By JOSHUA KUMMINS
Earning a spot in the coveted “Top Ten” list of Malden High School’s Class of 2013 is no small feat, but for senior Vladimir Savlidis, it is all but an individual accomplishment.
“To me, it means excellence,” said Savlidis of the feat. “But [it is] also a reflection of the teachers because [they have] helped me learn and put me in the position [I am] in. Obviously, at the beginning of high school, I was not as knowledgeable in the subjects as I am now, and because of them I was able to succeed.”
When his successful high school career comes to an end on June 9, Savlidis will be attending Boston College - a place he considered very “beautiful” as well as “prestigious” - as a biology major, considering the subject one of his favorites over his four years at MHS.
Although the sciences are some of his favorite interests, he considers Computer Programming teacher Paul Marques, English teacher Pasquale DiBenedetto, and mathematics teacher Brad Gelling as three of the most influential people in helping achieve his final standing in the top ten.
“I really enjoyed [DiBenedetto’s] class because it was very thought-provoking and a very good atmosphere for students to learn,” he said. “[Gelling’s] laid-back attitude made it a lot easier to learn and his stories were just excellent.”
In addition to having DiBenedetto as an English 10 teacher, Savlidis took a school-to-career period with him this year, while he also knew Gelling as the advisor to the MHS Chess Club. According to Savlidis, Chess Club was his most prominent extracurricular activity at during his successful high school career, serving as president since he was a sophomore. Chess has always been one of his favorite games and he still enjoys “introducing the game to new people and changing the way they think about [it].” He was also involved with Marques’ classes for the duration of his four years, attending various field trips and activities relating to those studies.
Savlidis’ schedule has allowed him the opportunity to take dual enrollment classes with Bunker Hill Community College that are offered at MHS, as well as some in the University of Massachusetts system. The “college atmosphere” was something Savlidis felt suited his learning style from the start, so he is excited to attend BC to continue that this coming fall.
Outside of school, he enjoys supporting Boston’s sports teams, especially the New England Patriots and, more recently, he has joined the growing fandom for the Boston Bruins. Since he comes from a family that originated in Greece, he is also a big soccer fan as it has always been in his life and remains a “very personal game.” Athletic activity, along with the stellar academic programs, was a major criteria in his final college verdict; he is already looking forward to experiencing the upcoming football and hockey seasons at BC as both student and spectator.Savlidis has learned to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself - the two major pieces of advice he brings forth to future MHS students.