Senior Tributes

Valentina Novak, staff writer

June 16, 2022

So many memories come pouring into my mind when I reflect on high school, and I keep coming back to the people who made the greatest impact on my life. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was more than halfway through sophomore year and a student in Mr. Spence’s Advanced Placement Human Geography class. In an effort to entertain ourselves while we were stuck at home, my friend Claudia Lapinski and I wrote diary entries updating Mr. Spence on the shows we had been watching, our new favorite snacks and hobbies we were exploring. I thank him for enthusiastically commenting on every sentence we wrote. 

Next, I thank statistics teacher Mr. Carucci for never failing to make his students laugh. There are so many happy memories I can recall, which will stick with me. 

Despite all the times we interrupted Mr. Carucci to talk about random nonsense, he never got frustrated with my class. I thank him for bringing humor to awkward situations, creating inside jokes with us, entertaining us by randomly jumping on desks and being a passionate teacher always willing to help his students. 

During my sophomore year, I enrolled in the journalism elective because my guidance counselor recommended it to me. The Lighthouse has been such an amazing experience that would not be possible without adviser Ms. Pastor. I cannot thank her enough for teaching me so much about writing and the power of teamwork. 

Finally, I want to thank the students and faculty who have worked tirelessly to perfect every band performance. I can still remember the excitement I felt when I picked out the trombone and decided to follow in my sister’s footsteps. 

I thank band director Mr. Chwalyk for understanding the difficulties I had with sight-reading music and for trying to help me overcome that obstacle. Walking away from the band was one of the most difficult things I had to do. Thankfully, Mr. Chwalyk was supportive and understanding, which was exactly what I needed at the time. 

Finally, I want to thank the students and faculty who have worked tirelessly to perfect every band performance.

I would also like to thank music teacher Mr. Coffey for his commitment to the marching band’s success. He humbled us and pushed us to do our best. 

Although Coach Dellosa retired at the end of my sophomore year, I still want to mention him. I appreciate all the times I would go to the band office just to chat, and not once did he tell me to leave. He would listen to all of my rants and offer advice. 

Anyone in the band will tell you it’s a family, and that would not have been possible without Coach Dellosa. He showed me how to step outside my comfort zone, and I don’t know where I would be without him. 

As Troy Bolton famously said, “East High is having friends we’ll keep for the rest of our lives, and that means we really are all in this together.” 

With graduation approaching, it will soon be time for me to move on. However, I will always value the lessons I learned and the people who made the past four years such a positive experience.

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