OAKLAND — Messalonskee High School recently announced the top 10 students, listed in order of placement, for its class of 2018.

Benjamin “Ben” Amalfitano. who finished first in class standing, is the son of Neil and Kim Amalfitano, of Oakland. He has been a three-sport athlete for the past four years, participating in soccer, indoor and outdoor track, while earning the KVAC All-Academic award for each season.

He is a member of the National Honor Society, and has earned high honors with distinction each year. Last year, he was a recipient of the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award from the University of Rochester for his achievements in math and science. Amalfitano plans to attend Colby College in the fall to study biology or engineering.

Alexis Palleschi, second in class standing, is the daughter of Aaron and Keri Palleschi, of Belgrade. She has participated in a wide range of activities while still maintaining a rigorous academic course load. Volunteering and service to others is very important to her. This is evident by her membership in the Key Club, Bible Club, and as a peer tutor. She has been a member of the field hockey team and track team, Tri-M, and math team (was a member of the Maine All Star Math Team). In her spare time she dances for Studio One for Dancers, volunteers at her church, and works part-time. Palleschi plans to attend Gordon College in the fall and is currently undecided as to her major.

Elijah Caret, third in the class, is the son of Joseph and Laura Gilbert Caret, of Oakland. Musically talented, he participates in Tri-M, band, KV band and also has been a member of the All-State Band and Orchestra, All-National Orchestra and Mid Maine Youth Orchestra. He is an active volunteer through his membership in Key Club, National Honor Society and also at Inland Hospital.

He has participated in baseball, basketball, track and soccer over the past four years. He received the RIT Creativity and Innovation award last year, for his academic achievements and service to his community. Caret plans to attend the University of New Hampshire in the fall majoring in computer science.

Emma Dehetre, fourth in the class, is the daughter of April Dehetre, of Oakland. She has participated in soccer, and is a captain of indoor and outdoor track teams. She volunteers her time as a member of Key Club and National Honor Society, in addition to holding a part-time job each year of high school.

She was recognized last year for her interest and performance in the field of math and science, earning the Society of Women Engineers Award. She has used her talents in these subjects to support her peers as a peer tutor. Dehetre plans to attend Roger Williams University in the fall to study engineering.

Haley Lowell, tied for fifth in the class, is the daughter of Tracey and Adam Lowell, of Oakland. She has been involved in numerous facets of the school community. She has been a four-year starter in the field hockey program, and was named Miss Maine Field Hockey at the conclusion of her senior season. She also has participated in many other athletic programs, including lacrosse, track and field, and basketball.

She was elected to the National Honor Society during her junior year and has served as a co-volunteer coordinator for the organization. She has also served on the Key Club, where she has completed many hours of community service and has been the secretary and now co-president of the club. She also has been involved with the school’s student council. She will have completed five Advanced Placement courses as well as many college courses by the time she graduates. Lowell plans to attend Boston University in the fall, where she will study human physiology and play field hockey.

Cole Smith, tied for fifth in the class, is the son of Kelly and Todd Smith, of Oakland. He has been a tremendous student-athlete. He has been a decorated member of the soccer, hockey and track and field programs. He also was selected to the Eagle Chapter of the National Honor Society and was elected as a class representative for the school’s student council. He has volunteered his time to the local Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.

He will have completed five Advanced Placement courses as well as many college level courses, including a course at Colby College, by the time he graduates. Smith plans to study for a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy prior to attending college, where he will study biomedical engineering and play soccer

​Sarah Labbe, seventh in the class, is the daughter of Hazel and Jason Labbe, of Belgrade. She has been a strong student-athlete throughout her time at Messalonskee. She has been a four-year starter as part of the softball program and has also participated in the indoor track program. She was elected to the school’s National Honor Society and has been involved with the school’s key club and student council, where she served as a class representative. She will have completed five Advanced Placement and multiple college level courses by the time she graduates. Labbe plans to attend Washington and Jefferson College in the fall, where she will study biology and play softball.

Mackenzie Burton, eighth in the class, is the daughter of Tom and Lisa Burton, of Oakland. She has been the president of the class of 2018 since her sophomore year. She serves as a student representative on the MHS Faculty Leadership Team and assists with the MHS Blood Drive and Day of Caring each year.

She also has volunteered her time through various fundraising activities for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Shine On Cass Foundation. She is a member of key club and president of the MHS National Honor Society. She earned the St. Michael’s College Book Award last year for her commitment to service. Burton plans to attend Hamilton College to major in government.

Alden Balboni, ninth in the class, is the son of Paul and Stephanie Balboni, of Oakland. He was captain of the football and lacrosse teams and was recognized for Second Team, and All-Academic status during lacrosse last year.

He has volunteered his time at different youth camps during the summer, sharing his passion and talents in lacrosse, basketball and football. He received the RIT Computing Medal last year for his academic accomplishments in science and math, as well as his leadership and service to the community. Balboni plans to attend the University of New England in the fall to study exercise science.

Kieran McCarthy-O’Flaherty, placed 10th, is the son of Tanja and Sam McCarthy-O’Flaherty, of Oakland. He is a student that has interests in many different areas. He has played tennis and has been a significant contributor to the Messalonskee Math and Robotics Teams. He also was named to the National Society of High School Scholars and has served as an usher at the Waterville Opera House.

He will have completed four Advanced Placement courses, along with a course at Colby College by the time he graduates. McCarthy-O’Flaherty plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall to study computer engineering.

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