NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Owen McCadden and Ben Farman, Narragansett High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian respectively, are heading off to college in different parts of the country.
But the school’s top two students said they’ll treasure the tight-knit Mariners community they come from.
“I’ll definitely miss the beach. I’ve always lived by the ocean,” McCadden said. A lifelong Narragansett resident, he plans to start at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall.
Farman also has developed ties to Narragansett.
“The community’s really special here. It’s unique in terms of support. Everyone works together and knows each other,” Farman said.
He has a unique perspective on Narragansett, having moved around a lot in his young life.
Born in New York City, he moved to St. Louis for two years, then back to New York for two years, and then to Granger, Indiana for five years before coming to Narragansett in seventh grade.
“Being by the ocean’s obviously nice, but also the community is really nice,” he said. “It’s a lot smaller than the communities I’ve been to. Indiana has a massive high school.”
Farman will be attending the University of Michigan to study engineering.
“I plan on studying aerospace engineering right now, so maybe something with the military or NASA,” as a career, he said.
At Narragansett, Farman was captain of the tennis team in his junior and senior years. The team won its state division title in his sophomore year, he said.
He also was captain of the math team, and a member of envirothon, world languages, the National Honor Society, world cultures club and more.
McCadden, too, was a member of most of the same clubs and teams. He also played soccer all four years, becoming captain in his senior year, and was on the tennis team for three years.
He also competed in the American Legion’s national oratorical competition in Indianapolis after winning the state contest.
Both were part of the Rhode Island Pharmaceutical and Biological Engineering Academy, held last year.
“We had a project and worked with a team to create microparticles that had the potential to cure cancer,” Farman said.
They worked with the University of Rhode Island on the project.
“We went in there to use their labs. They helped us run the experiment and with the final product,” McCadden said.
Farman works for the town’s Parks and Recreation department, and runs the tennis program. He also works at the town beach and helps with various community events.
McCadden has worked at Roch’s market for four years and also interned at the school in the technology department, setting up new computers and repairing hardware.
“This summer I set up the laptops for the incoming freshman class,” he said.
McCadden plans to study computer science.
“I think after college I want to work as a software engineer. I don’t know where yet and what exactly within software, but something to do with that,” he said.
Narragansett High School is special to McCadden for another reason – his mother, Donna, teaches math there. He even was in her class.
“It was interesting. It was cool to see how she is in the classroom versus at home,” he said.