by Paige LaMalva '20
At St. Mark’s, it is a long-standing tradition to have Prize Day. The day is specifically designated to present the hard work of the graduating VI Form class and to guide the new alumni into the real world. Prize Day originates all the way back to 1866, a year after the school was founded. Like most schools, St. Mark’s holds the tradition of the Valedictorian, but what’s different here is that VI Formers vote for the student representative for Prize Day. Anthony D’Angelo ‘18 was elected by his classmates as the Valedictorian and to address faculty and students on Prize Day. Anthony is the epitome of a St. Marker: he succeeds in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the community.
Students at St. Mark’s are challenged in every way. For many of us here, the hardest idea is to find time to balance academics, athletics, and extra-curriculars. Anthony strives to be a successful student who can do it all. Academics is vital to him; Mr. Lubick, Director of Financial Aid, a leader in the Admissions Office, and a VI Form English teacher, has been a true role model for him. Not only is he intuitive, according to Anthony, but he’s also compassionate and caring, and it is a faculty member who Anthony aspires to be. During his time at St. Mark’s, Anthony has succeeded in integrating himself into the community. He has taken on multiple leadership positions, including captain positions and Peer Discussion Leader (PDL). PDL’s are V Formers who help to guide a designated group of III Formers through their first year at St. Mark’s through Peer Discussion Groups (PDG), by answering their question and helping them become comfortable in the new environment. I had two PDL’s, and one of them was Anthony. He truly lead by example and reflected some true values of a St. Marker upon my group.
Football is an important aspect of his life. What stands out about Anthony is his positive energy and attitude towards everything. He devotes 110% on the football field; his commitment and passion for the sport is unteachable, as it is something that must come from within. A St. Mark’s memory that is most prominent for him is his Groton game his junior year. Although not a lot of people go to the football games, he said, this one in particular was mobbed. It was a close game all of the way through, and St. Mark’s came through victorious. All of the fans were decked out in blue and white everything, especially face paint.
Anthony exemplifies true leadership qualities on the field and for the underclassmen. I asked some of his fellow football teammates how they perceive him. These words were those of a true leader, being that he is a “thumb guy”, “mentally strong”, “a fountain of energy”, and “the best leader I have ever known”. While interviewing his teammates, I learned that Anthony has inspired his teammates to always work their hardest and be their best. This isn’t the only sport he displays. Being a tri-Varsity athlete, he is able to demonstrate his attributes on St. Mark’s Varsity Wrestling and Baseball teams. He has become the heart of these teams, according to his underclassmen teammates, and his presence will not be forgotten next year.
If Anthony had to give one piece of advice to the younger St. Markers, it would be to stay true to yourself. When times are stressful, do not let others try and change you. Allow your strong values to shine to the world. Trust yourself and how you communicate with the world every day. By being real, you will develop a stronger connection with yourself and others around you.