Feature: Sanford High School’s Top 10

The Spartan Times takes an inside look at the Class of 2023’s top graduates

On Wednesday, May 10, The Sanford Elks held its Annual Youth Banquet that celebrates the academic successes of students in the Sanford School District.

The private event hosted and recognized Sanford High School’s top 50 academic performers in the Class of 2023. The Top 10 graduates for the Class were announced along with many other honors, awards and scholarships.

Below, we’ve asked the Top 10 about their future plans and favorite SHS memories:

Valedictorian: Samantha Phillips

Samantha “Sammy” Phillips will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.) to study Biological Chemical Engineering. She plans to pursue a career in medical device research and development.

  • Favorite SHS Class: My favorite SHS class was AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Kailee Colbeth. I found the course’s content fascinating and feel that Mrs. Colbeth was an inspirational teacher. 
  • Favorite SHS Memory: My best memories from SHS come from my winter varsity cheerleading practices. I loved the team environment this past season and will miss each of my team members next year. 
  • Advice to Underclassmen: I encourage them to pursue their interests and learn about what brings them excitement. 
  • Involvement at SHS: Fall Varsity Cheerleading, Winter Varsity Cheerleading (captain), Math Team (captain), Key Club (treasurer), National Honor Society (treasurer), Community Service, elementary school classroom volunteering, Peer Helpers, Pep Club, Homecoming Committee, Girls Tennis 

Salutatorian: Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker will be attending the University of Vermont to major in Environmental Studies and Political Science. She hopes to one day work as an Environmental Lawyer, maybe even on Capitol Hill.

  • Favorite SHS Class: Yearbook taught by Mrs. Tibbetts. I liked being a part of something that was for the whole school and it was a lot of fun.
  • Favorite SHS Memory: Being a part of the theater program and making good friends through the connections built in the program.
  • Advice for Underclassmen: Participating in everything you can makes high school so much more fun. Go to games, participate in Homecoming, go to events.
  • Involvement at SHS: President of Environmental Club, President of Theater Club, Secretary of Peer Helpers, Class Treasurer, NHS, Editor of the Yearbook, and a member of five other clubs as well. 

John Paul Alexandre

John-Paul “J.P.” Alexandre will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He will be majoring in Homeland Security and Intelligence with long-term goals of becoming a special agent for the FBI.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Research. Although it was stressful at times, Mrs. Tibbetts always made the class fun. AP Research taught me a lot of great writing and presentation skills
    and I also enjoyed being able to pick a topic of research that interested me.
  • Favorite SHS Memory: Senior year prom
  • Advice for Underclassmen: Take the class because you want to, not because you feel you have to. High school is not all about GPA, be willing to try something new and get involved in extracurriculars.
  • Involvement at SHS: Soccer (all 4 years & captain senior year), Track (all 4 years & captain junior and senior years), member of NHS, and Key Club (editor senior year).

Abbey Gifford

Abbey Gifford will be attending the University of Rhode Island in the Honors Program to double major in Geological Oceanography and Environmental Science and Management. She plans to obtain her Master’s in Oceanography and hopes to one day do scientific research.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Research with Mrs. Tibbetts. I liked this class because it was interesting and engaging and it was this class that made me realize I wanted to do research in the future. It was also nice being able to pick my own topic to study. 
  • Favorite SHS Memory: Any time that I spent with my friends.
  • Advice for Underclassmen: Get involved and try something new!
  • Involvement at SHS: I was the captain of the Swim Team, part of the Fencing Club, the President of Ocean Bowl, Vice President of the Environmental Club, and Secretary of the National Honor Society. I am also receiving the AP Capstone and I currently have 161 hours of community service.

Audrey Coleman

Audrey Coleman is attending Emerson College in Boston, Mass. to study journalism. She hopes to write and report for a news publication or magazine and has long-term goals of becoming an editor one day.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Literature with Mrs. White. I really like Mrs. White as a person, but this class made me passionate about reading and writing. It also allowed me to discover my strength in the subject. 
  • Favorite SHS Memory: My favorite high school memories consist of my time on the Sanford Varsity Cheering Team and my senior trip to Italy!
  • Advice for Underclassmen: My advice to underclassmen is that they never hide their enthusiasm. 
  • Involvement at SHS: Cheer Captain, NHS President, Key Club Secretary, Yearbook Editor, and more than 330 hours of community service. 

Avery Morissette

Avery Morrisette will be attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (Pa.) to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Her goal is to dance professionally.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Government with Mr. Kane because I love the subject and I love that I learned how to understand what’s going on in the news.
  • Favorite SHS Memory:  There are a lot of memories from my time at SHS, but going on the senior trip to Italy has to be one of my favorites. There’s no other experience like traveling around a different country with a bunch of your friends; I felt like I got so much closer to the people in my class, and it was a blast getting to explore Italy with them!
  • Advice for Underclassmen: Have goals and show up for yourself. I found that having things to work towards and look forward to helped me stay focused and kept me on track, and doing things for myself made them a million times more rewarding. Make YOURSELF proud.
  • Involvement at SHS: Environmental Club (Secretary 2021-2023), Peer Helpers, School Counseling Advisory Committee, Homecoming Committee, Prom Committee, SHS Travel Abroad (Italy 2023), School Representative for the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar in 2021. I have also danced at Dance Studio of Maine South as a part of the competitive company throughout high school.

Miranda Tanguay

Miranda Tanguay will attend Emerson College (Boston, Mass.) to major in Media Arts Production. She hopes to get a job as a screenwriter for movies and television shows.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Lang with Mrs. White. We had interesting discussions and it made me a better writer. I also really liked the projects and speeches we did.
  • Favorite SHS Memory: Playing lacrosse with my team
  • Advice to Underclassmen: Don’t procrastinate and take classes you will actually like
  • Involvement at SHS: Theater Club, Environmental Club, NHS Vice President, Oceanbowl, and Key Club.

Isabella Tremblay

Isabella “Izzy” Tremblay will be attending Rollins Colling in Winter Park, Florida as a biology major. Her future plans are to attend dental school to become a dentist, while also continuing her passion for waterskiing.

  • Favorite SHS Class: AP Calculus taught by Mrs. Colbeth. I enjoy the challenge of solving complex math problems, not only did this class give me this opportunity but it revealed the concepts behind each problem I worked through. The atmosphere in every class was always positive and understanding because of Mrs. Colbeth. As a teacher, she was very attentive to every student, retaught material if it wasn’t fully understood, and most importantly, created a fun learning environment.
  • Favorite SHS Memory: As the president of Pep Club this year, we were able to put together a float for the Sanford Holly Daze Parade. This was a very cool experience as I and fellow pep clubbers put together the float and rode along in the parade. It was a fun and rewarding experience showcasing Pep Club and spreading Christmas cheer.
  • Advice for Underclassmen: As a little girl, I always looked forward to the year 2023, the year I was graduating high school. Each year I was just wishing my time away without realizing it. Until it became too real, so I advise others to enjoy their experiences throughout high school and the many years prior. And always believe an adult when they say “time flies”. Because it really does.
  • Involvement at SHS: I am very involved in the school and my community. I have been a part of the Varsity Cheering Team all four years of high school and was named captain of the squad this year. I was elected President of Pep Club and Vice President of Key Club. I am also involved in Peer Helpers, Homecoming Committee, and the National Honors Society. Outside of school, I participate with the Maine Attraction Water Ski Show Team, Adaptive Water Ski Clinics, and the Gunstock Outreach Program. I am very proud of my work volunteering in the community and I am honored to be named Top 10 in the Class of 2023.

Nathan Ghedoni

Nathan Ghedoni will be attending the University of Southern Maine to acquire a degree in Computer Science. He hopes to become a Network Engineer and eventually advance to becoming a Network Administrator.

  • Favorite SHS Class: My favorite class was Chemistry taught by Ms. English because a lot of the classwork is like solving a puzzle, and it was cool to perform labs to visually see how the concepts we learn apply in real life.
  • Favorite SHS Memory: My favorite SHS memory was attending the “This is Us” carnival events since they allowed me to have a fun time with the friendships and connections I made throughout my time here in high school.
  • Advice for Underclassmen: I advise underclassmen to find at least one club or organization to be a part of since it allows them to meet new people and find a sense of belonging, as well as get an idea of what it means to be a part of a community. 

Ana Cote

Ana Cote will be attending Endicott College (Beverly, Mass.) to major in Political Science and minor in Legal Studies. She plans to attend law school to become a litigator and settle down in Maine with her future family and have a happy and successful life.

  • Favorite SHS Class: My favorite class at SHS would have to be AP Research with Mrs. Tibbetts. It was a fun, independent, and interesting class that made me a better researcher and writer. 
  • Favorite SHS Memory: My favorite memory would have to be getting involved in the homecoming weeks and sports games! I loved cheering on my friends during their games and participating in the spirit weekdays! I also enjoyed Unified Basketball, it was one of my favorite things to participate in and became a huge part of my time here at Sanford High!
  • Advice for Underclassmen: Get involved!!! It is the perfect way to make new friends, learn more about yourself, and engage throughout Sanford High’s community! Don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone!

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