RHS Graduates Getting into the Top Colleges

School officials are declaring that this year’s senior class could be one of the best in decades, as scores of students have been accepted into loads of prestigious colleges and universities this spring.

Top of that list is Alejandro Rojas, who has been accepted to seven Ivy League schools already and is waitlisted on the final Ivy – Harvard.

Rojas has been accepted to Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Penn.

“I’ve had quite a lot of activity the last month,” said Rojas. “I just got off the phone with a student from Stanford who wanted to know if I had any questions to ask of him. Last Saturday, we actually had a surprising visit by a Dartmouth alum that came to our door and wanted to speak to me about Dartmouth. That was quite unexpected. I’m still trying to decide. I have a lot of pamphlets and I have to make some lists of pros and cons and come to a decision.”

Rojas’s college tour even included a trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Because he spent his junior year studying abroad at the King’s Academy in Jordan, he has quite an interest in Arabic and was accepted to the New York University Abu Dhabi campus.

The application there includes a trip to campus – which involves a 13-hour airplane trip.

“Part of their process is a candidates weekend where they fly you out to see the campus and experience it,” said Rojas. “We did that back in March. It gives them the opportunity to see how you’ll react with that kind of diversity because there are students literally from 100 countries or more there.”

Pretty impressive for a kid that couldn’t even speak English when he set foot in the front door of the McKinley School many years ago.

“I cannot express the appreciation I have for what the Revere Public Schools did for me,” he said. “They’ve been there all along. I came here and didn’t know English. They prepared me right off the bat with English lessons. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t even be doing this interview now. They’ve done a great job teaching me.”

Revere High School (RHS) Director of Guidance Maureen Lenihen said this is a very high-achieving class all the way around.

The top student in the class, Karina Kalinina, will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the second place student in the class, Noelle MacDonald, has been accepted to Yale – among others.

“Honestly, my acceptance to Yale hasn’t entirely sunken in yet,” said MacDonald, who is also the Class President. “I’m still in shock and I have to keep reminding myself everyday that it’s real. I’m just so blessed to have had such an great support system in my family and my teachers who all believed in me and knew I could make it to this point even when I myself was not so sure. I’m so proud of the entire senior class.”

Said Lenihen, “This is a very strong class. We have some very talented kids in this class and it has the kind of strength we haven’t seen for several years.”

The reasons for such a strong class are three-fold, according to Supt. Paul Dakin.

“This class is definitely from the time when we moved to three middle schools instead of two, when we instituted the pre-Advanced Placement program at the Rumney Marsh Academy and they had been the beneficiaries of full-day kindergarten – one of the first or second classes in Revere to have had that,” he said. “It’s an accumulation of programs that have been put in place years ago and now you see results. The contribution of the high school cannot be overlooked either.”

Said MacDonald, “My classmates have gotten accepted to some amazing schools and they’ve worked harder than anyone I’ve ever met to get where they are. Just being in the same classroom as such brilliant and inspiring students over the years allowed me to thrive off of their passion and determination. They’ve always motivated me to work hard and push myself. I’m so happy for the Class of 2014 and I want to congratulate them on all their outstanding accomplishments. They truly deserve it.”

Lenihen said students this year are not only applying to top-flight schools, but also they are spreading out across the country.

This year, students are looking at schools in Florida, Utah, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina – to name but a few.

“Our kids are really spreading out, which means they are looking at schools all over the country,” she said. “Many are not only applying to the Boston area schools, but also those much further away. The world is expanding to them and they’re looking at educational institutions far outside of the Boston area. They may not end up going there, but they are taking serious looks at them and getting accepted into them.”

Other schools that have accepted several Revere students are Northeastern University, Boston University, UConn, Assumption College, Stone Hill College, Salem State and Syracuse University.

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