Burrell High School seniors Abigail Larko and David Aliyetti received Student Spotlight honors for the 2023 graduating class because they represent the accomplishments of all students.
"They are leaders by example," said Dr. John Boylan, principal of Burrell High School. "The Class of 2023 has been an absolutely outstanding group of young people, and their mark on BHS has been left professionally engraved."
Larko, a varsity cross-country track and softball athlete, also participated in academic and leadership clubs as a high school student, including the National Honor Society, Reading Railroad, Interact, and FBLA. Larko said she had enjoyed her time at Burrell.
"One of my fondest memories was my 4th-grade class with Mr. Virone," she said, referring to Stewart School teacher Joseph Virone. "Mr. Virone was one of my favorite teachers, and the people in the class made it so much fun."
Larko will celebrate her high school graduation with "four vacations and tons of graduation parties.
"I cannot wait to hang out with friends all summer before school starts," she said.
Larko plans to attend Grove City College in the fall to pursue a bachelor's degree in mathematics. "I have always had a love for problem-solving and excelled in my math and science classes. I have had Mr. Diehl for three years, and he has taught me so much about math," she said, referring to Burrell High School teacher Jeremy Diehl.
As she looks back on her time at Burrell, Larko said she hopes others remember her commitment as a student. "I want to be remembered as a hard worker that always gave the most effort in school and outside activities."
Aliyetti also juggled sports and academics during his time at Burrell, competing in swimming, cross-country track, and pole vaulting. He also played with the BHS Band and Marching Band and served as a National Honor Society member.
"My fondest memory at Burrell is my time spent with my team during the track season," Aliyetti said. "Throughout all of my years at Burrell, I have never met a team that is so tight-knit as the BHS Pole Vaulters."
Aliyetti plans to run and lift weights this summer as he prepares to enter the military. "While I am not pushing myself physically and mentally, I plan to enjoy the company of my family and friends," he said, including a visit with an uncle in North Carolina who completed multiple tours with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Aliyetti enlisted in the U.S. Navy for nuclear engineering, leaving for boot camp on July 18 and then attending Nuke School in Charleston, South Carolina. "I plan to make a career out of the military as I forge my path within the U.S. military."
Aliyetti's interest in the military was inspired by his mother, a U.S. Army veteran. "Being raised by a parent who has military experience taught me to hold myself to the highest of standards while encouraging those around me to do the same," he said.
Aliyetti wants to be known for his grit and compassion. "My motivation derives from my passion for constant self-improvement, whether it is for myself or others."