Life after EHHS: Catching up with our alumni

For many students after they graduate, they seem to leave the EHHS community and radar. However, students continue to do great things while still representing the EHHS values they have learned long after they leave the building. Keep reading to catch up with a few of our alumni as they grow outside of the EHHS community to get a glimpse of what life may be like for you beyond the walls of EHHS, and how your time spent here will impact you in the future.

Lexie DeMarco is a member of the 2018 graduating class. She currently attends Southern Connecticut State University (Southern) while majoring in physics with a concentration in engineering. She selected Southern because it was the cheapest option, especially since she commutes. She likes it, but plans to transfer somewhere else after her sophomore year. Lexie enjoys college, but admits it can be challenging at times: “The only thing that I have found to vary dramatically from high school during my first semester is what kind of work we do. In high school, the assignments are all recalling content and writing what others have concluded to be true. In college, we take all this content and come to an answer on our own; we ask more questions to come to our own answer.” In addition to advanced critical thinking, Lexie also says there is an increase in responsibilities and a decrease in leniency with deadlines and attendance. However, Lexie was well prepared since she took several AP classes at EHHS that mimic the pace and rigor of college courses. After college, Lexie plans to pursue a career as a medical physicist.

Photo Credit: Amber Ciscone

Jessica Reid is also a member of the 2018 graduating class. She attends Albertus Magnus College and is between both Healthcare Management and Accounting as majors. Jessica chose Albertus because it offered her many opportunities: “I felt it was the right fit for me academically and socially. I was accepted into their Honors Program, which gives me access to early class registration, honors level classes with more rigor, and many different cultural opportunities.” She continues, “Additionally, I chose Albertus because of the major I am pursuing and the ability to have personal connections with the professors.” Not only does she love the opportunity presented by Albertus, but she loves the “small-campus atmosphere” and her “like-minded” peers. On campus, Jessica is involved with the Honors Club, a volunteer group, a work-study position, and intramural kickball. Next semester, she plans on joining the Student Alumni Association and becoming an Admissions Ambassador. While she loves Albertus, she misses the EHHS school spirit and close friends she made, along with teachers Mr. Tolla, Mr. and Mrs. Gardner, and Mrs. Tracey. Jessica plans to become either a health lawyer or some other specialty lawyer.

Photo Credit: Maryann Reid

Rosselle Iriarte is a member of the 2017 graduating class. She currently attends Southern Connecticut State University (Southern) as a nursing major. She went to Central Connecticut State University (Central) for her freshman year, but she did not like the atmosphere so she transferred to Southern. “The teachers and classes fit better with me,” Rosselle says when referring to Southern. While she enjoys the change of scenery and the “fresh start,” Rosselle lost credits as a consequence of her transfer. She commutes to campus to save money and to be able to work. Rosselle says the classes she took at EHHS helped immensely to prepare her for the workload in college. Taking challenging courses at EHHS gave her a leg up in her equally challenging college courses. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric nursing.

Photo Credit: David Hernandez

Alyxea Ocasio is a member of the 2017 graduating class as well. Alyxea does not currently attend school. If she were to attend school, she would consider studying criminal justice at Gateway or Southern to become a police officer. However, she is still deciding what she wants to do in life. She keeps busy by working full time at P&M Fine Foods in Branford, and she does photography on the side. “For me after high school, it’s all been sleep, wake up, go to work, repeat!” she said. Alyxea misses her former EHHS teachers Mrs. Florio, Mrs. Pompano, Chef T, Ms. Caturano, Ms. Bogart, and Mr. Tolla. She says, “I honestly enjoyed the classes all these teachers had to offer, their personalities, [and] the way they interacted with their students. I was always attracted to them, I guess, and they're the names that still stick with me even after high school because of the memories and how they all pushed me and had a part in shaping me to be who I am today.” Alyxea enjoys the freedom that comes with not being in high school and is adjusting to life as an adult.

Photo Credit: Alyxea Ocasio

Mr. Lou Rivellini, commonly referred to as Rev, is a member of the 2003 graduating class. He earned an undergraduate degree at Albertus Magnus College (Albertus), and a masters degree at the University of New Haven (UNH). After graduating college, he taught at St. Bernadette’s School and then returned to EHHS because he had connections from his internship he completed here as a UNH student. He enjoyed the community and atmosphere. In his fifth year here at EHHS, Rev teaches Algebra I, Advanced Algebra, and Personal Finance. “My favorite class to teach is probably Personal Finance because I try to talk about a lot of things that are relevant like planning for college and trying to avoid big mistakes that young people make in the beginning of their adulthood,” said Rev. Outside of teaching, Rev coaches the EHHS wrestling team, Powderpuff, and he plays hockey. He continues to stay involved in the EHHS community because, “I like all the kids, a lot of them remind me of

me when I was that age. I’m in my thirties now but I think I’ll always be a kid at heart.” In his time here at EHHS, the most impactful thing he learned is that relationships matter. Rev said, “Life is all about building relationships and meeting people. I had a lot of great teachers in high school and more than just the subjects that I learned, the thing that stuck with me most is that they showed me how to interact with people, be friendly, and be there to support me, and it’s the same thing that I try to do now.”

Photo Credit: Cameron Cordaway

Leaving the EHHS community does not mean leaving behind the lessons that were taught here. Many of our alumni have obviously taken the skills and knowledge they learned to heart.