Shenendehowa High School
What’s next: Will be attending Princeton University to study mechanical engineering and physics.
What does being named valedictorian mean to you: It is an honor to be recognized for my efforts throughout high school, and I am pleased to have made so many around me proud. … While the title of valedictorian is given to a single student, these congratulatory words have made me realize that the award celebrates not so much the individual, but rather, in a broader sense, represents the demonstrated potential of the next generation. As such, I am honored to represent the varied accomplishments and capacity for success of the Shenendehowa Class of 2022.
Who/what motivates you: My parents have always encouraged curiosity in both my sister and I, and as I got older, I came to admire the way they had both switched careers. Their willingness to embrace life-long growth is one I hope to emulate in my own life. In many ways, I’ve already taken this attitude with me throughout my years in school, as I am genuinely motivated by a love of learning, and I truly believe that knowledge is power. Indeed, I hope to never stop learning and to appreciate all the opportunities I encounter.
What words of advice can you give to your fellow 2022 classmates: Do not be confined by self-doubt. As a freshman, I was apprehensive to join the robotics team, as I had no experience and felt completely out of my depth. Four years later, I gained the technical skills I once thought were far beyond me and grew into a leader, though I still leaned upon my teammates and mentors.
What was your favorite thing about Shenendehowa: In particular, AP English Language with Ms. Jordan White remains a favorite class of mine, and I attribute much of my growth as a writer to her. In addition, during middle school, Mrs. Katrina Horton helped me to think critically not only about literature, but of our larger world and society as I began to grapple with such issues for the first time. I must also express my appreciation to Ms. Tanya Voss, Mrs. Stacey McDonald, and Mrs. Robin Pelletier, teachers who believed in my potential from a young age.