Merrimack High School’s top 10 seniors for 2016

No. 1 – Matt Spettel

Matt Spettel is the valedictorian of the class of 2016. Matt has spent the majority of his time at Merrimack High School exploring his passions of robotics, science, and music. This year, Merrimack’s robotics team, Chop Shop 166, had its most successful season of all time with Matt leading the way as a co-captain. Using what he learned on Chop Shop, Matt founded his own chemical pumping business called ChemiCube LLC, which has brought Merrimack recognition throughout the world at various competitions and an international science fair. While he isn’t busy inventing, Matt gives back to Merrimack by running math, electronics, and FIRST Lego League clubs at Merrimack Middle School for aspiring engineers. Furthermore, as a jazz band pianist, Matt has played for Merrimack for eight years and represented the school at the Jazz Allstate Festival. Matt plans to continue pursuing his many passions at Carnegie Mellon University next year, where he will major in Electrical Engineering and Robotics Engineering.

No. 2 – Emily Duval

Throughout her time at Merrimack High, Emily has worked hard to brighten the community through her extensive involvement in extracurricular activities. Her most meaningful work has come from her role as a drum major and Vice President of the band as well as her position as President of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). For the past few years, she has pursued her love of writing as the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper and a student columnist for the Nashua Telegraph. She also enjoys volunteering at church, serving as both a member of the Student Leadership Team and an assistant Sunday School teacher. Emily has a passion for community service and will attend Davidson College as a Bonner Scholar, a member of a national program which will allow her to engage in meaningful service projects alongside her academic work.

No. 3 – Shravani Balaji

Shravani Balaji, ranked third in her class, is a diligent student with passion in science and the arts. She has been a core member of the Science Olympiad team, bringing home many gold medals and competing at Nationals for two years. She introduced MHS to the Future Problem Solving Program and coached New England’s winning team of 2015. Her hard work in academics has led Shravani to become a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. For close to a year, she worked as a lab-engineer intern for Conductive Compounds and currently, she serves as a pharmacy technician at Hannaford. Aside from volunteering through the National Honors Society, Shravani is a member of a charity dance troupe and holds dance lessons to raise money for schools in India. Additionally, she is an avid singer and martial artist; she has earned her second-degree black belt in taekwondo and has won many accolades at tournaments. Next year, Shravani will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute to pursue a major in Biomedical Engineering.

No. 4 – Sarah House

My parents have definitely been a major factor in making my high school experience what it has been. I am grateful that they have given me what I needed to do well without ever pushing me too hard. The cross country and track team has also been a huge part of my life these past four years; I have always looked forward to being part of that community almost every day after school. I’ll carry fond memories of the art department, which has been like a second home to me over the past year. I will be going to Dickinson College next year as an undecided major, and I’m looking forward to continuing the exploration that my teachers at MHS helped me to start.

No. 5 – Cameron Collins

Cameron Collins has participated in many activities at Merrimack High School, including National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, and FIRST Robotics. In Science Olympiad, Cameron has won numerous medals at the state level, including 1st place finishes in Robot Arm and Scrambler, and 2nd place finishes in Technical Problem Solving, Chemistry Lab, and It’s About Time. Since his junior year, Cameron has been the mechanical sub team lead on the MHS FIRST Robotics team, Chop Shop 166. This year, the team performed well enough within the New England district to qualify for the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, Missouri where they ranked 10th in their division. Outside of school, Cameron is a member of Our Lady of Mercy Church and Boy Scout Troop 401. For his Eagle Scout project, Cameron planned and executed a service project to improve the appearance of the Merrimack Post Office by building new flower boxes, installing a stone pathway to the flagpole, planting new flowers and bushes, and purchasing bollard covers. In his spare time, Cameron enjoys running 5Ks, hiking, biking, playing golf, and hanging out with friends. In the fall, Cameron plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts to study mechanical engineering.

No. 6 – Sara Mason

Sara Mason is number 6 of her class at Merrimack High School. As well as achieving good grades, she spent her senior year dancing at Broadway Bound, as well as being a SADD officer and working on ChemiCube with valedictorian Matthew Spettel. She is attending Boston University in the fall as a chemistry major with the intent of earning her PhD. Special thanks go out to her parents, Susan and John, for their support and love.

No. 7 – Owen Bailey

Owen has been a part of many clubs and activities in his time at Merrimack High School, including National Honor Society, the marching and jazz bands, the alpine ski team, and the National History Day competition. He is also involved with activities at his church, most notably the FAST for Social Action, which raises money and awareness for those in need in the community. Owen will be joining the honors college at Clemson University in the fall, where he will study engineering.

No. 8 – Noah Beygelman

Noah Beygelman is a graduate from Merrimack High School class of 2016. His legacy as a top-ten academic student will be enhanced by his breadth of extracurricular activities. Noah was president of the class of 2016 during his sophomore year, and remained a prominent member of the Student Council thereafter. He was a multiyear participant in Science Olympiad, which included him earning a trip to participate in the 2015 national competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, and he also represented Merrimack High School at the New Hampshire DECA competition, and was selected to represent New Hampshire in the 2016 Congress of Future Medial leaders. His academic academic and philanthropic accolades propelled Noah to be accepted in to the National Honor Society.

Noah was a member of the Boys Varsity Basketball, Soccer, and Tennis Teams, and the combination of his academics and multiple Varsity sports earned him the coveted New Hampshire Scholar Athlete award presented by the Governor, Maggie Hassan. He also worked as a soccer coach, for kids aged 2-10, at the New Hampshire Sportsplex. Noah Beygelman will attend the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University in the fall of 2016 to pursue a major in neuroscience.

No. 9 – Callie Dwyer

Throughout high school, Callie Dwyer has been a three-season varsity athlete, earning 14 letters in field hockey, indoor track, lacrosse and outdoor track junior and senior year. Dwyer has won numerous awards and was captain of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams her senior year. In addition to playing for MHS, Dwyer played club lacrosse for Granite State Elite. Academically, she challenged herself by taking honors and AP courses throughout high school. She was a member of National Honor Society and volunteered in the community. In the fall, she will attend Assumption College to pursue a double major in elementary education and math, with in a minor in psychology while playing collegiate lacrosse.

No. 10 – Pheonyx Stopyra

Pheonyx Stopyra is the son of Peter and Natalie Stopyra. As a four-year, two-sport varsity athlete, and captain of the wrestling team as a junior and senior, Secretary of National Honor Society, member of the school newspaper, and a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate, Pheonyx prides himself on maintaining balance to develop himself physically, mentally, and morally.

Additionally, Pheonyx has a strong commitment to community service. He volunteered for hundreds of hours in his high school career doing such things as co-founding a math program at the middle school to teach eighth graders basic high school math curriculum as well as volunteering in the emergency department at SNHMC, the annual Light the Night memorial walk in Nashua, and the annual Rotary Club Ribfest in Merrimack.

Pheonyx has accepted an appointment to and will be attending the United States Naval Academy and hopes to study Systems Engineering. He will then be commissioned as an officer in the Navy to serve his country.