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Dong and Singh recognized as Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Scholarly+students--+Principal+Bill+Silva+%28center%29+congratulates+Valedictorian+Julie+Dong+%28left%29+and+Salutatorian+Navreeta+Singh+%28right%29+on+their+academic+success+as+they+have+been+named+class+Valedictorian+and+Salutatorian%2C+respectively.+Both+Dong+and+Singh+will+be+speaking+at+graduation%2C+which+is+scheduled+for+June+15+on+the+turf+field.
Scholarly students-- Principal Bill Silva (center) congratulates Valedictorian Julie Dong (left) and Salutatorian Navreeta Singh (right) on their academic success as they have been named class Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively. Both Dong and Singh will be speaking at graduation, which is scheduled for June 15 on the turf field.

Scholarly students-- Principal Bill Silva (center) congratulates Valedictorian Julie Dong (left) and Salutatorian Navreeta Singh (right) on their academic success as they have been named class Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively. Both Dong and Singh will be speaking at graduation, which is scheduled for June 15 on the turf field.

Bella Podgorski

Bella Podgorski

Scholarly students-- Principal Bill Silva (center) congratulates Valedictorian Julie Dong (left) and Salutatorian Navreeta Singh (right) on their academic success as they have been named class Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively. Both Dong and Singh will be speaking at graduation, which is scheduled for June 15 on the turf field.

Bella Podgorski, Editor-In-Chief

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As the end of the school year approaches, Principal Bill Silva awarded senior Julie Dong with the title of Valedictorian and senior Navreeta Singh with the title of Salutatorian as a result of maintaining the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) for the Class of 2018 over the past four years.

Both Dong and Singh were informed that they were being awarded Valedictorian and Salutatorian on February 22. Despite the many pressures Dong has faced over the past four years, she is gracious in accepting this title as a reflection of her continu-
ous effort.

“I was really surprised. To be the Valedictorian in a class of so many qualified people is just such an honor. I’ve always been a hardworking student, and I am very grateful to be awarded this title after maintaining a strong work ethic throughout high
school,” Dong said.

Upon being announced that the two were the students with the highest GPAs, classmates reflected on the academic integrity and character of both Dong and Singh.

“Julie and Navreeta are two of the most thoughtful, hard-working, genuine people I know. They are fun during leisure time but know how to get their work done well. I’m so happy I knew them before going to college because they taught me so much. I know they will excel at everything they attempt the next four years, and I wish them luck,” senior Isabel Wagner said.

Dong has maintained a high academic standard while participating in a variety of clubs and activities throughout her four years, such as volleyball, Interact and Unicef Club, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and Tri-M. Outside of school, Dong focuses her attention on music and playing the piano as well as her church’s youth group.

“I would say that as high schoolers, it is important to be purposeful with what you choose to spend your time doing, whether that is participating in extracurricular activities that are meaningful to you or taking initiative in your own learning and education,”
Dong said.

School counselor Jeffrey Bonneau can attest to Dong’s work ethic that has helped her have academic success.

“Julie’s greatest strengths are her ability to multi-task, her enthusiasm for learning, and her ability to be calm, cool, collected, and considerate of others under pressure,” Bonneau said.

Singh has also immersed herself within the school community while maintaining a high GPA. In addition to being greatly involved in the science and engineering courses, Singh is the concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra and also performs in the
Connecticut Youth Symphony and the quartet program at the Hartt School. Violin takes up most of Singh’s time both in and out of school. She has been able to balance her musical talent with her grades.

“I would say that even though I got this title because of them, grades really aren’t the most important thing in the world. Kids feel a lot of pressure to maintain a high GPA and boost their resumes, and it can become so stressful that they forget to take time
to enjoy their high school experience,” Singh said.

According to seniors Jasmine Kabira and Wagner, some of Singh’s closest friends, she is both innovative and energetic. They believe that she is able to maintain a positive attitude while showcasing hard work.

“Navreeta is a perfect dichotomy. She is one of the most hard working and dedicated people I know, but at the same time never fails to make me smile with goofy and sometimes questionable actions,” Wagner said

Her attitude is embraced in all of her classes including those with her teacher math teacher Jeff Dauphinais. In terms of the next few years for Singh, Dauphinais advises her to continue displaying a positive attitude and to continue to try new things.

“I would describe Navreeta as a very diligent, hard-working student. She always shows up to class in a good mood and that rubs off on those around her. Her positivity is one of her biggest strengths,” Dauphinais said.

The work ethic of both Dong and Singh were acknowledged by their classmates alongside their teachers.

“Throughout the years, I’ve known Navreeta she’s always had a wonderful work ethic and attitude through her education and all aspects of her life. I’m sure she will do great in the next chapter of her life,” senior Esther Ye said.

Looking into the future, Dong will be attending the University of Connecticut Honors program and is considering attending medical school after completing her undergraduate degree at their business school. Singh will be attending Princeton University and is leaning towards majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering. However, she would like to get the full liberal arts experience and explore lots of different fields in the humanities and sciences before narrowing her focus.

Both Dong and Singh will be speaking at graduation, which is scheduled for June 15 on the turf field.

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Dong and Singh recognized as Valedictorian, Salutatorian