Salutatorian harmonizes school, sports and social life


Taylor Harrington, Breaking News Editor

Twelve years ago, Melissa Beretta ’14, with purple glasses on her nose and two purple bows in her hair, entered elementary school ready to learn. This year, that same girl, in a pink “Senior Girls” shirt and feathered boa, started her last year with the same love for school.

“From day one, I really, really liked school,” Beretta said after receiving her title as salutatorian.

Beretta has always been highly engaged, her eyes pinned on the teacher, and her hand often raised, according to Daniel Heaphy, Beretta’s AP U.S. History teacher  from sophomore year.

“She’s the type of kid who gets into the lesson, the type of kid who wants to get past learning for the grade’s sake and the type of kid that looks at problems from a couple of different angles,” Heaphy said.

Beretta’s friends were always impressed with how well she balanced school and social life.

“Melissa is the hardest worker I know. She somehow [had] the ability to finish her homework, watch a season of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ go out to dinner with her friends and still be in bed by nine,” Elizabeth Coogan ’14, one of Beretta’s closest friends, said.

Beretta said that because she was so engaged in class, she didn’t need to spend too much time on homework. She described herself as the student who was always talking in class, asking questions and participating in discussions.

“One of my teachers once told me that some people have to think in order to talk, but I have to talk in order to think,” Beretta said.

Along with her academic achievements, Beretta was also on the varsity tennis team since freshman year. As a senior, she was named one of the two tennis captains, marking her status as a role model for her teammates.

Beretta was also an active board member in the school club Safe Rides, which arranges safe transportation for students on Saturday nights. She said she loved the responsibility involved in the program.

This fall, Beretta will be dressed once again in blue and white at Duke University in North Carolina. Although she is currently undecided, she hopes to major in psychology, corresponding nicely with her love for communicating with people.

Not only will she bring her desire to learn along with her to college, but she will keep her dad’s famous motto in the back of her head:

“Do your best; that’s all that anyone can ask.”