STA Announces its Top 11 Saints!


St. Thomas Aquinas High School's Top 11 Students

Class of 2022


With tremendous Saints Pride, we announce our Top 11 students for the Class of 2022! Their aptitude, dedication, and drive are exemplary. Most especially, they are wonderful young adults whose character and commitment to service inspire us all. 


Emma Lane, Valedictorian

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Emma is the daughter of Anne and Mark Lane of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. She is also the younger sister of Abby Smith and Eric Lane. The Lane Family are parishioners of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Hampton. Emma attended middle school at Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls.

Emma is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

She is also the recipient of the Notre Dame Book Award, the Statistic Department Award, Physics Department Award, and the Social Studies Department Award.

For all four years, Emma has participated in soccer and tennis. Also as a freshman, Emma traveled to Iceland for an exploration trip with a group from St. Thomas Aquinas.

Outside of school, Emma has spent many hours volunteering. She has served with Dover’s “Run for God” program (2019), St. Ann’s Visitation Program (2019), the Prescott Park Arts Festival (2021) and participated in the STA Winterterm mission trip to Peru in 2020.

Emma also works during the summers at Wentworth by the Sea, Hotel & Spa.

Emma was accepted to Loyola University Chicago (Merit Scholarship), Clemson University (Merit Scholarship), and Villanova University. She will attend Villanova University in the fall and intends to major in Statistics and minor in Global Health & Latin American Studies.

While in college, Emma hopes to study abroad and hopes also to use her statistics degree to help improve the healthcare system.


Jack Lacouture, Salutatorian

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Jack is the son of Scott and Margaret Lacouture of Dover, New Hampshire. He is also brother to Rose and Cecilia Lacouture. Jack attended middle school at York Middle School in York, Maine and their family are parishioners of St. Mary’s Church in Rollinsford, NH.

Jack is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

He is the recipient of the Yale Book Award, the English Department Award (2020), the Algebra II Department Award (2021) and the JV Soccer Coaches Award (2020).

Jack made his mark in three different sports at St. Thomas Aquinas. He played soccer (sophomore, junior, and senior years), basketball (sophomore and senior years), and baseball (junior and senior years).

In addition to athletics, Jack also participated on STA’s Student Advisory Board and served as Secretary his senior year. He is a member of the Campus Ministry Club and the Frassati Crew and is a frequent lector at school masses.

Jack is well-rounded and has many interests, including playing club baseball with the “Hurricanes” and “The Show” every summer during high school. He frequently plays Wiffle ball, collects baseball cards, and plays pond hockey during the winters at Mackey Park in York, Maine.

Service is important to Jack. He participated in STA’s Community Service Winterterm and with the C3 Community Clean-Up initiative. He also participated in Movember with his club baseball team, an initiative to raise funds to help find a cure for prostate cancer and assist mental health efforts. In the spring of 2022, Jack also volunteered as a coach with 603 EVO, a baseball and weight training program in Exeter, NH.

Jack works part-time in the summer at Foster’s Clambakes & Catering in York.

He was accepted to Auburn University, University of Central Florida, Chapman University, Eckerd College, Elon University, Florida Southern College, Florida State University, High Point University, Merrimack College, University of New Hampshire, Quinnipiac University, Rollins College, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Saint Leo University, St. Thomas University, Stetson University, and University of South Florida.

Jack will attend Rollins College in the fall and plans on pursuing the 3/2 Accelerated Management Program in Business - Social Entrepreneurship.

His future plans also include the hope of “volunteering in other countries and continuing to play baseball”.


In Alphabetical Order

Xavier Allen

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Thomas Xavier Allen is the son of Thomas and Margaret Allen of York, Maine. He is also the younger brother of Grace Allen (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Class of 2018). The Allen Family are parishioners of Corpus Christi Parish in Portsmouth, NH. Xavier attended middle school at Saint Mary Academy in Dover.

Xavier is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

He earned the Spanish Department Award his sophomore and junior year. Xavier is also an AP Scholar, earned the Suffolk University Book Award, and was a Junior Speech Top 10 Finalist.

An active athlete, Xavier participated on the STA Golf Team for all four years and was captain his senior year. He also played baseball (three years), basketball (two years), tennis (one year), and indoor track (one year).

Volunteering is important to Xavier. Throughout his high school career, he has served at Footprints Food Pantry in Kittery, Maine as well as at Immaculate Conception Church as an altar server and Master of Ceremonies. Xavier also served as a group leader in Dover’s “Run for God'' program and helped his fellow students as a peer tutor in precalculus and calculus.

For over four years, Xavier has worked at Market Basket as an assistant front end manager in Portsmouth.

Xavier was accepted to University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Case Western Reserve University (University Scholarship), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loyola Marymount University (President’s Scholarship, Loyola Marymount Honors Program), Santa Clara University (Santa Clara University Scholarship), and Marquette University (Père Marquette Scholarship).

He has chosen to attend the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and intends to major in Biochemistry.

In his final reflections, Xavier states, “I hope to attend medical school with a focus on emergency medicine so that I can fulfill my dream of working in an inner city hospital.”


Thomas DePalo

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Thomas is the son of Timothy and Tran DePalo of Dover, New Hampshire. He is the half-brother of Shannon DePalo. The DePalos are parishioners of Parish of the Assumption in Dover.  Thomas attended Dover Middle School for junior high.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

Thomas has received many academic awards over the course of his time at St. Thomas Aquinas.  In his, freshman and sophomore years he earned the Science Award. As a sophomore he was also recognized with the Band Award.  As a junior, he earned the Math Award as well as being presented the Premier Medal Award from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for being an outstanding Math and Science student.

A strong swimmer, Thomas contributed greatly to St Thomas Aquinas swim team’s success. He won 1st place in the Medley Relay his sophomore year and won 1st place in both the 100 meter Butterfly and Medley Relay his senior year. He earned the Seacoast Media Nomination for Swim Athlete in 2022. Along with High School swim, Thomas is a senior swimmer for the Seacoast Swim Association and has been a member of New England Swim for the last seven years.

In addition to his academic and swimming successes, Thomas has also been an active member of the STA band playing three instruments: piano, clarinet, and tenor saxophone. He participated in band for all four years, including Jazz Band for three years. This year, he served as Senior Band President. Thomas has accomplished Level 5 from the Royal Conservatory of Music for his achievement in piano.

As a sophomore, Thomas earned the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program: Eagle Scout. As part of his scouting service, he has volunteered in many capacities, including selling Christmas trees with the Dover Knights of Columbus, participating in area food drives and Dover’s “Run for God” program, and served as a Scout program leader in the National Youth Leadership Training program (NYLT).

This past year, Thomas was recognized by WMUR as a “Hometown Hero”, for exceptional academics and athletics.

When not present in one of his many activities, Thomas can be found working as a lifeguard at both the Jenny Thompson and Dover Indoor Pools.

Thomas will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he was awarded the Premier Medal in recognition of his outstanding academic achievement. He will be pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Business Analytics along with an intent to with the RPI swim team.

After college, Thomas plans “to take some time to work in the Department of Defense until I can gain some field knowledge that I can apply to a career in my intended field of study. After this, I plan on working in my various interests and finding ways to enjoy life while working full-time. I also plan to continue swimming and hope to make it to a national level competition.”


Simran Dillip

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Simran is the daughter of Priya Behera and Dillip Behera of Newmarket, New Hampshire. She is also the older sister of Soumyan Dillip. Simran attended middle school at Newmarket Jr./Sr. High School.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.

Simran is the recipient of the Brown Book Award, the Chad Young Scholarship (2021), the Chemistry Department Award (2021), the Math Department Award (2019), the Band Award (2020), and earned Honors Distinction in French Grand Concours Award (all four years). She is also the recipient of the Cross Culture Scholarship from Turbocam International.

Simran’s extracurricular interests are many and varied. She has been a member of the STA Math Team (freshman and sophomore years), the Ghana Club where she taught Ghanaian children math and science (freshman and sophomore years), the Creative Writing Club (senior year) and the American Sign Language Club (senior year).

Her rich Indian heritage is a beautiful component of Simran’s life. In 2019, she graduated in Indian Classical Dance by performing the Odissi Manch Prabesh from Noopur Dance Academy. She earned the Lokvani Rising Star Award in 2019 and won 3rd place in the Soor Mandir International Indian Classical Dance Competition in 2021.

In her spare time, she serves as a Teacher’s Assistant at the Newmarket Recreation Center for Ballet and Tap Dance. She also volunteers in the Newmarket Public Library and tutors her peers in STA’s Center for Academic Achievement.

Simran works part-time as an Aftercare Teacher for the PreKindergarten and Kindergarten children at Saint Mary Academy in Dover.

Simran was accepted to Brandeis University (Justice Brandeis Scholarship), Purdue University, University of Central Florida, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Women’s Leadership Scholarship, Rensselaer Leadership Scholarship), University of Vermont (Presidential Scholarship), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Presidential Scholarship), and University of New Hampshire (Millyard Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship).

Simran will attend the University of Central Florida as a member of the Burnett Honors Program and the recipient of the Knights Achievement Scholarship. She intends to major in Biotechnology and Computer Science.

“I hope to focus on genetic engineering and find ways to cure diseases.”


Olivia Duprat

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Olivia is the daughter of Jennifer and Scott Duprat of Milton, New Hampshire. She is also the older sister of Emily and Allison Duprat. Before attending St. Thomas Aquinas, Olivia attended Saint Mary Academy in Dover.

Olivia is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. She was the recipient of the Spanish Award as a freshman and the Villanova Book Award as a junior.

For all four years, Olivia has been a member of the STA volleyball team. She played as a freshman, sophomore, and junior and served as the team manager her senior year. Olivia also played basketball during her freshman year.

A dedicated member of STA’s Academic WorldQuest team, Olivia participated all four years. She also was a member of the Environmental Club her junior and senior year.

Volunteering is important to Olivia. She has dedicated her time and service to the “Kids’ Night Out” and “Trunk or Treat” events in Milton as well as Dover’s “Run for God” program.

She works part-time at Aroma Joe’s and holds a summer job as the gatekeeper at Milton Town Beach.

Olivia was accepted to Fairfield University (Bellarmine Scholarship), Quinnipiac University (Trustee Award), Sacred Heart University (President’s Excellence Award, Thomas More Honors Program), Salve Regina University (McAuley Scholarship), Simmons University (Trustee Scholarship), and University of New Hampshire (Honors Program).

Olivia will be attending Fairfield University next fall and intends to major in nursing and minor in psychology.


Sophia Gross

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Sophia is the daughter of Nancy and Erik Gross of Deerfield, New Hampshire. She is also the sister of Chloe ’20 and Tim ‘24. She attended the Deerfield Community School prior to STA. The Gross Family are parishioners of Parish of the Assumption in Dover.

Sophia is a member of the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.

She is the recipient of the French Department Award (2020) and the University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology. She also earned the Le Grande Concours National French Contest Certificat d’Honneur (2019-2021).

Sophia is an accomplished runner and competed at the varsity level with the STA cross-country team and both the indoor and outdoor track teams. She earned the Character Award in cross-country (2021) and served as senior co-captain.

In addition to running, Sophia has participated in many extracurricular activities while at STA. She has been a member of the Jazz Choir, Jazz Band, Spring Musicals, FIRST Robotics Team, Music Ministry, and the Envirothon Team.

Sophia is an active member of Troop 22367 of the Girls Scouts of the Green & White Mountains. She has participated for 13 years (since Kindergarten), has earned her Bronze and Silver Award, and is currently working on her Gold Award.  She has also participated with the Coastal Rompers, a GSGWM troop focused on shoreline study and conservation.

Service is a large part of Sophia’s life. She has served as a Ballot Clerk at Deerfield Town Elections for three years. She has also volunteered with UNH Trash2Treasure, Dover’s “Run for God” program, and the STA Annual Food Drive. Through her participation with the Girl Scouts, Sophia has selflessly given thousands of hours in various service efforts, including baking for Cross Roads House, collecting food with the “Scouting for Food” program, leading the Girl Scouts’ “Discovery Weekend”, educating younger Scouts about coastal ecology, wildlife, and coastal cultural history, participating with NH Coastal Cleanup in Rye, and leading tidal pooling for younger Girl Scouts in the summer.

Sophia works for Deerfield Family Dentistry in the summers and also worked full-time for UNH InterOperability Laboratory as a paid intern in the summer of 2021, one of just 12 students from around the country selected for the program. She hopes to work at New Hampshire Climbing & Fitness in Concord, NH this coming summer.

Sophia was accepted to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI Presidential Scholarship, Lesley Small Scholarship, WPI Scholarship), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Early Application Scholarship, Women’s Leadership Scholarship, Rensselaer Leadership Award, Rensselaer Laptop Scholarship), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT Grant, RIT Presidential Scholar), Clarkson University (CU Engineering Scholarship, Clarkson Scholarship), and the University of New Hampshire (Trustee’s Scholarship, Honors Program).

Sophia will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute and intends to major in mechanical or electrical engineering.

After college, she hopes to work with renewable energy technologies.


Enya Kaonga

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Enya is the daughter of Llolsten Kaonga of Newmarket, New Hampshire. She is also the younger sister of Nadi Kaonga. Enya attended middle school at Saint Mary Academy in Dover.

Enya is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. She earned the STEM Department Award (freshman year), the Biology Department Award (sophomore year) and is also the recipient of the Trinity Club of Hartford Book Award.

Enya has played volleyball for eight years and, while at St. Thomas Aquinas, was Senior Captain and made the DII All-State First Team. She played Club Volleyball with NH Seacoast Juniors (2017-18) and with Great Bay Volleyball Club (2019).

Enya has demonstrated her leadership skills in a variety of ways. She co-founded and led STA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Club. She tended the St. Thomas Aquinas Garden for three years, serving as its co-leader and steward her senior year. She was a Student Ambassador for the Lux in Tenebris Society and served as an assistant coach to the Reserve Volleyball team her senior year. She was a Top 10 finalist in the school’s Junior Speech competition. Enya also earned Honorable Mention on the National Spanish Exam her freshman year.

Service is important to Enya. She has volunteered in the St. Ann’s Visitation Program (2019), the St. Charles 5K (2019), the Seacoast Cancer Center 5K (2019, 2021), Dover’s “Run for God” program (2019), the Empty Bowls Fundraiser (2019), and the American Chestnut Foundation/SELTS Tree Planting (Spring, 2021).

In addition to all her extracurricular and service activities, Enya also works part-time at Whole Foods Market.

Enya was accepted to Temple University, Drexel University, and Columbia University. She will attend Columbia University next fall and major in Biochemistry.

“I plan to further pursue synthetic/molecular biology with a focus on cancer cell research. I hope to one day pursue cancer cell research while incorporating business and management by hopefully owning and operating my own company.”


Megan Reich

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Megan is the daughter of Peter and Wendy Reich of North Hampton, New Hampshire. She is also the younger sister of Maxwell Reich. Megan attended middle school at North Hampton School.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

Megan is the recipient of the Smith Book Award (in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, leadership qualities, and concern for others), the Theology Department Award (freshman year), the History Department Award (sophomore year), the Environmental Science Award (junior year) and was a Top 10 Finalist in the Junior Speech Competition.

Megan is a highly accomplished swimmer. She is a Four-Time Scholastic All-American Athlete. She is an undefeated Six-Time State Champion and holds the current NH State records in the 200 and 500 Freestyle. She was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” her freshman year and “Most Valuable Player” her sophomore and senior years. She was also appointed Captain of the STA Swim team those years as well. As a sophomore, Megan was awarded the Seacoast Female “Swimmer of the Year” presented by Michael Phelps and the Seacoast Media Group. She has also been nominated for this year’s “Swimmer of the Year” Award, which will be awarded in June.

Outside of St. Thomas Aquinas, Megan has been a 9-year member of Phoenix Swimming, her club team in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She is a nationally ranked Middle Distance freestyler and- as a result of being in the country’s Top 3 in the Women’s 500 Freestyle- she was selected to participate in the United States National Select Camp. She also competed in the Open Water National Championships and received the Phoenix Club’s prestigious “Coaches Award” for Leadership and Sportsmanship.

Megan has been a Student Ambassador for STA all four years.

Community service is important to her and she has knitted scarves for Special Olympic athletes, volunteered with local swim teams, and provided meals to a local homeless shelter.

After being recruited by Princeton University, Harvard University, Duke University, University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Megan has decided to attend Princeton University in the fall.

“One of the many reasons I chose Princeton is for their academic excellence and my future goals in the field of environmental and biological sciences.”

Megan will major in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology and will swim for the Princeton Women’s Swim & Dive Team.


Ashleyrose Saffie

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Ashleyrose is the daughter of Tomoko and Jeffrey Saffie of Rochester. She is also the older sister of Asia ‘24. Ashleyrose attended Saint Mary Academy for middle school.

She is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. Math is Ashleyrose’s favorite subject and she has exceled in her accelerated math classes. Ashleyrose is the recipient of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Book Award and the STEM Leadership Book Award.

Ashleyrose has been an active member of the St. Thomas Aquinas High School community, playing volleyball for three years and participating as a member of our Music Program. She was a member of the STA Chamber Choir her sophomore, junior, and senior years and a member of the Jazz Choir her senior year. She made New Hampshire’s Classical All-State her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She also sang and acted in the school musicals her freshman, sophomore, and senior years.

Sharing her musical gifts is important to Ashleyrose. She sang the National Anthem before basketball games for all four years and led our community in song during school masses. She also performed at the St. Thomas Aquinas Christmas Craft Fair in December of 2021.

In addition to her studies and extracurricular activities, Ashleyrose works part-time at Kohl’s in Newington.

Ashleyrose was accepted to Fordham University, Pennsylvania State University, Stonehill College, and has been placed on the waitlist at Cornell University.

She plans to attend Fordham University and intends to major in Mathematics and minor in Sociology or English.

In the future, Ashleyrose hopes to “work on myself as a person and to keep myself and those around me happy and healthy. I’d love to obtain my master’s degree one day!”


Rebecca Spear

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Rebecca is the daughter of Eric and Jean Spear of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is also the younger sister of Acadia and Colleen. Rebecca attended St. Patrick Academy for 6th and 7th grade and then bypassed 8th grade and entered St. Thomas Aquinas. The Spear Family are parishioners of St. Theresa’s parish in Rye, NH.

Rebecca is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

She is the recipient of several different academic awards and recognitions, including the English Department Award (junior year), the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony from the University of Rochester for a commitment to social justice, the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on every AP test her junior year, and the National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation for an outstanding PSAT score her junior year.

While at STA, Rebecca played basketball for three years (serving as JV captain her sophomore year) and received an award for the NHBCO All-State All Academic Team.

In addition to academics and athletics, Rebecca was an active member of the STA Jazz Choir, Concert Choir, Math Club, “Women in STEM” Club, and the Theater Department where she served as stage manager for both the fall play and spring musical her senior year.

In 2021, Rebecca attended the Advanced Studies Program/New Hampshire Leadership Institute at St. Paul’s School in Concord where she majored in Mass Media.

Service is important to Rebecca and she has volunteered her time in a number of ways. She served as the Assistant Basketball Coach for Portsmouth Recreation Boys 3-4th grade teams for two years and also as an assistant at the Prescott Park Arts Festival Outdoor Movie Nights in the summer of 2020. In 2022, she served as a Teaching Assistant and Rehearsal Assistant at St. Patrick Academy.

In addition to her many activities, Rebecca is also an avid hiker and has completed 12 of New Hampshire’s 48 4000 footers.

Rebecca was accepted to the University of New Hampshire (Honors Program, Trustee’s Scholarship), Brandeis University (Justice Louis D. Brandeis Scholarship), University of Maryland, Baltimore (Honors College, UMBC Merit Scholar, Finalist for Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, UMBC Distinguished Scholarship), University of Maryland, College Park (Scholars Public Leadership Living-Learning Community, President’s Scholarship), and the University of Vermont (Presidential Scholarship).

She will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the Honors Program and studying Sociology and Statistics/Applied Mathematics.

In her final reflections, Rebecca states, “I hope to use what I learn in college to create policy that can improve the livelihoods of others.”