of 2011 Valedictorian & Salutatorian
Bonacic honors exceptional Port Jervis High School seniors
POSTED JUNE 13, 2011
June 2, Senator John Bonacic honored high school valedictorians,
salutatorians and students who have made significant
contributions to their schools and communities from over 30
school districts in the 42nd Senate District in an all day event
at the Capitol in Albany.
“These students are some of the best and brightest New York
State has to offer,” said Senator Bonacic. “Each of these
students excel because of their hard work and dedication to
their studies, their peers and their communities. They’re the
future of our State and Country and I am proud of each and every
one of them and their accomplishments. Education is the
foundation upon which we build our future; and these exceptional
young people deserve to be honored for recognizing that and
doing their very best to ensure success.”
Senator Bonacic is pictured at the Excellence in Education event
at the Capital in Albany with (from left) Superintendent John
Xanthis, High School Principal Thomas Bongiovi, Valedictorian
Melissa Bright and Salutatorian Kristen Blancato.
Click here to watch the video
of Sen. Bonacic addressing the distinguished seniors and their
Top two seniors honored by education and business communities
POSTED MAY 18, 2011
Port Jervis High School’s Class of 2011 valedictorian Melissa
Bright and salutatorian Kirsten Blancato were honored May 16 at
the 16th Annual Outstanding Student Recognition Dinner.
Organized by Orange-Ulster BOCES, the event brings the Orange
County Chamber of Commerce together with area businesses and
educators to honor the top two graduating seniors from each of
the school districts in Orange and Ulster Counties.
achieved this honor by maintaining an overall grade point of
A well-rounded student, Bright earned this distinction while
taking the most rigorous courses Port Jervis High School has to
offer and participating in a variety of extra-curricular
Bright holds numerous leadership positions, serving as vice
president of the National Honor Society and the French Club,
Rotary Interact treasurer, PTSA student affairs representative,
and Friends of Rachel public relations chairperson. She is also
a member of the Scholastic Bowl team, DECA, and the
golf and track and field teams; and has
served on the prom, spirit week and Powder Puff game committees.
Bright also volunteers at the local food pantry and as an
Academically, Bright is the recipient of several distinguished
awards. Most notably, she was named a Commended Student in the
highly-competitive National Merit Scholarship Program. She
qualified by placing among the top five percent of more than 1.5
million students who took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National
Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Next year, Bright will attend Fordham University. She is the
daughter of Michael and Cindy Bright.
qualified for her honor by maintaining an impressive grade point
average of 98.87. Enrolled in the high school’s most challenging
courses, Blancato is a member of both the National Honor Society
and National Technical Honor Society.
Outside of school, Blancato is actively involved in state and
In addition to serving as an intern for Congressman John Hall,
Blancato worked as election inspector for the 2010 midterm
election and volunteered for several political campaigns. She is
also served as treasurer of the Orange County Young Democrats
and as a volunteer for the Human Rights Campaign.
This fall, Blancato plans to attend Wellesley College where she
will major in Physics and Philosophy. She is the daughter of
Teresa Blancato-Horton and John Blancato.
Bright and salutatorian Kirsten Blancato are pictured at
the Outstanding Students Recognition Dinner with (from
left) School Board Vice President Cathy Sadaghiani,
Michael Bright, Cindy Bright, John Blancato,
Teresa Blancato-Horton, School Board Member Mike Bello,
and Port Jervis High School Principal Thomas Bongiovi.