NORTH SMITHFIELD – Administrators at North Smithfield High School have announced the top achieving students in the Class of 2022, noting that Ethan Daigneault is the valedictorian, and Emma Harrop is the salutatorian.
Valedictorian Daigneault is the son of Brian and Jennifer Daigneault.
Daigneault has participated in a variety of extracurricular activities throughout high school, according to the announcement, playing Unified Volleyball in freshman and sophomore year, as well as Unified Basketball in freshman and senior year. As a sophomore, he helped to start NSHS’s Debate Club, after having had a tremendous experience competing in Washington D.C. with Natalie O’Brien’s We the People class as a freshman. Also as a sophomore, he participated in Herodotus Society and as a senior he joined the Creative Writing Club. Furthermore, as a senior, he has been a member of the National Honor Society and has served as the treasurer of the Gay-Straight Alliance.
The senior said that the We the People class was a tremendous turning point in his life, noting that prior to the experience, he had little idea of what he aimed to pursue. Daigneault said the class initiated an interest in government and politics, which he pursued in future classes and extracurriculars and which persists to this day. This can perhaps best be seen through his senior project, where he joined Rep. Brian Newberry in the decennial redistricting of the state of Rhode Island, attending public meetings, conducting independent analysis of maps, and even interviewing several other citizens deeply involved in the process. He said he is tremendously grateful for the opportunities he has been given to take a deep dive into the political process he otherwise would not have gotten, and he looks forward to continuing to pursue this interest in college and beyond.
Outside of school, Daigneault said he loves reading books and spending time with his friends and family. He said he hopes to use the many skills he has learned in North Smithfield to be successful in all his future endeavors, and is deeply thankful to all the people that have affected him over the years.
Daigneault will be pursuing a degree in political science at Brown University in the fall.
Salutatorian Harrop is the daughter of Richard and Susan Harrop.
Harrop has also been an active participant in a variety of activities and extracurriculars during her time at the high school, joining the Gay-Straight Alliance in ninth grade and remaining a member for all four years. She was a member of the Diversity Club in ninth grade as well, and participated in the Debate Club in tenth and twelfth grade. She was on the yearbook committee in sophomore and senior years, serving as editor-in-chief this year.
As a freshman, Harrop also participated in North Smithfield High School’s We the People class, and said she is immensely grateful for all the skills the class taught her. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and a player on the Unified Basketball team. Her senior year was her first full year of Unified Basketball after her sophomore season was cut short due to the pandemic, and she said she has enjoyed all the time she spent with the Unified players and coaches.
Harrop said that education has been a significant part of her life from the very beginning. She notes that her parents have always encouraged her to work hard, and it is the culmination of all that hard work that has brought her success and made her the student—and person—she is today.
Harrop is also a reader in her free time and notes that books and reading have played a major role in her life. For her senior project, she coordinated a book drive that brought in more than 7,000 donations for the Pawtucket-based non-profit organization Books Are Wings. She said she hopes that her efforts in the project give other children the same love of reading that she had growing up.
Harrop said she is immensely grateful for all the wonderful teachers, adults, friends, family, and most importantly her parents and younger sister Jordan, who have propelled and encouraged her through the years. She said she looks forward to using all the skills she has learned, both academically and socially, as she attends college and experiences life beyond high school.
Harrop will be attending the University of New Haven in the fall, pursuing a degree in forensic science with a concentration in biology.
Senior Awards Night will be held on Tuesday, May 31 and graduation for the Class of 2022 is scheduled for Friday, June 3.