Merrimack High School’s top 10 seniors for 2020

# 1 – Natalie Desilets

Natalie Desilets is truly honored to be the valedictorian for the MHS class of 2020 and she wants to congratulate all of her fellow seniors who have worked so hard to get to this point. Natalie would like to thank her incredible parents, sister, brother, grandparents, friends, classmates, and teachers who have helped shape her high school experience and encourage her in her passion for learning.

Some of Natalie’s favorite activities in high school included cross country, swim team, track and field, and Science Olympiad. She held leadership positions as an assistant captain for swim team and as a captain of both the track and Science Olympiad teams. Natalie was accepted into National Math Honor Society and National Honor Society her junior year and served as public relations officer of NHS for her senior year. She was recognized with MHS awards in French and math, as well as medals from her Science Olympiad and track competitions. A few of Natalie’s favorite memories from high school are competing in Science Olympiad Nationals at Colorado State University and Cornell University, participating in a French immersion trip to Quebec with her classmates, and attending a school trip to Italy during her junior year.

Outside of the classroom, she loves to hike, bake, read, spend time with family and friends, and lifeguard at the YMCA. Natalie has also been very involved in volunteering with The Church of The Good Shepherd in Nashua. She served as the youth representative for the vestry, taught a third grade Sunday school classroom for five years, and participated in mission trips in Wallingford, CT and Hazlet, NJ.

Next year, Natalie will be attending Northeastern University as a biochemistry major to pursue a career in healthcare. She looks forward to seeing all that the class of 2020 can accomplish in the future.

# 2 – Andrew Peyton

Andrew Peyton is the salutatorian of the 2020 Senior Class at Merrimack High School. He’d like to thank his parents, Dave and Chanin Peyton, and especially his twin brother Scott for supporting him through the last 12 years of school.

Andrew’s goal in high school was to do the most he could, the best he could. He took on several classes including many AP and honors-level courses, his favorite being physics and chemistry. Andrew was inducted into the National Honor Society and the National Math Honor Society his junior year and was the National Honor Society President his Senior year. He was also a member of both the school’s Quizbowl team for 3 years and the champion Granite State Challenge team for two. Andrew takes pride in the work he did with one of the school’s community service club, Merrimack Cares.

Other than striving for success in the classroom, Andrew’s great passion is running. He competed on varsity cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track, becoming a 2-season captain for his upperclassman years of cross-country. Andrew has medaled at divisional and state-level meets and has qualified for regionals 5 times in his running career.

Andrew is excited to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall where he will be studying mechanical engineering and competing on the track and field team.

#3 – Nathan Newton

My favorite extra-curricular activity in high school was definitely playing on the varsity tennis team. It was pretty laid-back and really fun because of the other guys on the team. I was also a member of the interact club at the school, a youth basketball coach for the MYA, and I enjoy playing basketball in my free time.   

As far as my plans for the future, I’m attending the engineering college at the University of New Hampshire next year, but I’m not sure exactly what field of engineering I want to go in to.   

For people I would want to recognize, I would say that my parents were the most influential people in helping me get this far in high school. They’ve always stressed the importance of actually caring and trying in school, and whenever I needed anything, they were there to help me out.   

# 4 – Alex Jobin

Alex Jobin is the son of Paul and Jennifer Jobin. He is the proud brother of sisters Alyssa and Leah. He also has an awesome dog named Ryder and a foster bunny named Typhoon.

In addition to taking a rigorous course load of honors and AP classes, Alex has been an active participant in extracurricular activities during his four years at Merrimack High School. He has been a member of MHS FIRST Robotics Team Chop Shop 166 for all four years and served as co-captain for both his junior and senior years. This season he helped lead the team to its first-ever district competition win.

Alex has participated in Quiz Bowl since middle school and has served as co-captain for the MHS team for the past three years. He has also competed with the school’s Granite State Challenge team since his freshman year. A highlight of his time at MHS was winning the Granite State SuperChallenge state championship this past season.

Alex is also a member of the MHS Boys Tennis Team and National Honor Society.

As a sophomore, Alex was state runner-up for the VFW Voice of Democracy competition and through that program attended the Freedoms Foundation summer program at Valley Forge. Following his junior year, Alex attended the American Legion’s Boys State at St. Anselm College where he was elected Governor.

Alex is a National Merit Scholarship winner.

In the fall, he will be attending the University of Alabama as a member of the Honors College.

#5 – Alexa Quintero

Alexa Quintero is ranked 5th in the Merrimack High School graduating class of 2020. Throughout her time at Merrimack High School she took a plethora of vigorous courses, including numerous at the AP and honors level. In addition, she took many college courses, in her free time, to get a head start on her secondary education.

Alexa was greatly involved in the community of Merrimack High School, through a range of clubs and activities. She was the Vice President of Future Business Leaders of America and the Assistant Director of What’s Up Merrimack her senior year. She was also involved in Chorus, Student Council, Interact Club, DECA, National Honor Society, and National Math Honor Society during her four years.

In her junior year Alexa received the 2019 Virginia Crook Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Sciences and the 2019 Certificate of Academic Excellence in FBLA. She also placed 2nd in the Business Law category at the FBLA State Competition and 3rd in the Individual Performance category at the NHD State Competition.

Outside of school Alexa is a competitive dancer and has been dancing since the age of two. She is currently dancing at N-Step Dance Center, as a member of the competition team. She has served as a team captain for two years. Alexa was named the 2019 “N-Stepper of the Year” and her team became grand champions in February of 2020, at a regional dance competition. At her studio, she is an assistant dance teacher and she teaches her own class. Additionally, she has performed with the Palace Theatre in the professional production of A Christmas Carol and a variety of other shows since seventh grade.

Alexa will be attending Boston University in the fall to pursue a degree in Business Administration, with plans to become a lawyer.

#6 – Scott Peyton

Scott Peyton is among the top ten of Merrimack High School’s Class of 2020. He would like to thank his parents, Dave and Chanin; his brother, Andrew; and his girlfriend, Jacqui Morin; along with the rest of his family and friends for supporting him throughout his time in the Merrimack School District.

Throughout his time at MHS, Scott has worked hard at both academic and extra-curricular pursuits. He has taken on a schedule full of AP and Honors level courses, of which his favorites were AP U.S. History, AP U.S. Government, and Legal Studies, but has also put time into other subjects that interest him, taking lower-level electives in subjects such as criminology, Spanish, and U.S. military history. He has academically challenged himself in other ways, competing with the MHS Quiz Bowl and Granite State Challenge teams throughout his time at MHS, becoming a captain of both teams his sophomore year. Scott has been active in community service work, volunteering with the Interact Club his sophomore and junior years, and with the National Honor Society during his junior and senior years. He has also been active politically, volunteering with the Pete Buttigieg Presidential Campaign during the recent primary season. Scott has played the Trombone with the MHS marching and concert bands as well, dedicating a lot of time and effort to becoming a better musician over the previous years.

Scott has also been an athlete throughout his time at MHS, running Cross-Country in the fall and Outdoor Track and Field in the Spring all four years and becoming captain of the Cross-Country team his senior year. He ran at the varsity level for four years in Cross-Country and for two years in Track and Field. He wishes his teammates on both of these teams, as well as his teammates on the Quiz Bowl and GSC teams and fellow band-members, good luck in the coming years as they continue to compete and perform. He is honored to have been able to work with all of them and will miss the experiences they all had together.

Scott is excited to attend Michigan State University this coming fall, where he will continue his studies in politics and law and will likely be majoring in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy at MSU’s James Madison College.

#7 – Grace Sullivan

I’m Grace Sullivan, and I am so honored to be a part of this remarkable group of people. This fall I will be attending Plymouth State University as a nursing major and hope to become an emergency nurse practitioner, in the future. I want to thank my mom and the rest of my family for helping to shape me into the person I am today, and for telling me to go to bed, when I was up too late doing homework.

Although this is not the way I envisioned the end of high school, I am so lucky to have had some amazing years in Merrimack. I will never forget cheering too loud at football games, staying at school until dark to finish Spirit Week posters, or laughing in class every day with Mr. Woods and Mr. Harvell. Also, thank you to everyone who welcomed me here freshman year. I cannot believe that this chapter is over so soon, but I cannot wait to see what the next chapter brings. 

#8 – Zachary Stimeling

My name is Zach Stimeling, a 2020 senior at Merrimack High School. During my four years of high school, I was fortunate enough to participate in a handful of clubs, including the Interact community service club, the math team, Life of a Tomahawk Club, marching and concert band, and the lacrosse team. Most predominantly, I played on the Varsity Hockey team all four years and have plans to continue my athletic journey in college.

Next year, I will be taking an academic gap year to pursue playing junior hockey, a steppingstone to NCAA hockey. Once finished, I hope to study STEM related fields in college. I am particularly interested in business, mathematics, and especially engineering, although unsure of the field.

I would not be where I am today without my parents or teachers. My parents have always been extremely influential, pushing me to be to live up to my potential and strive for greatness. They have always supported my dreams, no matter the magnitude. As time progressed and my future crept closer, my teachers at MHS were there for me every step of the way, as not only academic resources, but also as friends.

#9 – Sophia Roy

I plan to continue my education at North Carolina State University this fall where I will be studying pre-veterinary animal science. Two great passions in my life are animals and helping others. I chose to study in the field of animal medicine so that I may combine these passions and help animals. In addition to my studies I have recently begun working on starting my own non-profit organization to fund the critical care of animals in need when their caretakers cannot afford such care. Throughout high school cheerleading has played a prominent role in my life. I was given the opportunity to compete at The Cheerleading Worlds multiple times which allowed me to become a role model and inspiration to younger athletes in my community, something I am extremely proud of. I plan to continue cheer in college and use the position to help younger athletes and continue to be a role model for them. I am so grateful for the friends I made at Merrimack High School and for the many amazing teachers and staff who made learning fun. I feel that the class of 2020 has been really special and I believe we will all go on to achieve amazing things.

#10 – Jacqueline Morin

Jacqueline Morin is tenth in the 2020 Merrimack High School graduating class. Throughout her four years in high school, not only did she challenge herself with a rigorous course load with many AP and honors classes she participated in the school’s quiz bowl team, Nation Honor Society, and Science Olympiad team. In Science Olympiad, she won a gold medal, three silver medals, and two bronze medals in the state competition and had the opportunity to compete at the national tournament twice. In addition, she was also very active in the high school music department as a part of the marching, concert, and jazz bands and holding the positions of Drum Major in the marching band and president of the band the rest of the year.

Outside of school, Jacqueline has been dancing at the YMCA for 15 years doing ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and lyrical. In her sophomore year, she earned a scholarship for a full year of lessons to learn the pipe organ and has had a half-scholarship every subsequent year from the Young Organist Collaborative out of Exeter, NH. She has performed at her yearly recitals and spotted throughout the year at her church. Additionally, she volunteers annually at a week-long Vacation Bible School. And all year round you can find her as a hostess at the Homestead Restaurant and Tavern.

Next year Jacqueline will be majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA as well as marching in the Bullets Marching Band.