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Saluting Waltz & Sals of RJN – River Journal Online – News for Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, Ossining, Briarcliff Manor, Croton-on-Hudson, Cortlandt and Peekskill

CROTON-HARMON HIGH SCHOOL

[Ed. Note > River Journal North provided all the schools here with a questionnaire for their Vals and Sals to fill out. This school submitted its own press release, which explains the variation in format from the other schools.]

(from left) Gwen Labbate, Adora Chen, Emma Castro

Emma Castro: Valedictorian

Emma is a representative of the Student Faculty Congress and a member of several clubs, including Student Activism and STAR. She has worked for a US Senate Campaign, Planned Parenthood Voices, and interned at a New York City political consulting firm.

Outside school, she enjoys painting and playing guitar. She plans to major in Psychology and plans to add an additional major.

Emma says that her “small, tight-knit community” has helped her and her fellow students to have a voice on important matters.

“One thing that’s valuable about being in a small school is that the students really have a lot of say in what goes on,” she says. “Throughout my years here, I saw that many students were able to develop ideas and implement changes in our school. The administration was always receptive to our ideas—not only accepting them, but welcoming them. I really felt that there was an emphasis placed on student input.”

Adora Chen: Co-Salutatorian

Adora has many academic interests, and lists her favorite subjects as Environmental Science, Computer Science, English, AP Physics, and Art/Graphic design. She is a member of Interact Club and Debate Club. She is an active volunteer, plays piano, participates in NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association), and enjoys Art, Graphic Design, and Taekwondo.

“My most memorable experience in Croton schools is meeting my current friend group at lunch in middle school,” says Adora. “All my teachers in the district, as well as my friends, have offered great support throughout the years.”

Gwen Labbate: Co-Salutatorian

Gwen appreciates the opportunity she’s had to build relationships with her teachers, who, she says, have been very supportive and encouraging. She enjoys a range of subjects, including AP US History, Spanish, AP Environmental Science, and Earth Science, She belongs to Debate Club and the Literary Magazine. Outside school, she loves volunteering and playing guitar, which she also plays with the school’s Chorus and Select Chorus, in addition to singing.

“I am grateful that the district created a safe space for students to continuously question and learn.” says Gwen. “My teachers are always happy to talk with me about my interest in subjects that go beyond the course curriculum. Sharing school achievements, laughs, and even stress with my friends has always made me feel supported and motivated to persevere through any obstacles I face.”

HENDRICK HUDSON HIGH SCHOOL

nish mistry: Valedictorian

extracurricular
State Parliamentarian for New York State Future Business Leaders of America; Captain of Speech and Debate; Senior Editor of Literary Magazine.

Post Graduation

Majoring in Computer Science and Economics at Northeastern University, and hopes to pursue Software Development.

Exceptional Educators

Someone who teaches and supports students. Mr. Zink is not only an exceptional [History] teacher, but truly cares and connects with students to help them thrive in all facets of their life.

Words of Wisdom

To my fellow graduates… Balance is crucial to success. Work hard and chase your dreams, but make sure to also spend time with your loved ones.

Brooke Kevel: Salutatorian

extracurricular
National Honor Society; discussion team; Future Business Leaders of America; Volunteer with Yonkers Family Services and Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Post Graduation

Pursuing a Ph.D to become a Pediatric Psychologist.

Exceptional Educators

Someone who encourages you to learn in a positive way and gets to know you on a personal level. For that reason, among my favorite teachers are Mr. Zink (History) and Mrs. Gallagher (AP Research/Psychology).

Words of Wisdom

I encourage my fellow classmates and underclassmen to always choose kindness and follow their passions.

PEEKSKILL HIGH SCHOOL

arianna suarez: Valedictorian

extracurricular

Dance Coordinator of Dominican Folklore Group; Secretary of the Dominican Community of the Hudson Valley; President of Francisco Jiménez Chapter of Hispanic Honorary Society; President of Girls Who Code Club; Vice President of Science National Honor Society; Latin Culture Club; Administrative intern in school district.

Post Graduation
Majoring in Education at Barnard College, New York University, or St. John’s University.

Exceptional Educators

They must bring passion for their subject and a love of learning to their classroom. They must be empathetic, supportive and patient, because every student is different. They must understand the needs of their students and be willing to proudly help them when they ask for it.

Words of Wisdom

Don’t discourage yourself because you don’t learn as fast as everyone else, keep your eye on the future, and work hard everyday to achieve your goals.

Jamely Curipoma: Salutatorian

extracurricular

Math, Science, Spanish, English, and Social Studies Honor Societies; Mentors female teens at non-profit New Era Creative Space, encouraging them to become leaders.

Post Graduation

Attending Binghamton University (accepted in Physician Assistant program) to major in Biology, possibly minor in Business.

Exceptional Educators

Ms. Hadi, my science research teacher for three years, has always encouraged me to do my very best. She has not only seen me grow academically but also influenced my personal growth of her by never letting me give up on myself.

Words of Wisdom

Give it all you have and eventually you will not struggle anymore but excel at the challenges you faced, which will only make you stronger as a person. Always believe in yourself and have great confidence, because no one can stop you from achieving your dreams except you.

WALTER PANAS HIGH SCHOOL

sienna bieber: Valedictorian

extracurricular

Co-President of Podemos Unidos Club; Secretary of the National Honor Society; volleyball; Intern at Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy; Volunteer for foster dogs, Midnight Run to NYC, Panas library.

Post Graduation

Attending Ithaca College to major in Clinical Health Studies on accelerated track to obtain Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Exceptional Educators

Someone who is encouraging, understanding, kind, and brings fun into the classroom. Ms. Yamakawa, who teaches Living Environment and Forensics, is a perfect example. Not only does she explain the material thoroughly and is always willing to answer questions, but she also takes the time to get to know her students from her.

Words of Wisdom

To my fellow graduates and underclassmen, I would say that it is important to maintain balance in your life by working hard, but also taking the time to relax and have fun.

Ella Yaeger: Salutatorian

extracurricular

Board of Education representative; Soccer Scholar-Athlete, All-League, All-Section; Volunteer at dentist offices.

Post Graduation

Attending University of Maryland to study Biology.

Exceptional Educators

The perfect example of an exceptional educator is a chemistry teacher Mr. Marash — an individual who can connect to his students while getting the material across in an entertaining way. The best teachers are able to make their students enjoy learning even if they don’t love the subject.

Words of Wisdom

To underclassmen and my fellow graduates, I would stress the importance of time management skills and a strong work ethic.

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