CICERO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — NewsChannel 9 is shining a spotlight on high school students who have worked their way to the top of their graduating class. Thursday’s ‘Standout Student’ is Jacob Garofalo, a senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

You might consider him a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the arts, but being able to wear those different hats didn’t happen overnight for Garofalo. Instead, it took hard work and determination to get Garofalo where he is today and where he plans on going.

Some might say Garofalo is wise beyond his years. He has a drive like no other, landing him a spot at the top of his senior class.

“If I had to guess, it has to do with both my balance of academics — in which I have been very rigorous in my studies for many years now — as well as extracurricular and personal life that I consider well rounded,” says Garofalo.

A star in the classroom and on stage!

Starting in 7th grade at just 12-years-old, Garofalo started taking a French class, a requirement in the C-NS district.

“Once I started learning French in school, on my own, and I have an aunt who studied it in her college years, I started adoring the language,” says Garofalo.

So much so, that Garofalo just couldn’t get enough of the French language.

“After reading a few books on my own in French I found that I really loved the way those authors are able to use such a beautiful tongue to express really complex emotions,” says Garofalo.

Those emotions would quickly help Garofalo decide on his future plans. After visiting McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 8th grade, Garofalo knew that was where he wanted to spend his college years, studying French Literature. Garofalo says after he graduates from college, he would like to pursue a career in education, with hopes of becoming a college professor, teaching others the language he adores so much.

Garofalo has some advice for underclassman, and that’s to make sure you put the work in and make your high school years something that are going to help you in the future, but also have fun!

From all of us here at NewsChannel 9, Congratulations Jacob Garofalo!