Meet the top 10 students in Southeastern Regional’s Class of 2021
EASTON — Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Class of 2021 graduated during outdoor ceremonies on Thursday, June 10.
These students were at the top of their class in the various communities that Southeastern Regional serves.
The following information was provided by the Southeastern Regional School District.
Julie Canuto-Depina, medical assisting, Brockton
When Julie Canuto-Depina first came to Southeastern, she did not know that she would select the medical assisting program. Nor did she know she would become the 2021 Outstanding Vocational Student at Southeastern as well as a U.S. Presidential Scholar recipient. Her achievements have been plentiful while at Southeastern, and the school is incredibly proud of all of Julie’s accomplishments.
Julie is the student representative on the school committee, a representative on the student athletic advisory board, the student leadership team, community service group and the school council, a member of the National Honor Society and of the track team.
She commented that her favorite is being a student representative on the school committee because she enjoys hearing the concerns of the students, especially during a challenging year like no other, and being able to communicate them to the school committee. She also commented that it feels nice to know that she is representing the voices of all the students and taking initiative to relay these important concerns to the school committee.
This year, the track team was a great escape for her as it has enabled her to push beyond her limits and, in her words, begin to “get back into the swing of things.”
Julie has also shown great resilience, as she has not only had to balance each club, team, and committee, but also maintains a job at a grocery store. Outside of Southeastern, Julie is a member of the Afro Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) and the Brockton Area Branch NAACP. There, she competed in the oratory competition. After much hesitancy, she was encouraged to write her very own speech, and chose to craft a persuasive speech regarding an issue that she was very passionate about: police brutality. She not only won the competition at the Brockton branch, but she received a gold medal and qualified for the national competition, which will take place in July.
When Julie came to Southeastern, she originally sought to become a teacher, so she was interested in the early education field. However, she fell in love with the medical assisting field after exploring it in the freshman exposure and exploratory phase. Being a sister to four brothers, she always had a passion for working with children, and she saw the medical assisting field as an opportunity to become a pediatrician.
In her own words, “The health care system has one of the most amazing, determined, strong-willed, humble, skillful, attentive, selfless, hardworking, and passionate group of workers, and I strongly feel as though it is with this group of individuals that I see myself working with in the future, making a change in others’ lives.”
Julie recounts that the medical assisting program has given her so many skills, knowledge, and ideas of what she wants to do in the future, which she is very thankful for. In medical assisting, she had the opportunity to practice the skills she learned, including obtaining vital signs, documenting chief complaints, performing point of care diagnostics, performing EKGs, learning about body systems, medical terminology and so much more. She also had the opportunity to go out on clinical, where she was able to apply these skills to a real-life setting.
She is thankful that she will be able to leave Southeastern with certification as a clinical-medical assistant, and that the employability skills and technical skills she gained at Southeastern will accompany her throughout her future studies and her lifelong career.
One vocational assignment she was particularly proud of was being able to present to her brother’s 5th grade class about nutrition. She talked about what nutrition is, why it is important, what kids can do to maintain a balanced diet and many more health-related topics. She was very proud that the students were attentive and engaged, and she felt good knowing that she was able to share the knowledge she had gained from medical assisting to help others make better decisions.
She was also proud of performing an intramuscular injection on her vocational teacher, Mrs. Madden. Mrs. Madden strongly believed that Julie had enough practice and skill to perform the procedure on a person instead of a mannequin.
Finally, she was also proud of having been granted the 2021 Southeastern Outstanding Vocational Student, which served to remind her of all the hard work and effort she put into her vocational program and studies.
After graduating from Southeastern, Julie will attend Boston College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After that, she plans to obtain her registered nurse license, and get some hands-on experience in a pediatric setting. Further into the future, she plans to obtain her master of science in nursing and specialization in pediatric care, where she will become a pediatric nurse practitioner and ultimately fulfill her goal of working with children.
When asked what advice she would give to her freshman self, she stated that she would tell her freshman self to stand up for herself and others who may not feel like speaking up. She would tell her freshman self to motivate and encourage others to push themselves beyond their limits and to accomplish their goals. She also said that she would tell her freshman self to take every opportunity that comes her way, stay focused on her studies, and make a difference in her community and others’ lives. “Most of all,” she added, “to strive to be the best version of yourself possible.”
Scott Homer, advertising design, Brockton
Advertising design is a vocational program where students can express their unique artistic vision by creating dynamic illustrations, computer animations, and digital photographs. It also allows students to showcase their artistic abilities alongside other creative individuals as they design, produce, and deliver a wide range of creative promotional materials for interactive web and print media.
This is what Scott Homer, one of Southeastern’s top students from Brockton, experienced during his four years of high school. Scott always enjoyed expressing his ideas through design and wanted to expand his knowledge, skills, and experience with multiple forms of media.
Southeastern’s advertising design program provided Scott with an outlet for his creativity while teaching him useful skills for college and career. In an interview, Scott discussed the opportunities that enrolling in the advertising design program had given him.
He stated, “Being in advertising design gave me the opportunities to learn several Adobe programs and participate in design competitions outside of school.”
In addition to working diligently in both his academic and vocational courses, Scott is proud of himself for obtaining his OSHA certification. He also enjoyed working collaboratively with his peers to create new signs for outside of the school. Additionally, Scott participated in SkillsUSA during his sophomore and junior years, and qualified for the district competition during both these years.
Because of Scott’s hard-work and determination, he earned acceptance to Montserrat College of Art for four years, where he hopes to concentrate in animation. When asked what he would tell his freshman self, he explained, “I would tell my freshman self to be open-minded to the opportunities offered at Southeastern and persevere through challenges interfering with personal and/or career goals.”
Southeastern is confident his optimism and his excellent example will motivate current and future students to follow in his footsteps, and congratulates Scott on his tremendous accomplishments.
Ember Trumbull, medical assisting, East Bridgewater
Throughout her high school career and throughout a pandemic, Ember (Emmy) Trumbull has been involved in a wide variety of activities, sports and community service. With such an amazing track record, it is clear that she has made a huge mark on Southeastern that will not be forgotten.
Emmy was always inspired by strong nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers and attending Southeastern allowed her to follow in their footsteps. As a student in medical assisting, she is overly grateful for the opportunities that she has received from her experience in the program.
Emmy said, “From professionalism skills, to hands-on situations, [medical assisting] has given me so many amazing opportunities that I would not get at a local public school. Rather than learning in class, I now get to be hands on, working out on co-op! I have expanded my learning through this amazing experience! Gaining my CCMA through the [program] was another thing I’m very grateful for. [Medical assisting] has also taught me valuable life skills, such as daily professionalism and filling out tax forms, or applying for jobs.”
Clearly, medical assisting has given her the chance to not only expand her academic career, but also has given her the skills to exceed expectations in both everyday life and her future career. Since becoming a certified clinical medical assistant in March, Emmy has been given the opportunity to go work at a pediatrician’s office, where she has fallen in love with pediatric medicine.
In addition to juggling both academic and vocational expectations, Emmy is heavily involved in clubs and community service. She is the vice president of the student athletic advisory board and a member of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she has volunteered at her church, Monadnock Christian Ministries, for many years.
Additionally, she is involved in the program 30 Hour Famine through World Vision. She also is part of the East Bridgewater Public Library Teen Advisory Board.
Ember has been a member of Southeastern’s cheerleading team since freshman year and was given the opportunity to captain for her senior cheerleading season, but, unfortunately, it was disrupted and canceled by the global pandemic.
When asked what she would tell her freshman self, she explained, “I would tell my freshman self to get out of my comfort zone. As a shy freshman, I had less opportunities. As I grew more comfortable, I was able to greatly benefit!”
Hopefully, this will inspire current Southeastern underclassmen and future students to follow in her footsteps. Next year, Ember will attend Husson University, located in Bangor, Maine, and is planning on working over the summer until college begins. After college, she plans on working as a registered nurse and is considering continuing her education to become a nurse practitioner. While it was an honor to have Ember as a part of the Southeastern community and it is sad to see her leave, we know that she has a bright future ahead of her in the medical field.
Evelyn Canavan, legal and protective services, Easton
Evelyn Canavan is an exceptional Southeastern senior who consistently excelled in her studies and in her legal and protective services vocational program. During her time at Southeastern, Evelyn participated in the American Sign Language club and student council as well as regional and state student council. Additionally, she is part of COVID-19 research groups, environmental concern groups, and racial and disability equity groups outside of school.
As a member of the state student council executive board, Evelyn works directly with the board of education. She recalls going to the executive building, which houses the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, and working with both the board of education and representatives from the state LGBTQ and Gay-Straight Alliance. She enjoyed her work and remained committed to the state student council, even as COVID-19 hit.
One great achievement she recalls from her time at the council was being able to change the health curriculum to focus more on educating students about their lives and how to make better decisions.
When she is not busy participating in clubs, activities, or various councils, she also has a job at Starbucks, which in her words is, “an interesting experience in and of itself.”
After completing the Southeastern freshman exposure and exploratory program, Evelyn was interested in exploring two vocational programs in more depth: natural and life sciences and legal and protective services. She liked both programs because they provided an opportunity to help people, which was what she knew she wanted to do. Ultimately, she chose legal and protective services, because she knew it would provide her with ample opportunities to learn valuable information.
Evelyn explained that legal and protective services provided a great opportunity for her to explore the laws and rights of ordinary citizens. Evelyn also gained many more opportunities from her vocational program. Legal and protective services enabled her to be a more informed citizen, and she also gained social skills from it. For example, video conferences with lawyers and judges enabled Evelyn to see members of law enforcement as actual people, and to understand the justice system from the inside.
The vocational program also allowed her to fine-tune her own career choices. She explained that she is a completely different person than what she thought she would be, and she is thankful and glad for having had that opportunity. She also recalls taking a field trip to a prison, where she heard inmates speak about their experience, how they ended up there and how it has changed them.
One major vocational assignment that Evelyn was proud of was her senior project on affordable ways to protect your own devices. She used the knowledge and expertise she gained through legal and protective services’ cybersecurity class to demonstrate to others how to properly, safely and economically keep their devices and accounts safe, and feels a sense of accomplishment that she educated her fellow classmates on this important topic. In addition, she was proud of case studies and projects she completed on OJ Simpson and Aaron Hernandez.
After graduating from Southeastern, Evelyn is headed to Hofstra University on Long Island, New York, where she will be in the first class of the nursing program. After a rigorous admissions process, with several difficult essays and interviews, she was one of 36 students who were accepted into the program. She is excited that she will start the program in the fall. After university, Evelyn hopes to do either MedFlight or emergency room nursing, pursuing the fast-paced settings that allow her to assist others in need.
When asked what advice she would give to her freshman self, she stated that she would tell her freshman self to cherish her time more. In her words, “Four years seems like a lot when you’re in that time period, because it’s day by day, but in the grand scheme of things, if you live a long, healthy life, it’s such a small period of time that you should cherish the time you have.” She would also tell her freshman self to ask for help when in need. During her freshman year, she refused to ask for help, and feels that, in retrospect, she should have reached out to a couple more of the resources she had. Third, she stated she would tell her freshman self to do a few more things that she was intimidated by, such as joining a new club or being in an event. Lastly, she stated that she would tell her freshman self to speak out about things she sees. She offers this advice to everyone: “Use your resources, your guidance counselors…if you see something that’s going on it’s really important to just improve the school for yourself or anybody else who’s just coming in.”
Nathan Christie, computer & electronic engineering, Foxboro
A senior in Southeastern’s computer & electronic engineering program, Nathan Christie (Foxboro) is an outstanding student from the Class of 2021. Nathan is involved in the Southeastern community by participating in various club offerings.
In an interview with Nathan, he said, “Throughout my time at Southeastern, I participated in a few clubs, specifically the Dungeons & Dragons club and Magic: The Gathering club. I had a lot of fun with friends there, which was unfortunately cut short by COVID.”
Nathan enjoyed participating in the wide variety of clubs offered and had fun spending time with his friends there. Nathan also excelled in his vocational program, computer & electronic engineering, and has always had an interest in engineering. When asked why he chose this program he responded, “I chose my program because I previously had an interest in engineering in middle school.”
He also enjoys all the things that have been taught to him while in the computer & electronic engineering program. Nathan said, “Engineering allowed me to practice more of the skills that I wanted to use later in life.” Nathan used the skills he learned in his program to complete his senior project. When asked about what Nathan was proud of he said, “I am really proud of my current senior project, which is a game designed to teach computer science to others.”
Nathan’s time in the computer & electronic engineering program has not only allowed him to accomplish amazing things, but also to learn many useful skills that have prepared him for both college and career. Nathan wants to continue to expand his knowledge of engineering in the future.
When asked what his plans were after high school he said, “After high school, I am planning on going to Wentworth [Institute of Technology] to study computer science further,” and will continue to grow his knowledge of computer science. Now that Nathan’s high school experience is coming to an end, he reflected on his freshman year. When Nathan was asked what advice he would give to his freshman self, he said “I would tell my freshman self that having something you’re passionate about will help push you through the harder times.”
Southeastern commends Nathan Christie for being a hardworking and passionate student and is proud to celebrate his accomplishments.
Amanda Marascio, early education, Mansfield
Even during the hardest times, Amanda Marascio was involved in a wide array of activities at school, work and home. She is a wonderful inspiration for others as she is extremely passionate about helping others and constantly strives to be her best self. Amanda always enjoyed working with children, especially being able to interact with them and help them mature. She decided to choose her vocational program during the exploratory period of her freshman year because she enjoyed spending time with the children.
As a student in Southeastern’s early education program, she was able to learn a great deal about children, including how they develop from birth to 9 years of age and the stages of psychosocial development. She also participated in daily hands-on experience with the preschool students.
Amanda achieved many vocational accomplishments, such as making an interactive hygiene doll named Hector that teaches children about basic hygiene practices that they should follow. She also wrote a 100-page long fictional memory book about a girl named Ella, which demonstrates Ella’s gross motor, fine motor and cognitive development skills. For Amanda’s senior project, she chose to make homemade soap bars and donate them to the Father Bill’s and MainSpring House in Brockton.
Throughout her high school career, Amanda has been involved in the National Honor Society and SkillsUSA, where she won silver and gold medals. Before COVID-19, Amanda was an altar server for Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Mansfield and is soon going to start CCD to receive confirmation in the church. Amanda currently works at The Village at Willow Crossing in Mansfield and volunteers for signature services for dementia residents in the Harvard unit. She loves doing activities with them, such as painting, doing nails, and playing games.
When asked what she would say if she could give her freshman self any advice, Amanda said, “I would tell my freshman self to relax and enjoy every thought of your high school experience because if you don’t, you might miss it.”
Next year, Amanda will attend Stonehill College to study technology, and wishes to eventually become a child therapist. Amanda worked very hard in high school and continues to demonstrate dedication in her everyday life. Southeastern will always remember the influence she had on the school, and wishes her every success in her future endeavors.
Nicholas Spooner, computer & electronic engineering, West Bridgewater
Invent, design and produce solutions to complex engineering challenges from concept to completion. Create the electronic components that operate game consoles, cellphones, iPads and advanced robotic devices. Work with information technology specialists to design, install, and troubleshoot complex computer networks. These are all aspects of the computer & electronic engineering vocational program that Nicholas Spooner experienced while attending Southeastern.
Nicholas has always enjoyed and loved engineering, even before attending Southeastern, and has been making electronics since 2015. When Nicholas made the decision to enroll at Southeastern, engineering seemed an obvious choice for his vocational program. Throughout his years attending Southeastern, Nicholas accomplished various goals, such as earning a gold medal at the SkillsUSA district-level competition for Mobile Robotics. He also qualified for the national competition in Vex Robotics in Iowa, which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID. Nick won first place at the regional science fair, and honorable mention at the state level.
Finally, Nick is proud of winning the Outstanding Student award in his vocational program. Aside from his academic and vocational program accomplishments, Nick is involved in the National Honor Society and works at Zorba’s Pizza as a delivery person.
Through an interview, Nick discussed his plans after high school, stating “I will be attending Wentworth Institute of Technology. My major will be electrical engineering.” When asked what he would tell his freshman self, he explained, “I would have told myself to enjoy every moment of my freshman and sophomore years, while things were still normal.” His optimism will motivate Southeastern’s current underclassmen to follow in his footsteps.
Lauren Coppinger, early education & care, Stoughton
A senior in Southeastern’s early education and care vocational program, Lauren Coppinger (Stoughton), is one of the top ten seniors this year. Lauren is a very involved student in the Southeastern school community. As soon as she was accepted into Southeastern, she knew she wanted to get involved in all the different opportunities that Southeastern offered.
In an interview with Lauren, she said, “During my time at Southeastern, I knew and made sure to participate in as many extracurricular and sports as possible. I knew from the day I stepped foot in Southeastern that I wanted to get involved.”
When Lauren was asked about the extracurricular activities and sports she participated in, she responded, “The extracurricular and sports that I participated in include basketball, softball, the field hockey club as well as the home cooking club.” Not only did Lauren come to Southeastern for extracurricular activities, but also to participate in Southeastern’s outstanding vocational programming.
After exploring the school’s many vocational offerings, Lauren enrolled in the early education and care program. When she talked about her experience she said, “I chose my [vocational program], early education and care, because I have wanted to become a teacher for as long as I can remember. I have always felt a career of working with children was the path meant for me.”
Lauren is also grateful for all the opportunities early education and care has given her. Lauren stated, “My [vocational program] has given me many incredible opportunities. One being able to work hands-on with children in the center. If I had not gone to Southeastern, I would not have been given this opportunity . . . [of] working hands-on with children [and] I don’t just mean in the early education [program] itself. As a junior in high school, myself along with…my fellow classmates were able to get the experience of going out on an externship. We were able to work hands-on in an elementary classroom setting. The classroom that I was working in was a bilingual kindergarten classroom where the students were able to speak both English and Spanish. This was an incredible opportunity that I will never forget.”
Lauren achieved many accomplishments in her vocational program. During an interview where Lauren expressed her love for the early education and care program she said, “There have been many assignments/achievements that I have made that I am proud of. Some that stand out to me the most are receiving my OSHA and CPR certifications.”
Lauren also has a job and does volunteer work. She currently works as a cashier at Shaw’s in Canton and volunteers in the community each year. Lauren said, “I am a member of the National Honor Society. With being a member of the National Honor Society, I have been able to participate in different community service events. Last year, I volunteered at the Special Olympics bowling tournament at Westgate Lanes. This was an incredible experience and I am so happy that I was able to be a part of it. I have also volunteered at Christmas in the City with my CCD class as well as volunteering with my family every year at My Brother’s Keeper in Easton.”
When asked about her future, she said, “In the fall, I will be attending the University of Delaware where I will be majoring in elementary education. I will get my master’s degree in elementary ed to become an elementary school teacher.”
Lauren hopes to move forward in the career of teaching which she was first exposed to as a student in Southeastern. As Lauren’s high school experience comes to an end, she reflected on her freshman year.
When asked what advice she would give her freshman self, she responded, “If I were to give my freshman self one piece of advice, it would probably be to live in the present moment more. I feel like when we are younger, we are always thinking about the future and the next steps for ourselves that sometimes we will forget to just stop, think and admire the present moment that we are in.” Lauren is grateful for her high school experience at Southeastern and thankful for the variety of opportunities she was able to take part in.
Samuel Stollman, computer & electronic engineering, Sharon
Even through a pandemic, outstanding Southeastern student Samuel (Sammy) Stollman still strives for his dreams. Through new achievements in his vocational program, he leaves an impact on Southeastern that will linger for years to come.
Sammy has always enjoyed and been intrigued by programming and engineering, and he strived to learn new things about the field. He said, “I was teaching myself how to code in middle school and I was really interested [in coding] so I figured that I want[ed] to find a [vocational program] that I could do that in.”
He also chose computer & electronic engineering because he felt such a close connection to the teachers, two of whom have since retired. During his sophomore year, Sammy wrote code for a python program that brings up a virtual piano that can be played electronically. A python program is an object based, high-level programming language that uses glue language to bind existing programs together. Because he was familiar with the software, he was able to make this virtual piano a reality in only a week. During his junior year, he also participated in the robotics program, which was unfortunately postponed this year due to COVID-19.
If Sammy could give any advice to his freshman self, he would tell himself to “get out of my comfort zone more. Freshman and sophomore year I kept to myself. Junior year is when I started becoming more confident, having more friends and just enjoying school more. School matters, but it doesn’t have to be so serious.”
After high school, Sammy is planning on taking a gap year to travel and work. He is enrolled in Wentworth for the fall of 2022 and wishes to study computer science to earn his bachelor’s degree. Sammy is hoping to be a part of Wentworth’s “Plus One” program, which provides students with an “early start” on a master’s degree while they finish their bachelor’s program. This gives the students the opportunity to earn their Master’s degree one year after finishing their bachelor’s. Sammy will always remember the impact Southeastern and its community had on him, just as Southeastern will remember Sammy’s.
Cara Childs, medical assisting, Norton
Cara Childs is being honored as the top senior at Southeastern Regional from Norton. Cara is from the medical assisting program. Her presence at Southeastern will be missed, but there’s also no doubt she has a bright future ahead of her.
Cara always wanted to work in the medical field since she was little. When she chose her vocational program, Cara thought of her desire to help others and wanted the satisfaction of knowing that she was not only making a difference in her patients’ lives, but in their families’ lives as well.
During her time at Southeastern, she has accomplished and fulfilled her most desired goals. While a student at Southeastern, Cara participated in extracurricular activities to take on leadership roles and practice her leadership skills. She was part of the community service club, Girl Scouts and the National Honor Society. Cara is also heavily involved in SkillsUSA as the SkillsUSA Chapter Office President for Southeastern. Being a part of SkillsUSA has given her the chance to accomplish a great deal as a student in medical assisting.
This year, Cara placed second overall at the district-level medical assisting competition, 1st at the state-level competition, and will represent Massachusetts at the National virtual competition in June. Additionally, during her sophomore year, Cara joined the Massachusetts HOBY Youth Leadership organization and was chosen to attend their seminar at Bentley University to learn what it takes to be a leader and met many inspirational people. Cara also participated in a cooperative education opportunity as medical assistant at Tristan Medical Care Center in Norton, where she assessed vital signs, gave injections, drew blood, performed rapid drug screenings, urine analysis, along with many other tasks. She has also been a dancer at the Art in Motion Academy of Dance in her hometown of Norton for 15 years.
When asked what she would tell her freshman self, Cara said, “The advice I would give to my freshman self would be to join SkillsUSA earlier and to get involved with everything it has to offer. This program prepares you for the real world of work and allows you to meet many new people. I wish I joined as soon as I heard about it because it has truly helped me become a better individual and leader. SkillsUSA has motivated me to work hard and to excel as a student.”
After she graduates, Cara will attend UMASS Dartmouth to major in nursing. It is a great comfort to know that such an amazing student and healthcare worker is entering the nursing field.