals. Sadly, we lost to Norwell, but it was a memory I will never forget. Sports have given me the chance to meet so many people, and coaching youth basketball and lacrosse has been a fun way for me to connect to our community. 

During February vacation I had the opportunity to participate in a service learning trip to the Dominican Republic. The experience was life changing, and also made me realize how much I enjoy working with kids. My plan after high school will be to attend college, most likely in New England. I am not sure what I want to study yet, but something I am considering is early childhood education. I am proud to be a student at Groton-Dunstable, and I am honored to have been chosen as a Student of the Month. 

Lain MacDonald
My name is Lain MacDonald and I am a 9th grade student at Groton-Dunstable High School. Thank you for the student of the month award! I am excited to display it in my bedroom. I live in Groton with my Mom, Dad and two younger sisters, Hope and Faith. I also have two dogs, Easton and Bauer. History is my favorite subject. Mrs. Blydenburg at the middle school sparked my interest in history. My history teacher at the high school is Mrs. DeBenedictis and I have learned a lot from her too. In my free time I enjoy watching Star Wars Rebels, being a part of the GDRSD football team and attending Best Buddies events. I am really looking forward to joining my first year of baseball in the upcoming season. Go Crusaders!

Kathryn Preston
My name is Kathryn Preston and I am a junior at GD. Besides my normal academics, you can find me working my job as a waitress at Filho’s cucina and running track with my buddies in the unified track program. I also serve as the public relations officer in the high school's Student Council program in addition to planning the school's pep events at the Student Activities Council. This past winter, I had a lot of fun managing the varsity boys hockey team with two of my friends and loved watching them make it as far as the district championships. Most importantly, I’m happy to be a part of the Best Buddies program here at GD that specializes in assimilating students with disabilities into the school environment. Being an officer of this program has greatly changed my high school experience for the better. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my three older brothers and my dog.


Katie Royal
My name is Katie Royal and I am a junior at GD. I have lived in Groton my whole life with my parents, my older brother and my two dogs. After high school, I plan to attend college and pursue a career in Pediatric Mental Health. My mom, who is a nurse practitioner, has been a role model in this choice by providing me with insight into the medical field and public health issues. I play on both the Varsity Lacrosse and Field Hockey teams, and I am part of the School Improvement Committee at GD. One of my favorite memories from high school so far would be playing in the State Finals for my lacrosse team my sophomore year. Another favorite part of high school for me would be the opportunity I had to travel to the Dominican Republic for a service learning trip this past February. It was a great experience that helped me learn about new cultures while helping others. I am grateful for all my experiences here at GD and I look forward to the rest of my time here. 

Lucas Sottile
My name is Lucas Sottile and I am currently a Junior at GD. I live in Groton with my Mom, two dogs, and my sister attends Suffolk University. I am currently one of the lead drivers for the Robotomies, team 1277, and we have excelled this season. I'm looking forward to my senior year in high school and following STEM in college.

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Olivia Straw
My name is Olivia Straw and I am currently a junior at GDRHS. Along with playing Girls Varsity Soccer, I am one of three managers of the Boys Varsity Hockey Team. I am also the treasurer of the Best Buddies Club,and participate in Unified Track, Students Activity Council and Community Service Club. Within school, my favorite subjects include Spanish, English and History. After high school, I am looking to pursue a major in journalism along with a minor in Spanish, which I hope will provide me with opportunities to travel. Outside of school, I coach youth soccer, play piano, snowboard, and volunteer at the Rivercourt nursing home. Also, within the past two years I have gone on three service trips; one to Queens, NY, one to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and one to the Dominican Republic. These trips have had a great influence in my life and have provided me with many new experiences. I look forward to even more new experiences in my upcoming senior year.

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