Christina Perri is the salutatorian of the Class of 2012.
Perri, a National Merit Scholarship finalist, will attend Providence College in the fall. The Holbrook resident plans to double major in biology and psychology.
1. What will you miss most about high school?
I think I'll miss all the amazing people I've met at East the most. My teachers, my friends, even the people whom I've only seen in passing but who still say "Hi" in the hallway. Between classes, clubs, band, and just being around the school, I've encountered so many people who have taught me not just about calculus and literature, but about character, integrity, and being myself, no matter what anyone else thinks.
2. What are you looking forward to in moving on to college?
Despite the merits of high school, I think I speak for my peers when I say we have all reached the point where we need a change. Seventeen years in the same house, 13 years in the same school district, and four years in the same hallways can lose something of their novelty at this point. The change of going to college will be exciting - living on my own for the first time, where nobody knows who I am or anything about my background, and (in my case, since I don't know anybody attending PC) where fellow classmates cannot make judgments about me based on hearsay or preconceived notions, will be a fresh start.
3. What was your favorite high school class?
That's a tough one - there were so many classes I enjoyed throughout my high school career. To narrow it down, I would probably say my ninth grade Living Environment Honors class was among them (especially considering Biology is my intended major), and my last two years of Italian, which focused on culture and history instead of just grammar and spelling.
4. What clubs or extracurriculars were you involved in?
I was the editor of the Eastside View (which makes being on this side of the interview a somewhat strange experience for me) and a staff member of the Revelations Literary Magazine; I served as the secretary of the Freshman Class Government, and held office positions in the Science National Honor Society (VP), Foreign Language Honor Society (President), and Tri-M Music Honor Society (Historian), as well as having general membership in the National Honor Society. I was a member of the Challenge academic quiz bowl team in the 2009-2010 school year, and nominated captain in 2011-2012 (due to budget constraints, we did not have a team). I also have been heavily involved in music, playing piano privately and playing flute for the Wind Ensemble in 2010-2012 (principle, 2012), the Mid-Island Band in 2010-2012 (principle, 2011), and the All-County Band in 2011. I was also an alternate for the All-State Symphonic Band. I was involved in several plays through the Drama Club as well.
5. What advice would you give to underclassmen?
Let go and be yourself. Don't spend all your time worrying about what your peers think of you, trying to impress them, or trying to be who you think they want you to be. It is only when you realize that you can't be anything but yourself that you will be happy on the inside, and you will gain respect and friendship on the outside.
6. Any teachers/staff who stood out throughout your journey?
There are several teachers at East who really stood out to me during my time there, including Mr. Patten, Mr. Troise, and Ms. Weber of the English Department; Mr Massimo of the LOTE Department; Mr. Finta and Mr. Regan of the Math Department; Mr. Rivera, Ms. Corso, Ms. Heinrichs, and Mr. Antonucci of the Social Studies Department; and Ms. Stempel (now retired) of the Science Department. These teachers have all affected me, whether academically or personally, and they challenged me to think about what I want, where I'm going, and who I want to be. (And how to turn a student who thinks she is mediocre at math into a very competent calculus student).
7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself close to the end of medical school, where I plan to earn degrees in pediatrics and neurology, and at the threshold of either opening my own clinical practice or joining another's practice.
8. Tell us a fun fact about you.
I have hugged a beluga whale; I am the only person I know who writes almost exclusively in cursive; and I am left handed and a proficient mirror writer.