Terryville High valedictorian striving to become pharmacist, heading to Albany College

Published on Wednesday, 17 June 2020 11:25


PLYMOUTH – Terryville High School’s valedictorian for the class of 2020, Julia Zaniewski, is grateful for the support and encouragement she received along the way and strives to become a pharmacist to help others.

Zaniewski said in addition to her teachers, one of her biggest supporters was her father, who sadly died in 2017. His words of encouragement throughout her life helped motivate her to succeed.

“Every day that he would drop me off at school, he would say something like ‘do your best and have a great day,’ and ‘I’m always proud of you,’” Zaniewski said. “Every day I thought about that and decided I wanted to make him proud and live up to my full potential.”

Zaniewski said her favorite subject in school was always math – her favorite classes being algebra, geometry and calculus. After graduation, she will go on to study at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in New York where she will work toward a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. This career path, she said, was also inspired by her father.

“One day, when I was in seventh grade, we were taking a walk and he said that I should become a pharmacist because I love helping people so much,” she said. “I thought that it would be a perfect fit and I decided that is what I wanted to do once I explored it further.”

Outside of her academics, Zaniewski was a member of the Leo Club in her freshman and sophomore years, supporting community events like the Maple Festival. She is the president of the National Honor Society, the class vice-president and vice-president of the Student Council. She also works as a supervisor at the local IGA Supermarket.

Zaniewski said she was able to balance everything by getting a head-start on school work during study halls, making it her priority when she got home before going to work and avoiding procrastination.

Zaniewski’s advice to her peers is to remember that even though they are going through a tough time and not graduating in a typical way, there is “always someone that believes in you.”

“But you have to believe in yourself first to see that,” she said. “Remember that you are awesome and you did it.”

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plymouth, Terryville on Wednesday, 17 June 2020 11:25. Updated: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 11:28.