Cumberland graduate’s interests range from court room to science lab


By Paul McMullen
pmcmullen@CatholicReview.org
CUMBERLAND – John Rossi is heading off to Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., a short drive from the best ski slopes in New England.
“I plan on picking it up,” said Rossi, when asked if he were a skier. “I kept telling myself I was going to Wisp, but never got around it.”
Given his commitment to Bishop Walsh School, it’s no surprise he never got to the Deep Creek Lake resort.
He ranked No. 1 in the class of 2016, lifted by six AP courses that ranged from chemistry to calculus to U.S. history.
Rossi ran cross country and played soccer in the fall, and bass in a garage band that performed during Catholic Schools Week. He was a member of mock trial, one of Bishop Walsh’s most competitive extracurricular activities.
“John is bright, curious and insightful,” said Tony Orndoff, the coach. “He led, not because of what he said, but because of how he acted.”
That trait was honed in May 2014, when Rossi attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, and as a peer tutor through his membership in the National Honor Society.
His own schooling included the preparation to become an extraordinary minister of holy Communion on campus. Rossi’s faith is literally visible, as he has a tan line on his left wrist from the “Pray Strong” rubber bracelet Bishop Walsh distributed during 2015 Catholic Schools Week.
“I wear it every day,” he said.
His faith formation began at the former parish school at St. Michael in Frostburg, where he was an altar server and remains a volunteer.
Rossi followed siblings to Bishop Walsh. Cecilia, from the class of 2014, is a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Adam (’11) is a graduate student at West Virginia University, where their parents met. Armond Rossi is an economics professor at Frostburg State University. His wife, Jane, is a physical therapist.
With a seemingly perfect life and the Ivy League on his horizon, what exactly does Rossi pray for?
“For strength, and perseverance,” he said. “There are friends and family members who need our prayers.”

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