Wantagh’s Top Grads Have All the Tools for Success

Wantagh’s Top Grads Have All the Tools for Success

They studied hard, they maximized their potential and they accomplished so much despite the challenges of learning during a pandemic. That is the high praise that Wantagh High School Principal Dr. Paul Guzzone had for this year’s valedictorian, Julianna Rose, and salutatorian, Skyla Marchesi. 

Julianna earned the top rank in the Class of 2022 with a weighted grade point average of 108.022. She is very proud to receive this distinction.

“I’m happy that all of my studying paid off,” she said. “What’s more important to me is the fact that I learned the material.”

Skyla, whose GPA of 107.253 placed her second, said, “It’s really rewarding and it’s good to know that the work I did here stood out.”

Julianna attended Forest Lake Elementary School and Skyla went to Wantagh Elementary School, so they met for the first time in middle school. Over the years they have had many classes together, with both citing Advanced Placement Physics as a course they found both challenging and enjoyable. 

The Wantagh High School stage is a familiar place for Julianna, who has been in four drama and musical productions. She is on the board for the International Thespian Honor Society. Additionally, she is president of the English Honor Society, a member of the National, Science and World Language honor societies and participates in the Literary Society, Peer Mentors, Science Olympiad and an a-cappella singing group. 

Outside of school, Julianna is the choreographer for the children’s theater group at St. Frances de Chantal Church in Wantagh, is a religion teacher there and started a creative writing program for middle school students at the Wantagh Public Library.

Skyla has made her mark on the athletic field as a member of the varsity soccer and track and field teams. She is president of the Class of 2022 and the Key Club, secretary of the National and Science honor societies and a member of the English and World Language honor societies, Science Olympiad and the Wantagh Animal Rights and Recycling Club. Her talents as a violinist earned her induction in the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Community service is very important to Skyla, who is a Girl Scout and has helped with the John Theissen Children’s Foundation’s school supply and holiday toy drives. She participates in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year campaign to support the organization. Last year, Team Warriors raised more than $110,000 for the fight against cancer, and this year Skyla is the team leader as they prepare to fundraise again.  

Julianna said she is undecided about her major in college, but said she is considering English or environmental science. Skyla plans to study health sciences on a pre-medicine track. In the coming months, they will be visiting colleges in hopes of setting their paths for the next four years and beyond.