Bellport names top three
Bellport High School recently announced this year’s valedictorian Travis Cutter, left, salutatorian Nicholas Cornacchiulo, center, and essayist Jamie Benavides, right. They were joined for a ceremony last week by their parents, guidance counselor Darlene Dowler and principal Tim Hogan.

ADV/Smith

Bellport names top three

Story By: TARA SMITH
5/10/2018


Bellport High School has announced the highest-achieving students of the class of 2018.

This year’s valedictorian is Travis Cutter, son of John and Rhonda Cutter. He has earned a grade point average of 102.71. He plans to attend Stony Brook University and enter the school of dental medicine.

Nicholas Cornacchiulo, son of Patrick and Tammy Cornacchiulo, is the class salutatorian with an overall average of 101.23. He has decided on attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. to study architecture.

The class essayist is Jamie Benavides, daughter of James and Julie Benavides. She earned a GPA of 99.81 and plans to St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue to pursue a degree in medical technology.

The three students were joined by administrators, teachers, friends and their families at a ceremony last week, where principal Tim Hogan made the announcement. Annual class rankings are finalized after the students’ seventh semester, the end of January of their senior year.

Bellport High School honors the Top 10 students of each graduating class, which Hogan said this year includes a “diverse range” of students.

“Certainly, this is an academic achievement we’re talking about today,” Hogan said. “It’s based on numbers, but everybody knows that that comes with character, commitment, work ethic, dedication, all of the above,” he continued, adding that the students have been looked to as role models in the building. “There are lots of bright futures ahead,” Hogan said of the trio.

Darlene Dowler served as the guidance counselor for all three. “She’s got a pretty nice caseload,” Hogan said, chuckling. Dowler spoke about her pupils, describing them as “ambitious,” “mature” and “diligent.”

They are now tasked with preparing speeches for the graduation ceremony in June. In keeping with school tradition, their speeches will focus on the past, present and future. “Travis has the challenge of talking [to his classmates] about what’s ahead,” Hogan said.

For now, it appears they can relax and enjoy the rest of the ride.

Editor’s note: A full story on the valedictorian, salutatorian and essayist will appear in a future issue of the Advance.