After various honors and Advanced Placement classes which earned him college credits, Fiannaca, the Spanish Springs 2008 valedictorian, is graduating with a 4.95 GPA. And the 18-year-old senior said he loved the challenge of it.
"If there was an honors class, I would take it," Fiannaca said. "When I'm inactive or I'm working really slow, it drives me nuts."
Fiannaca, who plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno this fall isn't all about academics either. An avid swimmer for his high school team as well as swim coach for a local youth team, the Sparks Pirahanas, Fiannaca said he loves the team mentality.
He also was a section leader for the school band, playing most brass instruments.
And while Fiannaca seems to have his hands full, he said he prefers it that way, recalling his junior year when he signed up for a regular English class instead of an honors English class.
"I hate English," Fiannaca said with a laugh. "But when I was in the regular English class, I didn't feel like I was learning enough. I switched to a summer AP (English) session."
Such drive is clear in Fiannaca's future plans in college. Fiannaca said he will study biochemistry and molecular biology to someday work on clinical research. This freedom to choose his area of study he said is what he is looking forward to most after high school.
"I want to be able to choose what I do," Fiannaca said. "In college I can take the classes I want to take and learn what I want to learn."
Fiannaca's father, Mike Fiannaca, owner of Sparks Florist, is a significant influence in his son's life, making a big difference in his work ethic.
"My dad works really hard," Fiannaca said. "If I had to choose a role model, it would be him."
And as is tradition, Fiannaca will be speaking tonight at the Spanish Springs graduation ceremony, having prepared a speech similar to the Declaration of Independence.
"I want to tell my classmates what they need to expect in the real world," Fiannaca said. "If they want to see something done, no one else is going to do it for them."
And although Fiannaca said he will miss the science department at Spanish Springs, he also said he is looking forward to what is ahead of him.
"I want to do something important or discover something important," Fiannaca said. "I don't care if my name is known, I want to know that I made a difference."
Fiannaca, along with the rest of the 2008 graduating class from Spanish Springs will celebrate their graduation tonight at 8 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center.