What does Maya Sangalang, Melissa Poncini and Kaitlyn Rausa have in common?
Once upon a time, they all attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School.
No surprise, they were often top of their class, academically, while grown up.
After eighth-grade promotions – the majority of the class with slightly over a dozen students continued their parochial education at either Central Catholic High in Modesto or St. Mary's High in Stockton – Sangalang, Poncini and Rausa kept it local, attending East Union High, Manteca High and Sierra High, respectively.
“I was this little fish in a big pond,” said Rausa of her early days at Sierra.
She and her former classmates continued to flourish in the classroom. As a result, they ended up at the top of their respective classes.
Maya Sangalang, who is the daughter of Sean and Melissa Sangalang, is the valedictorian at East Union High while Melissa Poncini – he mother, Lynn Poncini, is the first-grade teacher at St. Anthony’s while her father, Luke Poncini, is the Math instructor at Franklin High – is the valedictorian at Manteca High.
Kaitlyn Rausa, who is the daughter of Grace and Larry Rausa, is the salutatorian for the Sierra High Class of 2020.
“They’re our babies,” said Kelly Meyer, who is the Office Administrator at St. Anthony’s. She knew all three girls would succeed in high school and beyond.
“All three are hard workers,” said Meyer, crediting the support group that surrounds each her former students. “They’ve always been very productive and goal oriented.”
Sangalang is going to Delta College to begin her studies in Nursing. Poncini and Rausa will both attend UC Davis, respectively studying Computer Engineering and Molecular Biology.