Keeping a positive outlook
SAYVILLE—He had an inkling he was pretty close to the top, but Michael Earvolino still remained uncertain of his rank most of the school year.
“The school allowed us to look at our ranks, but that changed every day,” he said. “When they told me [I was the valedictorian], I wasn’t surprised, but relieved.”
Earvolino, a lifelong resident of the hamlet, is graduating with a weighted GPA of 106.400. He has maintained his high average while taking part in a number of school activities and research programs.
The top grad has been a member of the school’s varsity bowling team since seventh grade, but says he’s been bowling since he was in kindergarten.
“I live around the corner from the bowling alley, so I would go there on weekends,” he said. He’s been to the county championship twice with his school team and this year had a high average of 207.
He has been an editor of the Yearbook Club as well as treasurer. He’s also senior editor of the school newspaper, The Current.
A member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, he has been playing the baritone horn in the school band. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and is an Eagle Scout with Troop 76 in Bohemia.
Earvolino has been involved in the school’s RISE (Research in Science and Engineering) program. Through the program and on the advice of a teacher, he was able to develop a phone app that parents could use during Meet the Teacher nights at the high school.
“During those nights, parents only have four minutes to get to the next class, but I noticed they were [having difficulty] trying to get there. This app was a good way to help them out.”
Computers have always held his interest, and even during his off time, Earvolino said he likes to work on his computer and play video games. And that’s one of the reasons he is majoring in computer science when he attends Stony Brook University this fall. He’s still uncertain, though, of what happens after that.
“A dream for anyone would be to end up at Google or Apple,” he said. “Maybe I’ll develop video games…or design websites.”
Earvolino said graduating is bittersweet because he will miss all of his friends. “You develop these friendships for 13 years of your life and get to know everyone, and then after graduating they all go in [different directions],” he said. “I’ll miss my teachers, too. I’ve been seeing them every day.”
He said he would especially miss his RISE teachers, Maria Brown and Rick Caskey. “Since my freshman year, they always found a way to help me. It’s nice to have someone to go to that has known me for so long,” he noted.
However, he said he would not miss the regimen of high school and looks forward to having more flexible time. “In college, there’s more freedom to do what you want to do,” he said.
Earvolino said he remains positive while looking to the future, and it is an attitude he has embraced all of his young life. In fact, it is an outlook he’d like to share with his classmates, and said he has been “throwing ideas around” about how to incorporate that into his commencement speech.
He said he’s likely to tell his class to “stay positive. No matter what you’re going through, as long as you have a smile on your face, it will be all right.
“I don’t like to be sad,” he explained. “I can’t stay sad. I have always found a way not to be and that kept me going. Just keep looking at the more positive side of life.”
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