NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two seniors who explored their respective passions for music and sports during their time at North Smithfield High School have been named the highest-achieving students in the Class of 2021.
Meghan Stevens, the daughter of Anthony and Kelley Stevens, has been named the valedictorian, and has been involved in a variety of activities over the past four years, according to a release from the school.
Stevens is a member of the North Smithfield branch of the National Honor Society, for which she serves as the treasurer. During her senior year, she tutored other students in math and science. She has also been a member of the math team for all four years of high school, and as a junior and as a senior, she was the school’s high scorer for the year.
As a freshman, Stevens took the, “We the People,” government class, participating in two units, and this year, she served as a judge at the dress rehearsal in preparation for the class’s 2021 national competition. During ninth grade, Stevens participated in Rhode Island’s National History Day competition, in which her paper ranked third. Stevens was also recognized by the College Board with an AP Scholar Award in her junior year.
The top senior said music is particularly important to her. Stevens played the flute and the piccolo in the band for all four years of high school, and she has been the principal flutist in the symphonic band since her sophomore year. As a senior, she served as the band secretary. Stevens participated in Rhode Island All-State musical ensembles every year since seventh grade, and in her sophomore and junior years, she ranked first on the flute in the senior division. She also earned superior ratings at the Rhode Island Music Education Association’s Solo and Ensemble Festival every year from sixth to tenth grade. As a freshman, she was nominated to audition for the Solo and Ensemble Honors Recital Concert. Stevens’ senior project also focused on music: she learned how to play pieces of classical repertoire on the piano.
Outside of school, the valedictorian has participated in several other musical ensembles, including the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Southern New England Honor Band, the Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet, and her flute teacher’s summer flute choir. She said her favorite musical experiences have been with the Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra, for which she has been the principal flutist since she joined the ensemble at the beginning of her junior year, and that she especially enjoys performing and listening to classical music.
Stevens will be pursuing a major in chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Ethan Kmiecik, the son of Kris and Monika Kmiecik, has been named salutatorian of the graduating class.
The senior, who said he loves the competitiveness of sports, has played in a wide variety, including hockey, soccer, and go-karting.
Kmiecik has played hockey since he was five years old, and said he has had the opportunity to be a part of a number of excellent organizations and teams, and work with great coaches. He’s played with the Northern Rhode Island Vikings, the Providence Jr. Friars, the Providence Capitals and the South Shore Kings. He has played in the state, EHF, and USPHL leagues. For his 2019-2020 U16 hockey season he was a co-captain, was awarded the player of a week and player of the month by the USPHL, and was selected for the U16 All Star game. He was the captain for the 2020-2021 U18 South Shore Kings.
Kmiecik also enjoys playing soccer. Starting in the Cracovia league at 4 years old, he played for the town of North Smithfield in the Rhode Island Youth Super Liga league from the age of 6. Playing boys soccer for NSMS, he was named, “The Rock,” for being a wall on defense, by coaching staff Nate Marcelino and Ed Cabana.
In the summer, Kmiecik is a lifeguard at the Blackstone Valley Boys & Girls Club, and he has been a regular Rhode Island blood donor since the age of 16. He is an annual participant in the North Smithfield Clean and Green Day. He utilized his Senior Project to give back to the hockey community as a skills coach for the NRI Mite A hockey team for the 2020-2021 season.
Kmiecik said he is thankful for all the wonderful teachers, coaches, adults, teammates, friends, and most importantly his parents, who have propelled him on his life journey. He said he looks forward to creating value for others as a growing member of the world community.
Kmiecik will attend Bryant University and pursue a degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship.