Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover Announces 2016 Top Seniors

Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover is pleased to announce the names of the Class of 2016 seniors whose consistent hard work and focus on excellence helped them achieve high or highest honors throughout their high school career.

PCA top seniors Josh Rocconi photo_sqweb

Joshua Rocconi, Valedictorian, is the son of Dan and Kathy Rocconi of Brentwood.  Josh will be attending Baylor University in the fall and will pursue a business degree with the goal of eventually becoming a bi-vocational pastor. Josh was also accepted to the University of Alabama.

Josh has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Josh served as Class President during his junior and senior years and was also a small group leader for the school during that time.

Josh attended Exeter High School for his freshman year, where he also achieved high honors.

Josh has received the Gordon Leadership Scholarship, as well as a full-tuition scholarship from Alabama University and the President’s Gold Scholarship from Baylor. He was also invited to Baylor’s Invitation to Excellence, providing him with an additional scholarship to the school.

Josh attends Next Level Church, where he serves in the children’s ministry. He plays centerfield and is a captain of PCA’s varsity baseball team, which won the state championship in 2015. Josh also coached youth football for Exeter and worked as a referee for youth basketball in Exeter.

PCA top seniors Jessica Mayes photo_sqweb

Jessica Mayes, Salutatorian, is the daughter of David and Jennifer Mayes of Hampton Falls, NH. Jessica will be attending American University in the fall and will pursue a degree in International Studies with a concentration in Latin American studies. Jessica was also accepted to George Mason University, Loyola University Maryland, College of Charleston, and Emmanuel College.

Jessica has maintained high or highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Jessica was the president of the sophomore class and has held other student government positions through the years.

Jessica has served as stage manager for six PCA theater productions. Jessica was stage manager for PCA’s one-act play ”Amelia, Once More” which advanced to a state-level theater competition this past spring.

Jessica was co-president of PCA’s Missions Club during senior year. She served with the club all four years and volunteered on two missions trips to New York City and one to Guatemala. Jessica was also the co-founder and co-president of the Social Justice club and was a small group leader for three years.

Jessica was awarded the Presidential Scholarship from American University. She received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. During her junior year, Jessica won first place in the Science Fair. She also attended the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Jessica has volunteered at a writing camp at her local middle school for five years. The summer before her sophomore year she spent two weeks volunteering in Uganda with her mother and sister.

PCA top seniors Emma Foley photo_sqweb

Emma Foley is the daughter of Stephen and Paula Foley of Salem, New Hampshire. Emma’s brother, Colin Foley, is a freshman at Portsmouth Christian Academy. Emma will be attending Fitchburg State University to pursue a degree in Special Education. Emma was also accepted to the University of New Hampshire, Westfield State University, Rhode Island College, Anderson University in South Carolina, and Columbia International University.

Emma has maintained high honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. She received the Teacher’s Choice Award in French I, II, and III and in Early US History, and received the Highest GPA award in Honors Old Testament.

While at PCA, Emma was a member of the varsity cross country team for 8th grade, freshman, junior and senior year, and was co-captain her junior and senior year. She also participated in student government as freshman class representative and led a small group during her junior and senior year. Emma also works at Market Basket in Salem, New Hampshire.

PCA top seniors Rebecca Heidt Photo_sqweb

Rebecca Heidt is the daughter of Rich and Kate Heidt of Newmarket. Becky will be attending University of Maine – Orono in the fall and will pursue a degree in Marine Biology. Becky was also accepted to the University of New Hampshire, University of New England, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and Roger Williams University.

Becky has maintained high honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Becky has been a member of Student Council for all four years at the Academy and was a small group leader in her senior year. Becky was a captain and setter on the JV volleyball team freshman year. She played setter for the varsity volleyball team in her sophomore, junior, and senior years and served as varsity captain junior and senior year. Becky has also played on the varsity softball team all four years of high school. This spring, Becky received the NHIAA Scholar Athlete Award for maintaining high honors and playing two sports all four years of high school.

Becky has volunteered at the SPCA summer camp every summer since middle school. She is a member of the Newmarket Community Church. Becky is a PADI-certified scuba diver and hopes to pursue underwater photography or marine animal research as a career.


Grace MacLeod is the daughter of John and Sarah MacLeod of Dover. Grace will be attending Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida this coming fall, where she will pursue a degree in Elementary Education. Grace has received a Merit Scholarship from Rollins in addition to a Legacy Scholarship. Grace was also accepted to the University of New Hampshire, Lesley University, the University of Tampa, and Eckerd College.

Grace has maintained high honors throughout her high school career at Portsmouth Christian Academy. She has participated as a small group leader this year at school. She was co-captain of the varsity volleyball team for two years. Grace has also been a lead actress in numerous Portsmouth Christian Academy’s musical productions.

In addition to school activities, Grace has enjoyed performing in theater productions at local theaters. Grace has also really enjoyed her after-school babysitting job this year which she sees as preparation for becoming a teacher.

PCA top seniors Judith Notaro photo_sqweb

Judith Notaro is the daughter of Gregory and Deborah Notaro of Berwick, ME. She plans to attend Eastern University in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing and was also accepted to Morning Star University and to the nursing program at the University of Maine.

Judith has maintained high honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She is very active in the student body and has served as a member of Student Council and the S.A.L.T. (Serving And Loving Together), Books and Brownies, Writing, and Missions clubs. Judith was also a member of a missions team that recently traveled to Guatemala to work with AMG (Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel) to minister in the local community and school.

Judith also played on PCA’s JV volleyball and softball teams, was a member of the backstage crew for Harvey, and is a student at Mr. B’s Taekwondo.

Judith has received the Trustee Scholarship from Eastern University and the Maine Matters Award from the University of Maine.

Judith is an active member at Christian Life Church, where she participates in the youth group and teaches Kids’ Church once a month. She was a leader on the youth band’s worship team and provided childcare two nights a week during church groups. During the summer of her freshman and sophomore year, she travelled with other youth group members to work with Street Life Ministries in New York City. She also served on the grounds crew at Soulfest during the summer of her sophomore and junior year and plans to do the same this summer.

PCA top seniors Runkun Cara Song2_sqweb

Runkun (Cara) Song is the daughter of Jiandong Song and Cuiping Jin, Zhengzhou, China. While attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover, Cara lived with Sid and Deborah Harden of Newmarket.

Cara will either be entering the International Studies program at  the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris, France (ranked #4 worldwide in 2016 by QS World University Rankings  for Politics and International Studies), or will spend a year further developing her non-profit organization, New New Star, which she founded and serves as CEO.  After teaching in a rural area of China, Cara founded New New Star to buy school supplies, attract teachers and volunteers, and assist Southeast Asian children living in poverty.

Cara was accepted to several universities around the world, including Case Western Reserve University and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Cara has maintained high and highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. While at PCA, Cara founded the Chinese Club, played junior varsity softball and served on student government.

She attended Henan Experimental High School for her freshman year, where she studied Japanese and served as vice-president of student government.

Cara is also the author of a Chinese book, Eating Inertia. She is a Top 10 contestant in the 2015 “Miss Asia” Pageant, U.S. East Coast. Cara is an internationally-certified senior level Chinese language teacher and a gifted calligrapher who exhibits her art in venues around the world.  She has continued to study Japanese and served as Japanese translator at the 2016 Lillehammer, Norway Youth Olympic Games.

PCA top seniors Lauren Taylor Hi Res photo_sqweb

Lauren Taylor is the daughter of Steven and Sandy Taylor of Stratham. Lauren will be attending Campbell University in the fall and will pursue a degree in business administration with a minor in biology. She was also accepted to Geneva College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Wingate University. Lauren received the Scott-Ellis scholarship, awarded to her by Campbell University.

Lauren has maintained high honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Lauren was a small group leader for two years, and the spiritual leader of the Missions Club. She was a participant in four missions trips to New York City and Guatemala, working in soup kitchens and serving the children of Guatemala. She plans to continue her missions work during her college career.

Lauren played defensive specialist and right side hitter during her varsity volleyball career. She was also a member of the varsity winter and spring track teams, serving as team captain for two years.

PCA top seniors Nick Wakeman photosqweb

Nick Wakeman is the son of Kenneth and Patricia Wakeman, Barrington. He will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall where he will pursue a degree in biochemistry.

Nick has received high honors throughout high school. He has also received highest GPA and Teacher’s Choice awards in many classes, including the Teacher’s Choice award in AP Chemistry. In addition, Nick received the grand prize at Portsmouth Christian Academy’s 2016 science fair for a project that focused on environmental chemistry.

Nick has studied piano since he was in fourth grade. As a singer and pianist, he helps lead worship at his church as well as at PCA, where he served as leader of the school’s chapel worship team in his senior year. He has also been a part of PCA’s choir, Voices, for four years. Nick has also performed in productions at a number of theater companies as well as at Portsmouth Christian Academy, where he has performed in six musicals and one drama production.

Nick has participated in cross country and winter track every year in high school. During his senior year, he served a captain of the varsity cross country team.

PCA top seniors Emma Wisniewski photo_sqweb

Emma Wisniewski is the daughter of Irina Andreasen, Laconia, and Jim Wisniewski, Virginia. Emma will be attending the University of Rochester in the fall, pursuing a degree in neuroscience with the intention of attending medical school. She was also accepted to Boston University, Allegheny College, Clarkson University, and Gordon College.

Emma has maintained highest honors while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. She is a founder and leader of the school’s Debate Club, and has also participated in Missions Club and Social Justice Club.

Emma also attended Laconia Christian Academy, where she achieved highest honors for both her freshman and sophomore years.

Emma participated in the National Youth Leadership Conference on Medicine, to which she was granted a scholarship.

Emma has served as a youth group leader for the past four years at Grace Capital Church. She has also volunteered at her local hospital.