Eric Ricci named LBHS valedictorian, Kelly DiResto and Megan Sofield Earn co-salutatorian titles

Long Beach High School is proud to announce Eric Ricci, Kelly DiResto and Megan Sofield as the Class of 2017 valedictorian and co-salutatorians, respectively. All three seniors have numerous achievements to their names and are National Honor Society members as well as International Baccalaureate Diploma Program candidates.

Eric’s valedictorian title is a well-deserved testament to his hard work, leadership and talent. He is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Math Club, and is focusing his IB Diploma Extended Essay on an analysis of whether the Black Panthers’ actions were justified during the Civil Rights Movement. As a musician, Eric plays the tenor saxophone in the marching band. Athletically, he is a varsity golf team member and has also participated on the volleyball, archery and fencing teams.

In addition to his rigorous school schedule, Eric assists the Food Allergy Research and Education organization and Key Club in their fundraisers and events and founded a free tutoring program in the district known as “Gift,” which stands for “Get It From Tutoring.” He himself has tutored for more than 200 hours to help peers in all grades and subjects.

Kelly serves as an IB Ambassador and coordinates events regarding IB Diploma and the program’s Creativity, Action Service projects. Her Extended Essay addresses an environmental study on biodiversity and rewilding. Also a Science Research participant, Kelly and her team earned first place last May in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair’s Andromeda division. She is additionally involved in the Math Club and Peer Mediation group.

A skilled athlete, Kelly is a two-year captain of both the varsity track and varsity soccer teams and also plays club soccer for the Brentwood Youth Soccer Club. She earned All-Division status in track and was named All-Conference, All-Class, All-County and All-Conference Player of the Year for soccer over the course of her high school career. She gives back as an Athletes Helping Athletes volunteer and also as a chemistry tutor, Color Run fundraiser coordinator, Give Kids a Smile program guide and other initiatives.

Megan serves as the National Honor Society’s Vice President and participates in Math Club. Her IB Extended Essay concentrates on assessing the extent to which the media is to blame for Princess Diana’s death. She is a three-sport athlete and has participated on the varsity lacrosse, varsity swim and varsity indoor track teams, and holds four All-County and several County Qualifier titles for swimming. She also works as a Long Beach lifeguard and was a Scholar-Artist nominee for dance.

Among Megan’s community outreach activities are volunteer roles as a peer tutor, youth lacrosse coach, Long Beach Christmas Angels participant, Athletes Helping Athletes member and co-coordinator of the school shoe drive.

As experts in time management and leadership, the valedictorian and co-salutatorians advise younger students to be open to the assortment of opportunities that the high school offers.

“Explore your options and try different classes,” Eric said. “I found that math and science were my strengths and decided to pursue them.”

Megan and Kelly shared similar thoughts and noted that it is important for students to give themselves time and avoid procrastinating.
“Work hard, try new things and remember that it’s all about being positive,” Megan said.