Oliveros, Fraettarelli are tops at Tolman High

Oliveros, Fraettarelli are tops at Tolman High

PAWTUCKET - Alison Oliveros is valedictorian and Sierra Fraettarelli salutatorian for the Class of 2013 at Tolman High School.

Oliveros, daughter of Martha Nemocon and Jose Oliveros, finished first out of 227 students with a final grade point average of 4.46 on a five-point scale. Fraettarelli, daughter of Frank and Cathy Fraettarelli, finished her high school career with a GPA of 4.40.

Oliveros plans to attend Brown University to study pre-medical before heading off to medical school. Fraettarelli also plans on attending Brown, but she'll double major in graphic design and political science. Both are getting almost a full ride to the school.

Fraettarelli and Oliveros say they pushed themselves beyond anything they ever imagined to finish ahead of all their classmates. There may have been a little friendly competition between the two, they said, but each has always rooted for the other to succeed.

Both say they loved their time at Tolman, where they learned more about life than just academics.

A native of Columbia, Oliveros said she had no idea she was in the running to be the top student until the end of her junior year. She never thought she'd make it, said Oliveros, partly because she always thought that valedictorians were white. As a Hispanic, she said, she takes great pride in winning top honors.

Oliveros said that her time at Tolman has prepared her more than many for diversity of college and the world beyond, where the ability to work with all types of people is more important than ever.

Fraettarelli said she too worked hard to reach her goal, and though school typically came naturally, she still had to work especially hard in certain subjects to finish where she did.

Oliveros served as treasurer of the National Honor Society, where she helped on a number of community service projects. She played volleyball for four years, was part of the senior board, and volunteered to help her mother clean homes throughout her high school career. She won the Lt. Governor Leadership Award.

Fraettarelli, who was president of the National Honor Society, said her favorite part of high school was serving as captain of the school's tennis team, where she was First Singles and First Team All Division. She was the yearbook editor and served on the Student Council. She won the URI Book Award.

Commencement ceremonies for the Tolman High Class of 2013 are scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, at 6 p.m. in the school's auditorium on Exchange Street.