St. Paul Catholic High School names valedictorian

Published on Tuesday, 24 May 2022 10:24
Written by DEAN WRIGHT


BRISTOL – Gillian Smith has been named St. Paul Catholic High School’s 2022 Valedictorian, and will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. in August.

“I’ve always had a passion for math and science from a young age. I really like the whole idea of trying to solve problems and looking for the best solution for something or to make something as efficient as possible, and how you can also see the work that you’re doing in the real world and see the effect that it has,” said Smith.

Smith said that she would love to work in the sustainable energy field, working with solar panels or wind turbines.

“Anything like that to try and help make technology that can help the environment,” said Smith.

According to St. Paul, Gillian has received a Summa Scholar award. This award represents the top 5% of students within the Archdiocese of Hartford. She is also the co-editor of the yearbook, Vice president for the National Honor Society, involved in Student Government, the Spanish Honor Society, the Blue Key Club and the Data Analytics and Math Team.

Another big part of Smith’s high school career was athletics, playing softball for four years and being captain for two.

“Student athletics was a big part of my life. I was on the softball team for four years and the swim team for three years as well,” said Smith. “It was a good outlet for me to have a community of people I can talk to and trust if I have something going on in my life. It was also a good outlet outside of academics where I can pursue other passions. I’ve played sports for as long as I can remember. It’s really just a great way to get out of studying for a few hours and have fun with my friends.”

Smith said that one important thing that she has learned is to “try new things.”

“Really, before coming to St. Paul, all I had really done was softball and school. Joining the whole St. Paul community, I really felt like you could try new things and do what you wanted to do.” said Smith. “I joined yearbook club and the swim team even though I’d never done things like that before. I’ve made some of my best friends there and some of my favorite high school memories.”

One memory, Smith said, shaped her as a person was this year’s Senior Night.

“I thought that was a very big moment because we had a lot of ups and downs during the season and it was kind of culmination of our whole season,” said Smith. “We won the game and we all worked together and it was really great to see that community and that family that we had built on the team and everyone working as hard as they could to get the outcome we wanted for the game.”

Smith said that the most important thing she has learned during her high school career is to “just keep friends close and build relationships with other people.”

“You can always depend on other people to help when you’re in need but to also push you to work harder and to be the best that you can be, too,” said Smith.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Tuesday, 24 May 2022 10:24. Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2022 10:27.