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Francesca Verducci
Hanover Park High School
Character Counts
for Marking Period 1

By Lauren Fazzio

Francesca Verducci - HP Character Counts Student

“I like when people say ‘hi’ in the hallway,” said Hanover Park High School senior Francesca Verducci.  To Verducci, this is a sign of strong character, “just being there for anyone in the school who needs you.”  For her spirit of togetherness and friendly smile, Hanover Park has named Verducci the Character Counts Student of Marking Period 1.

The daughter of Frank and Michele Verducci of East Hanover, Francesca Verducci is a student who is universally liked and respected for the way she treats others.  Spanish teacher Meggaly Portillo calls Verducci one of the “kindest students” she has ever had.  “Her warm and constantly happy nature makes her an absolute pleasure to be around,” Portillo said.

Throughout her time at Hanover Park, Verducci has participated in the snack shack, Key Club, cheerleading, Home Economics Club, Future Educators Club, and this year she is a statistician for boys’ varsity basketball. 

Outside of school, Verducci works two or three times a week at East Hanover Child Care Center. “I don’t look at it as a job because I like it so much,” she explained.  “I look forward to going.  The kids get so excited now that they’re familiarized with me.”  The children, who are anywhere from six weeks to five years old, participate in story time, circle time, and outdoor activities.   

In all of these venues, it is Verducci’s helpful nature that sets her apart from others.  “One facet of Francesca’s personality that shines the most is her willingness to help others,” said guidance counselor Brian Propfe.  “She is friendly, kind and has an uncanny knack of building rapport with people.”

This rapport most likely stems from the way Verducci has chosen to interact with her peers, as she believes in “not keeping your kindness to your immediate friend group but extending it to others, because we’re one school.”

Portillo has noticed Verducci spreading kindness; she even “brings in cupcakes to school to celebrate achievements and birthdays of her friends and teachers.”  “Francesca always makes sure to show genuine care for others, even if she’s simply telling someone to have a nice day,” Portillo said.

Verducci calls Portillo and Propfe two of her most positive influences here at Hanover Park.  “Mr. Propfe has always been there for me, especially now with colleges,” she said.  “He’s helped me a lot and has given me really good advice.”  And Portillo, according to Verducci, “saw [her] grow over the years.” 

At home, Verducci is fortunate to have a supportive family who motivates her.  She thanks her parents because “they always teach [her] to try [her] best,” and her brother, HP sophomore Vinnie Verducci, who is “always there to lighten the mood.”

Verducci described a positive experience at Hanover Park, where she enjoyed the chance to walk outside on her way to class.  Still, she is eager to get to college, for the opportunity to “meet new people” and “take actual education classes.”

These education classes will start Verducci on the journey to becoming a high school special education teacher for mathematics.  “The feeling that you get when you’re helping someone is just indescribable,” she said.  “It’s cool to see how much relief and excitement students have when they understand something.”

The Hanover Park teachers lucky enough to have taught Verducci know that her future students will benefit from these same qualities that have made her this marking period’s Character Counts Student: her kind smile, her “willingness to help,” and her “knack” for bringing a school together.

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