Portsmouth High names its top 10 'outstanding students'

Posted 6/10/19

PORTSMOUTH — They excel in the classroom, perform in musicals or with the school band, mix it up on the playing field and take time out for community service projects.

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Portsmouth High names its top 10 'outstanding students'


PORTSMOUTH — They excel in the classroom, perform in musicals or with the school band, mix it up on the playing field and take time out for community service projects.

‘Portsmouth High School recently named its top 10 “outstanding students,” who have big plans for the future. 

Here they are, listed in alphabetical order:

Liam Callahan

Liam is a strong math and science student who feels most at home in those subjects and says that biology, specifically, is “fascinating.” He has played soccer all four years at PHS and golf during his junior and senior year, while also participating in the Ski and Snowboard Club and the Math Team. In addition to his work at PHS, Liam went on a mission trip to San Juan and said that it “helped me gain a new perspective on life.” In his spare time, he works in restaurants on Aquidneck Island while balancing his challenging schedule. Liam will be entering University of Rhode Island in the fall for either pharmacy or engineering.

Jessica Chen

Jessica is a talented soccer and track and field star who excels in math and science. She is also a member of the PHS Marching Band, the Math Team, and the Sew Easy to Care Group which sews pillowcases for children in local hospitals. She is a determined, patient, and empathetic young woman who learned sign language for her Senior Project. While math and science are her passion, she is also a talented writer and artist. Jessica will be attending Northeastern University in the fall, majoring in either engineering or biology. 

Nicole Famiglietti

Nicole is the president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Language Honor Society. She is also a four-year member of the track and field team, librarian of the band, and a member of the Math Team. She is a driven, insightful and compassionate young woman who excels in math and science. Over her four years at PHS, she has taken 16 advanced placement and honors courses. She earned both her Gold and Silver Award in the Girl Scouts. Nicole’s Gold Award project was ranked in the top three in New England. She will be attending URI in the fall, majoring in pharmacy. 

Helena Jenkins

Helena will be attending Northeastern University in the fall where she will be majoring in biomedical engineering. While at PHS, she was a member of both the varsity and unified volleyball teams, as well as the Community Service Club, Youth Action Committee, National Honor Society and Language Honor Society. Helena is motivated and hard working and “loves biology and the idea of creating devices to further medicine.” Outside of school, Helena has volunteered at beach cleanups with Clean Ocean Access, enjoys photography, cooking and playing the ukulele. 

Jane Kaull

Jane was selected as the faculty chosen student speaker for PHS’s Class of 2019. She is secretary of her class and is a member of the National Honor Society. During her junior year, she received the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal/Scholarship, the Brown University Book Award for excellence in English and an Excellence in Math Award. In her spare time, Jane tutors, babysits and helps coach youth soccer. She has been playing soccer since the age of 5 and will continue to play in the fall at Northeastern University, where she will be studying health science. 

Michaela Martin

Michaela was the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership award winner during her sophomore year and continued that leadership throughout her time at PHS. She is the president of the Student Council Executive Board, a four-year member of the community service club, among other clubs, and played soccer during her four years at PHS. Science is her favorite subject and she said it’s because “I love figuring out how and why things work the way they do.” In her spare time, she works at a local beach and babysits. Michaela will be attending Syracuse University in the fall with a major in biology with the hopes of becoming a physician. 

Devon Pauline

Devon is the drum major for the PHS Marching Band while also performing in many plays and musicals, both at PHS and in Newport. He is a driven, vibrant, and committed, caring member of the Portsmouth community. He worked on the costumes for the PMS musical and loves working in and around the theater. One of his favorite subjects is English because, as he puts it, “English appeals more to my creativity and abstract thought.” Devon will be attending Wagner College in the fall with a major in vocal performance. 

Julia Pierce

Julia is an intelligent and hardworking student who has a passion for both math and science. In her words, she finds “biology and science in general fascinating.” While at PHS, Julia was the co-founder of the Club of Human Anatomy and Medicine and placed third in anatomy in the Science Olympiad. She is also a member of Class Council, the Math Team, the varsity softball team and is involved with the Newport Children’s Theater. In the fall, she will be attending Brown University in hopes of becoming a pediatrician or pediatric surgeon. 

Elizabeth Sullivan

Elizabeth is a talented, compassionate and insightful young woman. In 2017, she traveled to San Juan, Texas in a week-long mission trip with her church. From this trip, she learned “that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a great impact.” During her time at PHS, Elizabeth was a four-year member of the varsity cross-country team, where in her senior year, she won the individual state championship. She is also involved Patriots Committed, the Language Honor Society and the National Honor Society. In her spare time, Elizabeth volunteers as a Spanish teacher for Hooray for Languages. She will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy in the fall where she will study either the biomedical sciences or medicine. 

Ryan Williams

An Eagle Scout by the age of 16, Ryan is a thoughtful, intelligent, and compassionate young man. He enjoys the wilderness, and in the summer before his sophomore year, he spent two weeks hiking in New Mexico on the Philmont Scout Ranch, living off of only what was in his backpack. He is a vibrant and helpful member of the Clements’ Marketplace staff and is always willing to lend a hand to those in need. He is an amazing writer, earning the Sue Birnie Brady Award for Excellence in English. Ryan will be attending Loyola University in the fall. 

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