Graduates follow siblings to college

Haddonfield Memorial High School graduated its senior class of 2013 on Thursday, June 20.

Brooke Harrer, Stephen Noll, John Canuso, Rachel Cipolla, Fritz and Abby Finkenauer, Justin Kamerling, Nathan McMullen, Adam Augugliaro, Emily Carson, Kate Gallo, Sylvia Strauss, Samantha Verzella and Eric Galvin are among those graduates. This group of 14 seniors will follow in the footsteps of older siblings, becoming graduates of HMHS and attending the same college.

Strauss, who is following her sister Ella, said she might have attended Davidson College even if her sister did not attend.

“I always thought the school was a better fit for me. Having an older sister there didn’t deter me from going there,” Strauss said, adding her sister has one more year until she graduates.

Strauss, similar to many prospective college students, applied to more than four schools and waited for the acceptance letters before making a final decision. Galvin, who is attending the same school as his sister Adrienne, said he applied to nine schools, but Villanova was the school for him.

“She constantly talked it up,” Galvin said. “She made Villanova sound like the perfect place for me to be.” Similar to Galvin’s outlook on attending the same school as his sibling, twins Fritz and Abby Finkenauer are going to be with their sister Anna. They fell in love with the atmosphere in Vermont.

Abby and Fritz go to Vermont once or twice a year for skiing trips. When their sister started attending the university, the school immediately popped up on their radar.

“I really love the state. When my sister started going to college up there, all of the stories she told me were exactly what I wanted out of the college experience,” Abby said. “I first visited the campus when my sister went on tour a few years ago, and I fell in love with the school,” Fritz said. Although the twins hadn’t heard of the university before, Fritz wanted to stay in the New England area while Abby was looking for a similar college atmosphere.

“I don’t think I would have looked into that school if she didn’t go there,” Abby said, adding she applied to 11 schools, toured five and loved the University of Colorado Boulder.

But the school’s location would have made it difficult to travel back home.

“When I saw Vermont it was a mini version of Boulder. It was so much more convenient,” she said.

Attending Gettysburg College was in Gallo’s sites before her sister, Sarah, decided to attend the college.

“Having my sister there was a concern at first, but after

taking the entire month of April to decide between Gettysburg

and Richmond, I knew that I needed to take my sister out of

the deciding equation. I chose

this school for me, not because of her,” she said, adding her sister has another three years left in school.

Verzella did not expect to attend the same college as her sister, Katie. “I never thought I would end up at Clemson. I visited a lot because we went to a lot of football games. And then it kind of clicked. It wasn’t ‘Oh, I wanted to go to the same school as my sister.’ It was more like ‘This is where I belong,’” Verzella said.

Verzella, Strauss, Galvin, Fritz and Abby and Gallo said HMHS sent them off well prepared and ready to take on a world outside of high school.

“I am so pumped to get out of here and see what the world has to offer,” Abby said.

The following students are attending the same college as his or her sibling.

Brooke Harrer is going to St. Joseph’s University with her brother, Mike; Stephen Noll is attending Villanova University with his sister, Taylor; John Canuso is attending Villanova University with his sister, Isabella; Rachel Cipolla is attending The College of New Jersey with her sister Kali; Fritz and Abby Finkenauer are attending the University of Vermont with their sister, Anna; Justin Kamerling is attending the University of Pennsylvania with his sister, Dana; Nathan McMullen is attending Wake Forest University with his brother, Tyler; Adam Augugliaro is attending Clemson University with his brother, Andrew; Emily Carson is attending the University of Notre Dame with her sister, Elizabeth; Kate Gallo is attending Gettysburg College with her sister, Sarah; Sylvia Strauss is attending Davidson College with her sister Ella, Samantha Verzella is attending Clemson with her sister Katie and Eric Galvin is attending Villanova with his sister Adrienne.