Glastonbury seniors Joseph Accurso and Sara Rigatti were named the GHS scholar athletes for the 2021-2022 school year.
Glastonbury High School seniors Joseph Accurso and Sara Rigatti were named as the GHS scholar-athletes for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Scholar-Athlete Program annually recognizes two high school seniors from each high school, whose academic and athletic careers have been exemplary, whose personal standards and achievements are a model to others, and who possess high levels of integrity, self-discipline and courage.
Accurso is a three-season running, competing on cross country trails in the fall and the track during the indoor and outdoor seasons, making all-conference and all-state during his time at GHS.
His accolades extended to well beyond running, as he was equally impressive in the classroom and in the community.
“Honestly I was so surprised because this school is very well known for its academic scholars and athletes. So just being even recognized as a candidate for it was an incredible achievement,” Accurso said of the recognition. “It was a great moment for me because I realized that all the work that I put in in the classroom and the field was all worth it.”
Accurso, who will study electrical engineering while running cross country and track at Benedictine College, was a member of National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, World Language National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta Math National Honor Society.
He also participated in the CT Eastern Regional Music Festival Chorus.
Mark Alexander, who coached Accurso in both cross country and track at GHS, called him a “true team player.”
“As a team captain, Joseph is ideal. He works hard and he’s concerned about how hard the team is working,” added Alexander. “He was able to juggle his work ethic for track and his school work ethic. It’s one thing to be a great athlete, but to be a great student and an athlete is a rare thing.”
Part of the process in selecting a scholar-athlete is how they are viewed by teachers, coaches, and other personnel at the School and Accurso was touched by how his mentors viewed him.
“I was very honored that the faculty would speak so highly of me,” stated Accurso. “I’ve always loved developing those relationships with the teachers.”
Rigatti was a star libero and a team captain for the Guardians’ volleyball team in the fall and was a team manager for the undefeated boys’ volleyball team this spring.
“[Sara] takes pride in all the things that she is involved in. She stepped up no matter what we asked of her. She always wanted to improve and get better,” said GHS volleyball coach Tony Sanith, who added that Rigatti was instrumental in supporting and mentoring the younger girls.
Rigatti too was busy outside athletics, taking part in Advisory, Big Siblings Club, and Foreign Language Peer Tutoring.
“I was really surprised at first because honestly I didn’t even know there was this honor that you could get and I was even more shocked that it was me that got it,” Rigatti said of her reaction when GHS athletic director Trish Witkin informed her. “I still can’t believe out of all the other people who play sports here that I got this award. I didn’t really think of myself as a scholar-athlete, but it made me think more of what I’ve accomplished as a student and as an athlete.”
Rigatti, who will major in environmental studies at Boston College, was also a member of National Honor Society, World Language National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta Math National Society.
She was also the recipient of the St. Anselm Book Award and participated in the CT Eastern Regional Music Festival choir.
Rigatti added that this school year has been enjoyable on many levels, particularly after what happened over the last two years in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying, “It was really nice to be able to get back to a normal year. We were all more excited to be here and had more of an appreciation.”
“I’ve really become part of the community in the four year and I am really going to miss it,” added Rigatti. “It was nice to be recognized for the work that I put into the academics and the team. It was a good way to end the year.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin