Category Archives: Vals and Sals

Twin sister, brother become valedictorian and salutatorian at Worthing HS

Although Worthing High School salutatorian Kerdy Jn Baptiste is three minutes older than his twin, in the end it was his sister, Kerdian Mia Jn Baptiste, who earned the title of valedictorian. But there is nothing but love and appreciation for each other’s accomplishments.

According to Worthing High School Principal Khalilah Campbell, the Baptiste twins were in a tight race for valedictorian.

“I thought he was going to catch her,” Campbell said, “but in the end, Kerdian won, (and) her twin brother, Kerdy, is our salutatorian.” 

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Heights HS valedictorian accepted to 10 top universities

The list of prestigious universities that want to enroll Heights High School valedictorian Emily Ramirez is impressive—Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Duke, Stanford, Wellesley, Pomona, and Rice.

Emily has decided on Harvard, however, partly because her sister is finishing her sophomore year there now. Since attending Harvard Elementary School, it has been a dream of hers to attend Harvard University.

The numerous acceptances have taken the sting out of her disappointment regarding an abbreviated senior year and graduation ceremony that is up in the air.

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Scarborough valedictorian looking forward to in-person classes at Notre Dame

Benjamin Brown has adjusted to his new online classroom routine but says he would prefer to go back to in-person classes to utilize his “full potential.”

Benjamin wakes up 30 minutes prior to his first virtual class, has breakfast, and logs into the portal where the class will take place. Afterward, he immediately gets started on the work for his dual credit and high school classes.

“One of the two of the main challenges I am experiencing with virtual schooling is waking up on time,” he said. “The second is definitely an increase in the amount of work from my dual credit classes.”

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Westbury valedictorian grateful for friends, family, teachers’ help

Maria Rosas Rosas always looks on the bright side. Despite her disappointment at not seeing her friends and family at graduation, she is feeling proud.

“Being a virtual valedictorian doesn’t feel that different from being a valedictorian walking the halls at Westbury,” Maria said. “Apart from the uncertainty surrounding graduation, I am proud of myself and my accomplishments. I know my friends, teachers, and family are also proud of me. That is all I really need.

“Like everyone else, I can’t help but feel disappointed by the way the school year is ending. We have been working so hard the past four years and expected to see ourselves walking across the stage, receiving our diplomas, and sharing some tears. Now that is gone. Although it’s depressing, I believe it will make our next meeting more memorable..”

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Waltrip HS valedictorian ready for future in finance

For Yash Shahi, being Waltrip High School’s Class of 2020 virtual valedictorian feels just as good as if school were in session.  

“Nothing has changed – it still feels great,” he said. “I am so happy that I was announced valedictorian before school closed.” 

Despite the physical distance, Yash has found innovative ways to help his fellow students with the transition to virtual learning.

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Milby HS valedictorian looks forward to next chapter

Mariela Banda was looking forward to celebrating the end of her high school years in person with her classmates at Milby High School.

“Being a virtual valedictorian is unfortunate since we will not be able to fully close this chapter of our lives before we continue with the next one,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking not to be able to share the joy of graduation with my class. Instead, we have to worry about the future. Being a virtual valedictorian is both challenging and stressful, but I feel certain my class will continue to move forward.”

Mariela is still reaching out to motivate members of her senior class.

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Despite missing classmates, Energized for STEM Academy valedictorian embraces innovation

Although he is more of a “face-to-face person,” Energized for STEM Academy valedictorian Michael Duru is excited to be at the top of his class during this time of virtual learning.

Michael Duru

“The circumstances under which this is happening aren’t great, but I feel somewhat special to be part of something that has never happened before.” Duru said.

A natural leader, Michael encourages his fellow students to participate in the online school environment by joining in virtual class discussions.

“I’ve been able to help lead my class by reaching out to other students via text and being as active as possible in class group chats,” he said. “I welcome this change as a way to stay connected with my peers and encourage them to finish the year strong.”

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