Johnston High School has a host of academic achievers to add to its illustrious sports and music legacy.

“Students from JHS have a long history of high achievement on the National Italian Examination,” said Emilia Ruggiero, who teaches the language and helped officials at Cherry Hill and the Pannese Society with international communications during the 2017 Sister City Program that carried some prolific Panthers to Panni Foggia, Italy. “We had three medal winners who attained national recognition for excellent performances on the recent exam.”

Ruggiero explained that JHS students were tested on reading, grammar and listening skills and competed against other Italian language learners throughout the United States in their respective categories.

“Congratulations are in order for Carlos Fragoso,” Ruggiero said about JHS’ high-performing gold medal winner. “Second that for Sara Echeverria and Mia Ragosta, who won prestigious bronze medals.”

Ruggiero also heaped words of praise upon Miguel Azanon, Stephanie McCoy and Isabella Misuraca who won Achievement Awards after taking the National Italian Examination.

Students from JHS also have a long history of high achievement when it comes to the Spanish language, that’s taught by Ruggiero and Isabella Russo.

More than 157,000 students across the country participated in the 2018 National Spanish Examinations and JHS had representation in the medal divisions as well as honorable mention.

“We’re so, so proud of all of our students,” Ruggiero said. “Mario Ordoriez won a highly-acclaimed gold medal while Briana Uriza captured a silver medal. Three Panthers – Sid Guadalupe, Erika Lemus-Rivera and Sophia DaCosta – captured bronze medals.”

Likewise, JHS students who achieved honorable mention at the National Examination level were: Jade Vejarano, Matthew Eisemann, Lauren Papa, Ivan Fernandez, Nailea Estrada and Vielka Pichardo.

Also, add the name of Briana Urizar to students from all over Rhode Island who won honors in the recent 2018 Comic Strip Contest that’s sponsored annually by the Rhode Island Chapter of the AATSP.

“This year’s theme was a Nelson Mandela quote,” Ruggiero said, adding: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”


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