Shenendehowa High School
Salvatore Brancato II
PARENTS: Danielle Brancato and James House
COLLEGE OR OTHER PLANS: Attending Cornell University to major in biology and society (although I may switch it to biological engineering). I will also minor in Spanish. I will be on a pre-med track. My ultimate goal is to become a plastic surgeon!
WHAT DOES BEING NAMED VALEDICTORIAN MEAN TO YOU: Being the valedictorian was never my goal; it is reassuring to be recognized for all my hard work. In elementary school and the beginning of middle school, I struggled in school; I was in AIS classes, and I constantly needed extra help. I started to work much harder in school, that and perseverance eventually paid off.
WHO OR WHAT MOTIVATES YOU: My mother and my grandfather. My mother was a single mom of triplets with no job and no money. She sacrificed everything to build a better life for us. My mother brought us to our grandparents’ house to live and my grandfather (or my Poppy) told me about his journey as a young Italian immigrant to the United States. He balanced a rigorous work schedule with school. Instead of college, he started a very successful business.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES: Time management and goal setting. I never once stayed up past midnight to complete an assignment. I manage my time in a way so that I didn’t have to cram for tests or pull all-nighters to get assignments done. Having an active social life is a great way to take a break from the stress of school.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT SHENENDEHOWA: Spanish with Señora Clarkin. I have applied my Spanish knowledge outside of class way more than in any other class. During my trips to Spain, Ecuador, and Mexico, I was able to communicate and hold conversations with native Spanish speakers.