By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — It was almost like a minigraduation.
Ninety-two members of the North Andover High School Class of 2013 who received a total of $133,000 worth of scholarships were honored at Scholarship Knight in the NAHS auditorium last week. The honorees were clad in their graduation gowns, black for men, red for women – their alma mater’s colors.
Yes, that spelling of Knight is correct, because North Andover High students compete as the Scarlet Knights.
The biggest winner of the evening was probably Caroline Manteiga, the valedictorian. She made so many trips to the stage to receive scholarships that she could have worn out the soles of her shoes.
Her awards included the Coach Timothy P. Roberts Memorial Track Scholarship, $500; Bill Sansoucie Memorial Scholarship, $500; GE Star Award, $500; Herff Jones Believe in You Scholarship and Principal’s Award, $2,000; Alex Farese Memorial Scholarship, $2,000; Alvah Hayes Scholarship, $500.
The largest single prize, the $6,000 Libby Brakeley Memorial Scholarship, was awarded to Marianna Paradise. This scholarship is given in memory of an aerospace engineer who died in a car accident in 2002.
Paradise will be attending the University of Maryland and she “clearly wants to improve the world,” said Hap Brakeley, Libby’s husband, who presented the award.
While every recipient could boast of high achievement, one member of the class has a particularly awe-inspiring story. Audrey Khin-Tin, one of two recipients of the $1,000 James Gammie Memorial Scholarship, given by the North Andover Republican Town Committee, came to the United States from Burma, also known as Myanmar, when she was 12.
“She did not speak a word of English,” said Selectman Rosemary Connelly Smedile, who made the presentation. Yet Khin-Tin earned membership in the National Honor Society.
Smedile noted the scholarship is named for a “brilliant engineer” who was also an immigrant, from Scotland.
The other recipient of the Gammie Scholarship was Julie Boshar, who also received several other awards: American Lebanese Awareness Association, $2,500; Anthony L. Galvagna Sr. Memorial, $1,500; Lions Club Ben Perrone, $500.
The Democrats also contributed a scholarship. Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Tricia Melvin and Phil DeCologero, an active member, presented a $500 check to Joseph Kenney.
North Andover High is a legendary powerhouse in wrestling, having one numerous state championships. Wrestlers in the Class of 2013 pinned down many a prize Tuesday evening. Rick Bowe, who wrestled for the University of Pennsylvania and has aided the NAHS program for years, presented the Ruth H. Bowe Memorial Wrestling Scholarships, $2,000 each, to three athletes whom he described as “tough as nails:” Ryan Neals, Alex Inangelo and Danielle Coughlin. The latter was the first female high school state champion in Massachusetts history.
Coughlin and Neals also each won the $1,000 Armand Luciano Memorial Wrestling Scholarship.
Glen Hartford Jr., who’s headed for St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt., said he would have been grateful had he received just one scholarship. Hartford, an outside linebacker who will play Division 3 football at St. Mike’s, won three: Circle Insurance, North Andover Boosters Club Little League and St. Michael Church Holy Name Society, each for $500.
He’s contemplating a career in physical therapy or exercise science, he said.
Kali Otis, who delivered The Eagle-Tribune from when she was a second-grader right up until high school, won The Eagle-Tribune Newspaper Carrier Scholarship, $1,000, as well as the Frederick White and Dave DerArakelian memorial scholarships, $2,000 and $250, respectively.
“I was so surprised,” said Otis, who will major in hospitality management and Spanish at University of Massachusetts Amherst.