Valley Central School District

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June 1, 2016 - Valley Central's top 10 seniors

They've worked hard and have learned much over these past four years and they've earned a place in Valley Central's "top ten". Learn more about these remarkable young men and women (in no particular order) below. Watch a video of these seniors sharing pieces of wisdom that they've learned throughout the years here
 
Joanne Lin
Plans after graduation: I plan to attend college at University of California, Los Angeles. 

Joanne Lin

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: drawing, watching movies and reading.

Advice for classmates: Good luck on your future endeavors!

Favorite memory of high school: My friend, Gabby and I went on the National Art Honor Society trip to the Met in 10th grade. We had a lot of fun looking through various galleries of paintings, pottery, etc.

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: My eighth-grade social studies teacher, Mrs. Martin, inspired me to become motivated and work seriously towards my studies.

Future career plan: I plan to be a doctor. 

 
Chuka Anyene

Plans after graduation: I plan to attend Cornell University and major in biology.Chuka Anyene

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I play basketball for the school, spend time with my friends, listen to music and occasionally like to write music.

Advice for classmates: The more you doubt your abilities, the more your window closes.

Favorite memory of high school: Coaching a powder puff team during my junior year was definitely the most fun I had in high school.

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Certainly my friends, Savion Boissard, Chris Spell, the “Cabinet” and my family who have helped me over the years. Additionally, my coach Mr. Rechtorovic has been an inspiration to me.

Future career plan: I hope to become a sports medicine doctor for an athletic team or in the hospital.

Anything else about you that is important to know: I cherish spending time with my two siblings at home and love to go on hikes. Also, being grad president was one of the biggest honors of my life. 

 
Gabrielle Kolinsky

Plans after graduation: After graduation, I will be attending Swarthmore College and plan to major in either computer science or engineering – maybe both. I plan to later attend graduate school to earn either a masters or a doctorate.

Gabrielle Kolinsky

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: Reading, drawing, crocheting, photography, Volunteer Club, For the Animals.

Advice for classmates: Always try your hardest but also remember that your GPA doesn’t define you. And, don’t be afraid to let go of anyone in your life who is draining you.

Favorite memory of high school: At the beginning of my senior year, Gradus Honoris went on a trip to a wilderness retreat. My group met with all of the others after a night hike to have a bonfire. As we were all gathered around the bonfire talking and telling stories, it felt like we were all getting closer as friends, and I didn’t want the night to end.  

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mrs. Q is the best teacher you could ever ask for. She cares so much about her students’ success and is always willing to help and it shows in the success of her students. She inspires me as a teacher, and an amazing person.

Future career plan: Wherever my degree takes me, possibly as a computer programmer, but definitely working with computers. Eventually, I plan to become a CEO.

 
Tamantha Pizarro 

Plans after graduation: Go to college and get a degree in math and possibly chemistry. Tamantha Pizarro

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: Track and field, cross country, basketball.

Advice for classmates: Take advantage of every opportunity in high school and live it to the fullest.

Favorite memory of high school: Taking a day trip with teammates from track to Penn Relays.   

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Zarah Harris, Jordyn Jamal, Tory McMillah, Jalissa Thomas.

Future career plan: Something related to applied mathematics (I’m unsure of what exactly).

Anything else about you that is important to know: I grew up as the only girl with three brothers. 

 
Jalissa Thomas

Plans after graduation: Attending college at SUNY Albany for a masters degree in chemistry, with an emphasis on forensic chemistry.Jalissa Thomas

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: Math team, youth in government, photo club, lacrosse.

Advice for classmates: “Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be” – a quote to live by.  

Favorite memory of high school: I’d have to say my favorite memory was being a leader at freshman orientation in my junior year. It was interesting to see all these kids all excited about high school, and to think that I was in the same position only two years ago.    

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mrs. Basher, my junior year chemistry teacher. Her love of, and enthusiasm toward chemistry really influenced my own passion for it.  

Future career plan: After college, I plan on working in the city police departments. After gaining sufficient experience, I hope to be able to work with the FBI or in state forensics labs.

Anything else about you that is important to know: This isn’t anything about me, but something I really want to say: take notice of how many of the top ten in this school are minorities – our valedictorian is Dominican! I want that to be inspirational motivation for those who think they can’t succeed in school. Because you can and you will! 

 
Katherine Oakes  

Plans after graduation: Attend North Carolina State University and major in animal science. Katherine Oakes

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: Reading, writing and watching TV. I’m a part of various honor societies. I am president of Alpha Pi Math Honor Society and also secretary of the senior class council.

Advice for classmates: Ask for help if you need it. Teachers and peers are more than willing to assist you at any time and believe it or not, they serve as great support, academically or otherwise.   

Favorite memory of high school: The senior trip to Disney and Universal – I have never laughed as hard, or smiled as much as I did on that trip.     

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mr. Sexton, Ms. McKenney, Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Taylor.  

Future career plan: Attend vet school and eventually own a private practice as a working veterinarian.  

Anything else about you that is important to know:  :)

 
Louis Romero
Plans after graduation: After graduation, I will be attending SUNY New Paltz and I plan on majoring in Physics/Astronomy. 

Louis Romero

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I am a member of a number of honor societies: math, science, Spanish, English and the National Honor Society (Gradus Honoris).  

Advice for classmates: It’s important to put your education first, but it’s also important to go out and meet new people and make new memories.    

Favorite memory of high school: My favorite memory from high school has to be my AP chemistry class after taking the AP exam. Our class would bring in food and either watch TV shows or movies, do a fun lab or go outside for the period.

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mrs. Campbell – she taught AP chemistry my junior year, helped me with my college searches as well as exploring my interest in science. Mrs. Quiton – she taught me for two years including AP calculus and she always expected me to do my best.  

Future career plan: I hope to have a career working with either NASA or another organization such as SpaceX.   

 
Jasmine Pimentel (valedictorian)

Plans after graduation: I’m attending Columbia University’s Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. I plan to major in environmental engineering and hopefully obtain a master’s degree before joining the workforce.  Jasmine Pimentel

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I work at a local restaurant on weekends as a hostess. I am on Senior Council and am President of the Social Studies Honor Society. I am a member of math team, science olympiad and youth in government.   

Advice for classmates: Don’t underestimate yourselves. You are capable of more than you think so never sell yourself short.

Favorite memory of high school: Definitely senior game night. It was fun to see the whole class come together through pizza and games of dodgeball.  

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mrs. Reilly and Mrs. Oakes.

Future career plan: During college, I want to join the Engineers Without Borders program and build important infrastructures in different countries. Once I join the workforce, I hope to have a positive impact on the world and still be able to fully support myself.

Anything else about you that is important to know:  I love to read and watch movies, especially foreign films. My favorite movie right now is “Palm Trees in the Snow.” 

 
Emilia Friedman
Plans after graduation: After graduation, I will be working as a camp counselor at a local camp. In August, I will begin attending SUNY Binghamton to study biomedical engineering.   

Emilia Friedman

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: Since seventh grade, I have been on the varsity swim team. I am also a member of various honor societies, president of the “for the animals” club and a dean for the National Honor Society.    

Advice for classmates: Hard work truly pays off.

Favorite memory of high school: My favorite memory of high school has been senior year in its entirety. All of the events for seniors throughout this year have truly brought the class closer together.   

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Melynda Kane, guidance counselor and Gail Quitoni, college algebra and trig; and AP calculus teacher.  

Future career plan: I plan to become a biomedical engineer from SUNY Binghamton and then pursue a career in law.  

Anything else about you that is important to know:  I have a loving family and two dogs that I will miss dearly come fall. 

 
Olivia Martinez (salutatorian)  

Plans after graduation: After graduation, I plan on spending as much time with my family and friends as possible before I attend Fordham University to study chemistry this fall. Olivia Martinez

Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I have been dancing since I was three years old and perform in an annual recital. In school, I’ve been an officer on class council all four years of high school. I’m also a member of various honor societies including the National Honor Society.     

Advice for classmates: Never underestimate your own abilities.  

Favorite memory of high school: My favorite memory of high school is from the senior class trip to Disney. We were in Magic Kingdom watching the light parade and the fireworks over the castle, and I have never felt happier.

Someone from the Valley Central School District who inspires you, or who has helped you throughout the years: Mrs. Antoinette Oakes, English teacher and advisor; Dr. Paul Fritz, science research and physics teacher; Mrs. Purcell, guidance counselor.

Future career plan: I hope to enter the pharmaceutical field after graduation to create new medication to improve the quality of life.   

Anything else about you that is important to know:  I love my cats and watching Mad Men. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 



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