1. Olivia Dias
Valedictorian Olivia Dias, daughter of Martin Dias and Niko Phillips-Dias, is an accomplished student-athlete who completed six advanced placement classes and earned the College Board’s AP Scholar Award and the Harvard Prize Book Award. She graduated from Taunton High School summa cum laude. A member of the National Honor Society, she was also a member of the championship Math Team, the Latin Club, the Senior Leadership Guild and the MIAA Student Advisory Committee and was president of the Programming Club. A decorated cross country and track and field athlete, she was named a Hockomock League All-Star, Bristol County Winter Athlete of the Year, and received the Hockomock League Scholar Athlete Award. She placed 4th in
the New England Championships, 4th at All-States in the 600m, and 2nd at Divisionals in 600m and 400m. She was a Winter and Spring Hockomock League Champion in 600m and 400m and 4×400 relay and placed 30th in the Sprint Medley Relay at Nationals. She also organized a school supplies distribution in conjunction with the Taunton Police Department and was on the winning make-a-thon team at Affectiva EMPath 2020, a spin-off of the MIT Media Lab. Her programming teacher said: “Olivia is one incredible young lady who easily epitomizes the perfect student: hardworking, inquisitive, mature and genuine. She is not only passionate about acquiring knowledge but she looks for ways to use these new skills to make the world a better place.” In the fall, Dias will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she will study computer science and electrical engineering. She wishes to thank THS Math Curriculum Supervisor Donna Chaves for helping develop her passion and love for computer science and THS Head Girls Track Coach Jeffrey Moore “for being a great coach, supporter, and advisor for my track and college life.”
2. Aidan Scully
Salutatorian Aidan Scully, son of Christopher and Elisa Scully, is an exceptional student who completed eight advanced placement classes and earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. A National Merit Scholarship finalist and recipient, he also earned the College Board’s National Rural and Small-Town Recognition Award. He graduated from Taunton High School summa cum laude. Throughout his high school career, he excelled in language and theater. He earned three National Latin Exam gold medals (summa cum laude), won first place in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) Excellence in Technical Theater Contest, and was the All-New England Winner of the Classical Association of New England (CANE) Student Writing Contest. President of the National Honor Society and the Latin Club, he was also vice president of the Drama Club, secretary of Greater Taunton High School Democrats and a member of the Senior
Leadership Guild and the Taunton School Committee High School Subcommittee Student Advisory Board. He serves as a guest preacher and Sunday school teacher at First Parish Church in Taunton. His translation of Ovid’s “Amores 1.1” was published in The Classical Outlook and his original poem “Sanguis Sanguinem Habebit” was published in the New England Classical Journal. His Latin teacher said, “From actively leading class activities and discussions, to offering educational guidance to his classmates, to posing insightful and engaging questions, Aidan has proven to be the most exceptional student I’ve encountered in my 10 years of teaching.” Scully will be attending Harvard University in the fall, where he plans to study classics and government.
3. Nolan Tavares
Nolan Tavares, son of Janet and John Tavares, is ranked third in the Class of 2021 and has excelled in the classroom and in athletics at Taunton High School. He completed five advanced placement courses, achieved the AP Scholar with Honor distinction and graduated summa cum laude. He won first place at both the Taunton High School Science Fair and the Massachusetts Region III Science Fair. He was a recipient of the Harvard Prize Book Award and the Massachusetts Elks Scholarship Grant. An accomplished runner, he was named a Hockomock League Cross Country All-Star, a Taunton Daily Gazette Cross Country First Team All Scholastic and the Hockomock
League Scholar-Athlete. He captained the varsity cross country and winter and spring track teams and served as treasurer of the National Honor Society and was a member of the Math Team and Class Council. He volunteered to lead the THS Cross Country Team Boosters and to coach in the Taunton Summer Track Series. His track coach said, “Nolan’s accomplishments, both on and off the track, distinguish him as one of the top male student-athletes I have coached over the past 13 years. He is at the top of his class academically, a fantastic cross country and track runner, and most importantly, he is a great person.” Tavares plans to study accounting at Bryant University in the fall. Looking back on this high school career, he said, “I think that all of the efforts put in by the teachers and coaches helped me to go out of my comfort zone and pushed me to continue improving and achieving. I really cannot thank them enough.”
4. Kevin Barbosa
Kevin Barbosa, son of Maria and Manuel Barbosa, graduated summa cum laude and ranks fourth in the Class of 2021. He completed four advanced placement courses and earned the College Board’s AP Scholar Award. In addition, he excelled in accounting courses and is trilingual, fluent in Haitian Creole, English, and Portuguese. A member of the soccer team, he earned the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship and was awarded the Environmental Scholarship presented by PSG/Veolia Water NA. His AP Biology teacher describes him as “extremely self-motivated and incredibly bright. Kevin always had a positive attitude and found a way to make me laugh even during this stressful year. He is extremely supportive of his friends and truly is an all-around great guy.” Barbosa will be attending the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in the fall, where he plans to study biology.
4. Rachel Joseph
Rachel Joseph, daughter of Nisha and Satish Joseph, is also ranked fourth in the graduating class. A summa cum laude graduate, she completed nine advanced placement courses and earned the College Board’s AP Scholar with Honor distinction. A member of the National Honor Society and secretary of the Latin Club, she earned a Silver Medal (maxima cum laude) on the National Latin Exam and numerous science fair awards. She qualified for the State Science Fair in both 2019 and 2020. Her achievements in STEM are numerous: She completed an internship with the Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fair, served as a mentor with the International Precollege Association for Research in STEM (IPARS), was a member of the Math Team, and was awarded the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Scholar Award and the American Psychological Association Award. She has served her community as a member of the executive board of the Interact Club and earned a Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Her Interact Club advisor describes her as “… a student, leader, public speaker, and volunteer [who has] been an integral part of recruitment, and the driving force behind several service projects each year.” When not volunteering or doing science, Joseph spends her time dancing at the Susan Winter School of Dance and as a member of the THS Drama Club. She will be attending Northeastern University, where she will major in behavioral neuroscience on the pre-med track.
6. Victoria DaRosa
Victoria DaRosa, daughter of Barbara and Olavo DaRosa, graduated summa cum laude and is ranked sixth in the Class of 2021. She completed six advanced placement courses and earned the AP Scholar with Honor distinction. She was elected captain of both the varsity lacrosse and the varsity basketball teams, which presented her the Unsung Hero Award. Her volunteer work includes helping create a 9/11 Memorial with Project 351 and working as an assistant children’s church teacher. She was also a member of the Portuguese Club and the Class Council. Her AP computer science teacher described her as “bright, hardworking, kind and collaborative…with a drive to succeed, a talent for computer science and the ability to use information not just to apply and analyze, but to create.” In the fall, DaRosa will attend the University of Virginia, where she intends to major in computer science.
7. MahNoor Abbas
MahNoor Abbas, daughter of Abid Khan and Khadija Bibi, is ranked seventh in the graduating class and earned summa cum laude honors. She not only completed nine advanced placement courses, but she also completed 11 dual enrollment courses at Bristol Community College during her high school career, completing a cybersecurity internship and earning a Cybersecurity Certification. Her many science fair accolades include the Dr. Levine Award for Project of Most Public Interest and the Outstanding Project Award from the physics department at UMASS Dartmouth. She also earned a Certificate of Recognition for Programming Competition at SkillsUSA and placed in the Marketing, Buying and Merchandising and Communications categories at DECA’s
district and state conferences. She also served as secretary of Model UN, vice president of the Programming Club and as a manager at McDonald’s. She was also a member of the Taunton Public Schools Anti Bias Association, Creative Writing Club, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club. Her AP English teacher described her as “a young woman of formidable intellectual ability and curiosity, with a sense of humility and a spirit that is indomitable. She exemplifies leadership in all of her actions, and she gives the lie to the myth of today’s youth as self-centered and indulgent.” Abbas will attend Cornell University in the fall majoring in computer engineering.
8. Hunter Cabral
Hunter Cabral, son of Bernadette and John Cabral and Erica Guimaraes, is ranked eighth in the Class of 2021 and graduated summa cum laude. He completed five advanced placement classes and earned the College Board’s AP Scholar Award. Soccer is one of his main passions. Captain of the THS varsity soccer team, he also plays on an Elite Travel Soccer team, has worked as a soccer referee and has volunteered as a coach with the Taunton Youth Soccer League. His soccer coach describes him as “the quintessential scholar-athlete who physically, intellectually and emotionally committed himself to his academic and soccer endeavors with vigor and enthusiasm. He is an amiable and considerate young man whose natural leadership abilities helped boost team morale and motivation during a challenging season. Hunter has positively impacted our program by being an exemplary role model for both present and future members of the Taunton High School soccer family and school community.” A member of National Honor Society and DECA, Cabral volunteers with the Saint Jude Youth Group and holds a part-time job. His goal is to become a pediatrician. In the fall, he will study biology at Salve Regina University
8. Olivia Weber
Olivia Weber, daughter of Susan and Fred Weber, is also ranked eighth in the graduating class. She graduated summa cum laude and was president of the Class of 2021. She completed six advanced placement courses and earned the AP Scholar with Honor distinction and was awarded the prestigious Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship. Her academic awards include multiple science fair awards (District 1st place winner, District 2nd place winner, Kenneth A. Perry Memorial Award, Society for In Vitro Biology Award, 2nd place Regional winner, state competitor), the National Latin Exam Bronze Medal (cum laude), and the National Spanish Exam Honorable Mention award. She was a 4-year State qualifier and 2-year International Competition qualifier with DECA, a member of the National Honor Society, Class Council, Senior Leadership
Guild, and the Yearbook Committee. She was founder and president of Our Minds Matter and has volunteered with the Samaritans, Leddy Preschool Summer Program, Junior Achievement and the Taunton Middle School track and field program. An accomplished runner, Weber was a varsity cross country captain, Hockomock League All-Star and Taunton Daily Gazette All-Scholastic. In addition to her athletic and extracurricular activities, she also works as a CNA at a local nursing home. Her track coach summed up her accomplishments like this: “If you could make a high school full of students like Olivia Weber, everyone in the state would want to be there.” She will attend Harvard University in the fall, where she plans to study neuroscience on the pre-med track.
10. Cloee Cambra
Cloee Cambra, daughter of Zita and Eric Cambra, is ranked tenth in the Class of 2021 and graduated summa cum laude. She completed seven advanced placement courses and earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award. A member of the National Honor Society, she played on the field hockey and tennis teams and was the team manager of the varsity wrestling team. She volunteered with Junior Achievement and in the Tiger Shack and Little Closet. Cambra was a five-year member of DECA, serving as Vice President her senior year. Her DECA Advisor said, “Cloee always led by example. Her dependability and commitment to the team motivated others. Cloee was always a top competitor, qualifying for the International competition multiple times. She led the DECA team through this turbulent COVID year and was instrumental in the Taunton chapter earning Diamond level status for the third year in a row.” Cambra plans to attend Bridgewater State University, where she will study English with a concentration in education.