MANSFIELD — Superintendent Teresa Murphy and Principal Mary Watkins are pleased to announce the top 10 students for the Mansfield High School Class of 2021.
“All of our students showed great determination and perseverance amidst the obstacles the pandemic caused, on top of the traditional challenges that come with completing your high school years,” Principal Watkins said. “The top 10 students in this year’s senior class should be particularly commended for achieving such a high level of academic excellence despite all they faced.”
The Valedictorian of the Class of 2021 is Nikhil Lankipalle.
Lankipalle is a passionate, driven and dynamic young man who has thrived and accomplished great things at MHS. His academic achievements have included: President of the National Honor Society, member of the Spanish National Honor Society, National Merit Scholarship Award winner and presidential award recipient.
Additionally, during his junior year, Lankipalle was the recipient of the Jefferson College Book Award, given to a student who exemplifies outstanding scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the community.
Within the school community, Lankipalle has been a valuable member of the boy’s tennis team (serving as the team’s captain for the 2020-2021 season) while also being a member of the math team (a top three scorer in the state), member of the mock trial team and he helped to organize this year’s board game club.
Outside of school, Lankipalle volunteers with the Mansfield Youth Basketball Association, helped organize a Toys for Tots drive, and works as a tennis instructor for the Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department. He has also been very involved with the local STEM Expo at Jordan Jackson and Qualters Middle School, through which he has thoroughly enjoyed passing on his interest in the sciences to the next generation of students. Course work and time spent volunteering at Sturdy Memorial Hospital has solidified Lankipalle’s desire to pursue a career in the medical field.
In the fall, Lankipalle will attend the University of Virginia’s Echols Scholars Program, where he plans to major in biochemistry on a pre-med track, which will not leave a lot of time for his true passion, watching Marvel movies.
The Salutatorian of the Class of 2021 is Isabella “Bella” Deberghes.
Deberghes is an enthusiastic and dedicated young woman who strives for success in all that she does. She is captain of the mock trial team, a member of both the National and Spanish National Honor Societies, is the recipient of the Yale Book Award (an honor awarded during her junior year for excellence in scholarship, character, leadership, and civic-mindedness), and she is a member of the varsity field hockey team.
Her involvement in the community includes annual pie making for Septemberfest at Saint Mary’s Church, leaf raking for the elderly, collecting donations for Toys for Tots, and painting windows during the holidays. She also co-founded a service project called “Shining a Light on Cancer,” which is a meal delivery program for local families.
A competitive dancer since the third grade, Deberghes loves nothing more than to perform and compete on stage. Hundreds of hours of choreography and practice have led to national championships for her and her teammates. She also enjoys sharing her passion for dance with younger children – volunteering her time to teach 4 and 5 year olds the art of acrobatics. She is also a huge Harry Potter fan.
In the fall, Deberghes will be attending Vanderbilt University pursuing a degree in chemical engineering; a career path that was inspired by her brother.
The remaining Mansfield High School Class of 2021 top 10 students, listed in alphabetical order, includes:
Ethan Bruce, who will be attending Purdue University to study mechanical engineering with a minor in organizational leadership.
Deirdre Burke, who will be attending University of Massachusetts Lowell for electrical engineering.
Lulu Cavicchi, who will be attending Brown University where she will study history of art and architecture and literary arts.
Elena DeLucia, who will be attending Northeastern University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Stefan Steyn, who will be attending Purdue University, where he hopes to pursue continued education in the field of mechanical engineering and math.
Annie Sullivan, who will be attending Smith College in the hopes of furthering education in the areas of English, art and history.
John Taylor, who will be attending Northeastern University with the hope of continuing his studies in the field of chemical engineering.
Jess Zenack, who will be attending Wesleyan University concentrating in political science and theater.