HANNIBAL – Although she is the top-ranked student in Hannibal High School’s graduating Class of 2015, Olivia Cacchione is quick to credit her parents, classmates and teachers for contributing to her academic success.
Olivia is the daughter of Joseph and Gale Cacchione, who — as educators themselves – helped shape Olivia’s love for learning.
“I had a love for books at an early age,” Olivia said. “I’ve always loved reading and learning new things. My parents really encouraged me to go after my goals and they have always been there to support me academically and in everything else.”
Olivia will bring her passion for learning to Elmira College in the fall, where she plans on pursuing a degree in biology.
“I’ll focus on pre-med and I would like to ultimately do research on diseases,” she said.
In addition to being an engaged student in the classroom, Olivia is also involved in several extracurricular activities, including Key Club, National Honor Society, student government and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading and painting.
As the class valedictorian, Olivia recently reflected on her time in the Hannibal Central School District and the relationships she formed.
She noted that the tight-knit community and the friendly atmosphere in the HCSD have been critical to her growth.
“The sense of family and community is really strong,” she said. “The connections I’ve made with teachers and classmates have been great.”
Olivia noted that she will embrace the friendships she has made along the way and hopes that her classmates will remember her as someone who was always friendly and willing to do the right thing.
Having a strong moral compass is important to Olivia, who encourages her peers to do the same.
“You will face adversity,” she said. “But it’s how you deal with the adversity that will define you. Be confident. Know who you are and don’t be afraid to embrace it.”