Schools

Valedictorians and salutatorians look toward bright futures

 

smrodriguez@MiamiHerald.com

Certain high school students go way beyond the average student’s workload, taking a slew of Advanced Placement, honors and International Baccalaureate courses.

Some take on the challenge to impress colleges, others do it to learn and challenge themselves.

Not only do they take their schools’ most demanding courses, but they excel in them.

They are the valedictorians and salutatorians of the Class of 2013.

In Miami-Dade, public schools eliminated the rankings due to excessive competition in 2008, but private schools still continue the tradition.

“I always have just gone about school normally,” said Stephen Cutie, valedictorian of Christopher Columbus High School, who earned a 5.465 grade point average and will attend the University of Miami this fall. “Being named valedictorian was just a culmination of all the work I had done for myself over the years.”

Aside from keeping up their grade point averages, many of these students spent countless hours devoted to extracurricular activities. Between sports, clubs, honor societies and community service, these students would stay in school much later than the dismissal bell.

Stephen was a part of the National Honor Society and Math Honors Society and founded the Justice League — a comic book club at the school.

“I’ve always been a huge science fiction fan,” said Stephen, who hopes to work in genetic engineering and test the boundaries between science and science fiction. “So for me, it was important to find ways to incorporate my passion into what I have studied and plan to study.”

For Sarah Perez, valedictorian of Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, extracurricular activities took place in the form of her very own Becca’s Closet chapter. Sarah founded the chapter at Palmer, collecting prom dresses for local girls who cannot afford them.

And she still found time to tutor students each week at her school’s center for writing.

“Even though I didn’t expect it, being named valedictorian was exciting,” Sarah said. “You work so hard to get to that point and it’s great to see it pay off.”

ALLISON ACADEMY

Valedictorian: Darius Villa

GPA: N/A

College: Florida International University

Co-Salutatorian: Justin Milner

GPA: N/A

College: Florida Atlantic University

Co-Salutatorian: Alex Valeyev

GPA: N/A

College: George Mason University

ARCHBISHOP CURLEY NOTRE DAME

Valedictorian: Khalil Saieh

GPA: 5.03

College: Florida International University

Salutatorian: Celestyn Angot

GPA: 5.00

College: University of Florida

BELEN JESUIT

Valedictorian: Ricardo Javier Martinez-Cid

GPA: 5.473

College: Duke University

Salutatorian: Jake Patrick Larson

GPA: 5.429

College: California Institute of Technology

BETH JACOB OF GREATER MIAMI

Valedictorian: Tziporah Schmelczer

GPA: 4.13

College: Beth Jacob Jerusalem

Co-Salutatorian: Odeya Burns

GPA: 4.11

College: MeOhr Beth Jacob

Co-Salutatorian: Shani Levi

GPA: 4.11

College: Machon Raaya in Jerusalem, Israel

BRITO MIAMI

Valedictorian: Keith Anton

GPA: 5.1

College: Florida International University

Salutatorian: Adriana Jimenez

GPA: 4.5

College: Florida International University

CALUSA PREPARATORY

Valedictorian: Ashleigh Ramdorsingh

GPA: 4.2

College: Florida State University

Salutatorian: Katelyn Lucas

GPA: 4.1

College: Southeastern University

CARROLLTON SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART

Valedictorian: Mary Grace Darmody

GPA: N/A

College: Harvard University

Salutatorian: Maria Laura Balcazar

GPA: N/A

College: Columbia University

CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC

Valedictorian: Ariel Solano

GPA: 4.3

College: Miami Dade College

Salutatorian: Christian Sanchez

GPA: 4.0

College: Ave Maria University

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

Valedictorian: Stephen Cutie

GPA: 5.465

College: University of Miami

Salutatorian: Thomas J. Cook

GPA: 5.434

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FLORIDA CHRISTIAN

Valedictorian: Natali Clark

GPA: 4.71

College: University of Florida

Co-Salutatorian: Isis Cendan

GPA: 4.67

College: University of Pennsylvania

Co-Salutatorian: William Nealey III

GPA: 4.67

College: University of Florida

GULLIVER PREPARATORY

Valedictorian: Matthew Elgart

GPA: 5.72

College: Duke University

Salutatorian: Stephanie Rubin

GPA: 5.69

College: Duke University

HEBREW ACADEMY (RASG)

Valedictorian: Bari Gordon

GPA: N/A

College: University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering

Co-Salutatorian: Yael Jaffe

GPA: N/A

College: Brandeis University

Co-Salutatorian: Eric Moyal

GPA: N/A

College: Brandeis University

IMMACULATA LA SALLE

Valedictorian: Delfina Martinez-Pandiani

GPA: 5.46

College: Harvard University

Salutatorian: Katherine Hurley

GPA: 5.20

College: University of Miami

MIAMI COUNTRY DAY

Valedictorian: Isabel Docal

GPA: 4.76

College: Harvard University

Salutatorian: Aaron Jones

GPA: 4.63

College: Stanford University

MONSIGNOR EDWARD PACE

Summa Cum Laude*: Edmuradam Sayedul Huq

GPA: 5.58

College: University of Florida

Summa Cum Laude*: Arturo Bory

GPA: 5.34

College: Brown University

*Valedictorian and salutatorian are not awarded.

OUR LADY OF LOURDES

Valedictorian: Caitlin Opperman

GPA: 5.07

College: Georgetown University

Salutatorian: Sophia Gonzalez

GPA: 4.98

College: Florida International University

PALMER TRINITY

Valedictorian: Sarah Perez

GPA: 3.97

College: Dartmouth College

Salutatorian: Lindsey North

GPA: 3.95

College: University of Florida

RANSOM EVERGLADES

Valedictorian: Matthew Mistele

GPA: 11.71/ 12.0

College: Stanford University

Salutatorian: Emily Keyes

GPA: 11.38/ 12.0

College: University of Pennsylvania

SCHECK HILLEL COMMUNITY

Valedictorian: Ari Gontovnik

GPA: 5.15

College: University of Pennsylvania

Salutatorian: Alice Serfati

GPA: 5.09

College: University of Pennsylvania

ST. BRENDAN

Valedictorian: Victoria Valledor

GPA: 5.32

College: University of Miami

Salutatorian: Roberto J. Gonzalez

GPA: 5.30

College: Brown University

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN

Valedictorian: Collin Lee

GPA: 5.05 GPA

College: University of Miami

Salutatorian: Eric Riehl

GPA: 5.00 GPA

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

WESTWOOD CHRISTIAN

Valedictorian: Corinne Caro

GPA : 4.167

College: University of Miami

Salutatorian: Mauricio Chiriboga

GPA: 4.160

College: Florida International University

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