Joey Luchetti ’18 Named Boston Globe’s NEPSAC Athlete of the Year

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The Boston Globe conferred official honors that most on the elm tree-shaded hillside had already surmised: Joey Luchetti ’18 was the 2017 – 2018 Globe NEPSAC Athlete of the Year.

The Globe reported:

Luchetti, the Independent School League co-MVP for football, caught 45 passes for 582 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end committed to Boston College. On the basketball court, he netted his 1,000th point as a junior, the fastest since Shabazz Napier…

Joey is the first Spartan — male or female — to earn this recognition from the paper.

“This is so well deserved,” said LA Head Varsity Basketball  Coach Kevin Wiercinski, who saw college recruits for both basketball and football call on Luchetti. “Joey has been following his dreams and has put in so much hard work to achieve them.

“I couldn’t be more proud of him. Through it all, he has represented himself, his family, our programs, and our school extremely admirably. Boston College will be excited to see what we’ve seen for the past three years on our campus in this young man.”

One Eagle alumni — former Lawrence Academy Varsity Football Head Coach Paul Zukausakas — can’t wait to see his former pupil pull on Boston College’s maroon and gold.

“I have had the privilege of being around outstanding athletes, and Joey is one of the best I’ve been around,” said the NFL alumnus of watching Luchetti — known more as a basketball player prior to matriculating Lawrence Academy — transform into a can’t miss prospect on the gridiron during Coach Z’s teams’ recent run of ISL and NEPSAC success.

“His leadership and competitive spirit drove our great football season last year,” added Zukauskas. “I am thrilled about his future in football as I know he can be one of the greats at Boston College.”

For now, however, it seems fair to say that Luchetti is one of the best athletes to ever wear LA’s red, white, and blue. Congratulations, Joey!

National Merit Scholarship Awarded to Maddox Angerhofer ‘18

By Allie Goodrich ’13

Groton, MA— English enthusiast, history buff, crew captain, math and science peer tutor, and now the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship. Meet Maddox Angerhofer ’18.

Come this fall, Maddox will be studying at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C, as well as rowing for the women’s crew program.  She has her sights set. “I will get a Bachelor of Science and foreign service, and my major will probably be international politics,” she said, smiling. “But we’ll see.”

A strong interest in security studies and US and global foreign policy has drawn her in this direction.  As a junior, she wrote a twelve-page research paper for her US History class on the South China Sea, getting into “some very nitty-gritty details about international navigation legislation in international waters.”

“Mr. Sheehan was a huge help,” she reflected. “I’m very grateful to him for his help with that.”

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Maddox posing with her mom after receiving the Thompson English Prize at Cum Laude Day.

Speaking of her teachers, Maddox was quick to point to Honors Literature with Doc Haman as a particular favorite, who is retiring after thirty-six years at the school.  “It’s really fantastic,” she said. “He just loves the books that we read, and really works hard to get everyone talking about them when we have our discussions.”

Above all, she said, “he is really good at listening to students. It’s a very good class—I enjoy it a lot.”

The humanities are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Maddox’s pursuits. Her activities on the LA campus have included serving as founder and president of LA’s Environmental Sustainability Council; touring prospective students and families as a member of the Elm Tree Society; serving as a peer counselor and tutor; playing clarinet in the Student Jazz Ensemble; co-editing LA’s literary magazine; and co-heading the Lawrence Academy Sock Club.

FullSizeRender-2In addition to captaining LA Girls’ Varsity Hockey, she started LA’s crew co-op program with Westford Academy and captained the Westford Community Rowing Program. “We row on Forge Pond in Westford,” she said. “It’s pretty small, but it does the trick.”

Twice she has traveled to the Wintergreen Dog Sledding Lodge in Minnesota, first as part of a group Winterim trip and then returning for a Winterim professional this year to work as a staff intern.

IMG_7074_square2“It’s the largest Canadian Inuit sled dog kennel in the world,” she explained. “They have 73 dogs, and there were two eight-week-old puppies this spring. It basically consisted of waking up in the morning and feeding and playing with all the dogs, then skiing about ten to twenty miles alongside the guests who were dogsledding and coming back and cooking dinner and playing with the puppies more—pretty much a dream come true.”

After being named a national semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition back in the fall, Maddox received news in early May that she had been selected as a scholarship recipient out of the finalist pool. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test PSAT/NMSQT—which serves an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

During LA’s graduation exercises this year, Maddox received the Benjamin Davis Williams Prize, which is awarded by the faculty “to that senior whose leadership qualities, innovative ideas, and varied interests in the numerous areas of Lawrence Academy life all make this a better place in which to live, to experience, and to learn.”

As she heads to D.C., there is no doubt Maddox will be taking these qualities with her as she heads off to pursue her interests in international relations and politics.

Congratulations Maddox, and may you continue to inspire others through your actions and kind nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between Then and Now

By Allie Goodrich ’13

Groton, Mass.— As it turns out, AJ Mastrangelo ‘18 and Jorie Van Nest ‘18 have more in common than sharing the podium as senior class speakers at graduation.

“AJ and I actually went to preschool together at the children’s center down by the Groton School,” said Jorie as she began her speech under the tent. “We were pretty good friends—best friends, I’d say, I don’t know what he’d say—and we had a combined birthday party in the LA gym, and Frank [Mastrangelo, AJ’s father], he even dressed up as Mickey Mouse for us.”

“I just wanted to say AJ, I am so proud of you and the person that you’ve become,” Jorie continued. “I just wanted to acknowledge how amazing it is and how lucky I feel that we can share the bookends of our education. You’re incredible, and you have a bright, sunny future ahead of you with no clouds!”

That last line is both a well-wish and a pun, for AJ—a lead kicker in the ISL for the Spartan’s varsity football team—announced that he will be pursuing his passion for meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

“LA recognized me as an individual—as a weatherman, as a kicker,” AJ said after restating the school’s mission statement. “In all honesty, LA has recognized me for who I am personally and has inspired me to take the necessary steps towards becoming a meteorologist.”

Both AJ and Jorie reflected on the differences between who they were at the start of their time at LA and who they are now.  For AJ, the initial challenge was to carve out a space for himself in a place already so familiar with his family: Spanish teacher and girls’ head basketball coach Donna Mastrangelo; assistant athletic director, head athletic trainer, and director of campus safety Frank Mastrangelo; and sister Cailey ’15.

“I wanted people at LA to know me for who I am,” he said. After kicking for the JV football team freshman year, he tried out for varsity as a sophomore but lost the starting kicker spot to a senior. AJ “debated quitting the team,” but stuck with it, becoming a starter junior year and eventually leading all kickers in the ISL in scoring this year as a senior.

“I was lucky to be part of such an incredible team full of heart and camaraderie,” AJ said. “None of this would have been possible if I’d decided to quit my sophomore year.”

There can be a huge difference between who you are and who people think you are, a feeling Jorie, like AJ, could speak to.

“Less than two weeks ago I did something that I’ve never done before,” she said. “I stood in front of a crowd—not as big as the one today—and I sang, alone.”

A member of Honors Music and the LA Singers, Jorie is no stranger to using her voice, and she acknowledged how easy it might be for her others to assume “singing must come naturally for you, and you’re fearless.”

The title of the song she chose for her final recital was “I’m Not Afraid of Anything”.

“It projected this idea of confidence, [but] I didn’t feel fearless throughout the performance, nor leading up to it,” Jorie confided. “Singing has been one of my longstanding passions but greatest fears.”

In the beginning, it was easy to hide. “In a big chorus you can hide comfortably behind this curtain of sound and you can get away with sheet singing, which is where you kind of go along with the buddy next to you and just hope for the best, basically,” said Jorie.

“Freshman-year-Jorie was absolutely mortified of hearing her voice alone.”

Three years later, the days of making her fellow chorus members turn their backs when she sang, or closing the curtains over the Recital Hall windows, were luxuries she could no longer afford.

“My final rehearsal for this spring recital, Mrs. Cooper ripped my security blanket away from me,” Jorie said. “She insisted I come out from behind my physical wall and stand in front of the empty rows.”

No, she was not fearless. But she was going to sing anyway.

 

Congratulations Class of 2018

The ceremony featured Commencement Speaker Pamela Nwaoko ’06

by Allie Goodrich ’13

Groton, Mass. — Gray skies, high humidity, and the random raindrop did little to dampen spirits on The Quad, as members of the Class of 2018, friends, family, and faculty gathered to celebrate the 225th commencement exercises of Lawrence Academy.

Throughout the morning, bittersweet tears, ear-to-ear smiles, and stoic faces of accomplishment (and the occasional selfie) punctuated the day, even before LA Head of School Dan Scheibe and peer-selected senior speakers AJ Mastrangelo and Jorie Van Nest greeted the Class of 2018 and the large crowd of beaming onlookers.

“225 graduation exercises,” the Head of School reflected. “That is a lot of exercise; a two century-plus elm-tree-shaded workout.”

“For me, all respect to speakers and prizes, [calling the seniors up by name] is the most energizing and most important part,” Mr. Scheibe added. “It is our mission-powered opportunity to recognize you; to call to mind the essential character as your physical presence is called up.”

“With the diplomas, the responsibility becomes yours. So one last time, we are inspired to ask: who do you want to become?”

Pamela Nwaoko ’06, LA’s 2018 Commencement Speaker, spoke to the value and importance of self-love as she addressed the 90 members of the senior class.

“Entering this new stage of your lives, other people may try to diminish you, perhaps because they don’t yet understand you,” she said. “But I tell you, do not diminish yourself.”

A graduate of Georgetown University, the University of Oxford, and a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Community Leadership from Harvard Law School, Pamela now practices law in Washington, DC at the multinational law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, representing and advising national and international financial institutions.

Back once more on the LA campus, Ms. Nwaoko talked about “translating the love Lawrence Academy has demonstrated to me and turning that inward.

As you are,” was one lesson.Begin your lives as graduates of Lawrence Academy as you are. You are enough. Right now, at this very moment. And for every moment for the rest of your lives, you will be enough.

“Be brave,” she continued. “Because it is hard to be and love yourself in this world. Those things that make us who we are are the same things that may make others uncomfortable… Teach others your value by first setting the example; be brave about loving yourself. Love yourself outloud.

In conclusion, Ms. Nwaoko spoke of the future, adding, “Hopefully, [you will] have gone forward bravely, loving yourself—and in turn, expanding your ability to love others, as they are.”

Congratulations to Lawrence Academy’s Class of 2018! Watch this space and www.lacademy.edu for continuing coverage of LA’s 225th graduation exercises.