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WHS announces class of 2024 top ten

WHS announces class of 2024 top ten

GAVIN CHAING

Gavin Chaing is a testament to the resilience and sacrifices of his parents, Eric and Amy Chaing. He takes pride in his heritage as the son of an immigrant mother from Guyana and a refugee father from Cambodia. Gavin recognizes the profound impact of his parents' unwavering dedication to education, which paved the path for his success as a first-generation American. Their sacrifices and endless support have shaped Gavin’s journey, instilling in him a profound sense of appreciation for all those who supported him. 

Gavin's high school journey is characterized by his commitment to academic excellence and community service. He eagerly tackled the most challenging coursework available, earning recognition and membership in prestigious honor societies such as the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Science Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and Math Honor Society. Additionally, Gavin assumed leadership roles including the presidency of the Math Honor Society, board membership of the Blooming Grove Conservation Advisory Commission (BGCAC), and leadership of the Naomi Sewell Richardson Park Project demonstrating his exceptional dedication and leadership skills. 

In recognition of his achievements, Gavin was awarded the Rensselaer Medal, a prestigious 5-year $200,000 merit scholarship awarded to top mathematics and science students. Gavin remained deeply rooted in his commitment to serving his community. As the youngest Member of the Board of the BGCAC, he spearheaded transformative initiatives, such as the initiative to revitalize Naomi Sewell Richardson Park into a flourishing pollinator habitat and community hub. 

Guided by the wisdom of his older sister Amber during times of uncertainty, Gavin’s high school experience was enriched by the mentorship of dedicated teachers who nurtured his love for learning and pushed him to excel. Specifically, he wants to give special thanks to Ms. Frey, Mr. Brown, Mr. Bacher, Mr. Grencer, Mr. Kaman, and Ms. Kaste.  Alongside his academic and community endeavors, Gavin forged meaningful connections with friends who shared his values and enriched his life with laughter and camaraderie.

As Gavin embarks on the next chapter of his journey at Cornell University, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a focus on renewable energy, he carries with him the collective wisdom and support of his family, friends, teachers, and community. He extends his heartfelt gratitude to all who have contributed to his growth and success, and he wishes his fellow graduates of 2024 nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

KIERA CALOVIC


Kiera Calovic is the daughter of Erin and Doriano Calovic and the older sister of Shane Calovic. 

During her time at Washingtonville, Kiera has challenged herself by taking multiple AP and college level courses including AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus AB, Spanish 4, SUPA Forensics and Financial Accounting. She has received Academic Achievement Awards in various Spanish, Math, Science, and English courses, along with the Le Moyne College “In the Heights” Award in her junior year. She has always placed value in hard work in order to achieve all of her academic goals.

A major aspect of Kiera’s high school career has been her involvement in extracurricular activities and community service. She has been an active member in the National Honor Society and the National Art, Science, English, and Math Honor Societies. Kiera is the Treasurer of the National English Honor Society and is the Non-Fiction PenPal Committee Leader of that society. In addition, she has other leadership roles, which include being the President of Student Coalition and Co-Treasurer of the Wizards Against Cancer Club. She has also had the privilege of working with the Aspire students in the Special Olympics and Best Buddies programs within the high school. 

In addition to academics and community service, Kiera has been actively involved in sports like varsity soccer, golf, and flag football. She is grateful for the friendships and skills she has built from each sport, and will always cherish the memories she has made with her teammates and coaches. 

She would like to thank her family for their unwavering love and support throughout her academic career. She wouldn’t have been able to experience the amount of success she has without their constant encouragement. Additionally, Kiera would like to thank her teachers for always challenging her to achieve her academic goals and her friends for their support and all the great memories that they have made together.

Kiera will be attending SUNY Geneseo in the Fall. She will be majoring in accounting with plans of pursuing a career in forensic accounting in the future. She would like to congratulate the Class of 2024 on all of their achievements and can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of her classmates. 

KATHRYN LOWENKRON

Throughout her time at Washingtonville High School, Kathryn Lowenkron has had many opportunities for which she is incredibly grateful. Most importantly, she has made many great friends that she will remember for the rest of her life. Kathryn has been a part of the track and field team for three years, and joined the diving team this past year. She has learned to push herself to try to be the best that she can. Academically, Kathryn has tried to challenge herself with a rigorous course load with classes including AP Environmental Science and AP Calculus AB.

Outside of school, Kathryn have been dancing for 15 years and competing for eight. She has competed in multiple regional competitions, winning a few prestigious awards in both solo and team events, and have even had the honor of competing in international competitions. Since fifth grade, she has volunteered to assist several younger dance classes, and this year she was given the opportunity to teach her own class. Kathryn is thrilled with how this experience has gone and could not be happier with the outcome. Kathryn is also a Girl Scout and received her Silver Award when she was a freshman. 
    
In the fall, Kathryn will be attending Binghamton University to study mechanical engineering.

FALLON MURPHY

 

Fallon Murphy is the daughter of Karen and Tom Murphy, and the twin sister of Kendall Murphy. She is extremely appreciative of her teachers, parents, and friends for helping her along the way in her academic career. When things did not go according to plan or were difficult, they were there for her no matter what. She was inspired to keep working hard and aiming for achievement by their encouragement. 

Academically, Fallon took on challenging coursework throughout her high school career. For freshman and sophomore years, she was in enriched core classes. She took AP courses such as AP United States History and AP Environmental Science and benefited from college courses like UAlbany's Spanish 1, OCCC Intro to Statistics, and OCCC General Biology 1 and 2. Due to her academic success, Fallon participates in organizations such as the National, World Language, Math, and English Honor Societies. 

In addition to the Honor Society’s Fallon is involved in, she is a member of many clubs and organizations. She was the Vice President and is currently the Social Media Manager for the Wizards Against Cancer Club, she is a Safe School Ambassador, and she is a part of the Community Service Club. Fallon is a competitive dancer at NYPAC and has been competing since 4th grade. Fallon owes a lot to dance, as it has taught her many important lessons, and has shaped her into the person she is today. 

Throughout her high school career, Fallon earned various academic awards. She is a recipient of the George Eastman’s Young Leaders Award, Excellence in Food and Nutrition, and Excellence in Enriched Global II. These awards helped Fallon be considered for the Capstone Scholars Program at the University of South Carolina, where Fallon will be attending in the fall. She will be majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Neuroscience, with the current ambitions of becoming a Neuropsychologist. Fallon is extremely excited to be a Gamecock and is excited to take advantage of all of the opportunities that the University of South Carolina has to offer. 

Fallon would love to thank her parents for letting her be herself, and truly being her biggest supporters. They made everything she ever wanted and dreamed of happen, and are her biggest role models. Fallon would like to thank her twin sister for being her best friend. She was there whenever and for whatever reason. Lastly, Fallon would like to thank her teachers ー especially Mr. Williams, Mr. Clough, Mrs. Kaste, Mrs. Connolly, Mrs. Frey, Mrs. Massari, Mr. Wargo, and Mr. Schultz ー for guiding her through the most memorable four years. Lastly, Fallon would like to congratulate her classmates and wish they would accomplish anything they put their minds to.  

KAILANI MARTINEZ

Kailani Martinez is the daughter of Nerva Martinez and sister to Tyler, Kaitlyn, Brandon and Brien Martinez. Throughout her years of high school, she has participated in multiple extracurricular activities including being the President of the Community Service Club, Vice President of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and part of the Events Committee for the National Art Honor Society. She is also involved in Academic WorldQuest, World Language, English, and National Honor Societies. 

Academically Kailani has placed her main focus on education which involved taking AP courses including Biology, United States History, Chemistry, and Calculus AB. She has also taken multiple college courses such as SUPA Public Affairs, English, Writing, Marist Macroeconomics, and Spanish 4 through UAlbany. Kailani has pursued music through the high school's Chamber Choir where she is currently the section leader for the soprano 2 section and has participated in three High School All County Music Festivals, NYSMMA Area All-State Treble, and Mixed Choir during her junior and senior year and Jazz All County during her sophomore year. Outside of school, she has been a volunteer for Garnet Health Medical Center for the past three years where she has pursued her love for neuroscience. This fall Kailani will be attending New York University with a major in Neural Science in hopes of becoming a Neurosurgeon. She is looking forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities that the city has to offer to aid medically underserved areas once she graduates. 

There are many people whom Kailani would like to thank for making her high school experience extremely memorable, specifically Mrs. Frey, Ms. Massari, Ms. Vandervloed, and Ms. Kaste. Each of these wonderful women have not only contributed to Kailani's academic pursuits but have taught her lifelong lessons that she will carry into adulthood. She would also like to acknowledge all of her friends and family who have brought light to her high school experience. Most of all she would like to thank her mother for all her support, encouragement, and love that have made the daunting journey of high school so much more bearable. Without her mother's efforts, many of her accomplishments would not have been possible and for that, she is eternally grateful. 

Kailani wishes the Class of 2024 joy and success in their future endeavors as well as a beautiful and bright future in the world past the walls of Washingtonville High School!

KAITE MCVEY

Katie McVey is the loving daughter of Jeremy and Sue McVey. She has two siblings, Jake and Luke. Katie wants to say how grateful she is for all the support and encouragement her family has given her over these years. She would be asleep on the couch, missing out on life, if it weren’t for all of them. 

Throughout her high school years, Katie has participated in a plethora of clubs and sports. Most notably, she participated in Odyssey of the Mind for eleven years, starting in elementary school. Odyssey has had a huge impact on her life; from making lifelong friends to learning important leadership skills. In addition, Katie has played soccer since 3rd grade. She wants to extend a special thank you to her coaches, Louis and Eduardo, and WSC Lady Lightning. She is so grateful for all they have taught her and she is glad they put up with her shenanigans for so many years. Finally, a newer edition to her life is varsity flag football. Flag football has taught Katie that it takes a while to learn brand new things, and starting over with new people is so refreshing. 

In an academic sense, Katie was elected secretary of the National Honor Society, while also being a member of the National Science and Math Honor Societies. She has been heavily involved in the peer tutoring program since freshman year, tutoring in mostly math and science. Katie also wants to give a huge thank you to the wonderful WHS librarians for always being flexible and helpful when she started the Washingtonville Book Club. 

Katie’s aspirations to go into the medical field led her to participate in Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Med-Achieve program; where she was paired with a medical student and taught a variety of health subjects. Med-Achieve has been the highlight of her week for two years and she will miss it dearly. 

In the fall, Katie will attend Stonehill College to study biology. She hopes to one day go to medical school and become a cardiologist and work in a hospital setting. She wants to acknowledge all of the teachers that have positively impacted her life, but there are just too many. Katie wants to wish the Class of 2024 good luck in the future and congratulate them on graduation!

JOEL TROCINO


Joel Trocino is the son of Diane and Joel Trocino and is the younger brother of sister Hanna Trocino. He is very thankful for all the people who have given him support throughout his entire Washingtonville education. Joel takes pride in the friends that he has made in the past four years because of their importance to his accomplishments in all aspects. 

At Washingtonville High School, Joel was part of many extracurricular activities but showed his true passion through the sport of football. Joel was also a captain and 3 year Varsity football left tackle, earning back to back All Section 9 team honors and one of the school’s weightlifting records during that time. Joel likes to reflect on the great deal of teamwork that was vital to his success in football. He worked with his offensive line to support a record breaking offense for a record breaking season. Washingtonville football was not just a team to Joel, it was a family. Starting at 5 years old, Wizards football created the person he is today and he would like to thank his youth football coaches Coach Ed and Coach Jay for sparking his great football career. Prior to Joel’s senior season he returned to Lasser Park as a volunteer Mighty Mite Football Coach to give back to the community that he grew up playing football for. 

Other extracurricular activities Joel was involved in include Student Council as a Vice President, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and Special Olympics. As a member of the Math Honor Society he was encouraged to become a math peer tutor helping other students achieve success in their math classes. 

Aside from purely scholastic activities, Joel loves sports and motorsports. He finds joy in watching NASCAR, pro football, and baseball. Joel also likes snowboarding, fishing, and powerlifting. 

In the fall, Joel will be attending the University of Florida studying Mechanical Engineering. He is eager to start his studies and looks forward to his continued growth as a student, human, and friend. 

NILIA FRANCIS

Nilia Francis would first like to take the time to thank her family, friends, teachers, and others that have supported her throughout her journey to the point she's at today. Nilia, the youngest daughter of Claudine Francis and Andy Francis, and younger sister of Claudian Francis, class of 2018, was born and raised in Orange County, New York. Since she was young, she has been described as a bright, passionate, and animated person who always puts others’ needs as a priority in her life. She'd take great pride in knowing that she helped make someone else's day better, whether through her assistance or humor. She feels as though caring for those around you is truly the point of humanity.

At first, Nilia was very curious about the field of medicine, and was interested in becoming a doctor for the sick and needy. As a toddler, she even dressed up as a doctor for one of her first Halloweens, a stethoscope hanging around her little shoulders and she held up a bucket full of candies and chocolates. Although, during middle school, she realized that she has a talent in the performing arts as well, specifically in comedy. The people in her life would chuckle at her absurd gestures and witty remarks, so her and her family decided to let this talent flourish. During fifth grade, her family drove her all the way to New York City for her to audition at the New York Apollo Theater for comedy, which the judges absolutely loved. She was accepted with flying colors. Her passion didn't just stop at the performing arts and medicine, however, as she has always had a drive for social justice and global change, which only grew larger during quarantine in 2020. The more issues she sees in society, the more she desires to help change it, from her participation in the Community Service Club, to assisting with the brainstorming of the Washingtonville High School Thrift Store, to helping with the creation of a park across from the Washingtonville Middle School and being an active participant in the Blooming Grove Conservation Advisory Commission, to donating to various charities, and more. She is determined to do even more in her future, using her passion in medicine and biochemistry to help create affordable, reliable pharmaceuticals for those in need, and her passion in social justice to help instill real change for all.

LEAH CHAN

Leah Chan is the daughter of Ken and Elaine Chan and an older sister to Evan. She attributes most of her success to her family's absolute support and encouragement. 

Leah has always strived for excellence in school and sports. She has challenged herself with a plethora of courses including; College Physics, dual enrollment Spanish 4 and 5, College Macroeconomics, SUPA Public Affairs, SUPA Forensics, and AP Calculus BC. Her dedication has led her to receive the Clarkson University High School Leadership Award and the Girl Scouts Silver Award. 

Leah was inducted into prestigious organizations such as the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, the Science Honor Society, and the World Language Honor Society. Additionally, Leah has been an active member of numerous clubs and community service organizations such as the Community Service Club, Ski Club, Recycling Club, Peer Tutoring, Yearbook Club, the Park Project Club, Math Team, and GEMS in STEM.

As a student-athlete, Leah has had a tremendous passion for sports. She has been playing lacrosse since the 6th grade and became Captain of the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team during her Senior year of high school. She has played tennis since the 8th grade and became 2x Captain of the Girls Varsity Tennis Team. Leah has been actively involved in the Washingtonville Community as she teaches private tennis lessons and also works at clinics and summer camps. 

There are many people in Leah’s life to whom she is grateful for shaping her to be the woman she has become. She would like to thank her mother Elaine for the unconditional love and motivation she has provided, along with capturing the moments as a photographer at every major life event, the endless home-cooked meals on the go, and a greater appreciation for finer foods. Leah would like to thank her father Ken for his unwavering encouragement, especially in sports, and being Leah’s comedic relief. Additionally, she would like to thank her brother Evan for being her built-in best friend. Her extended family, including her grandparents, aunts, and uncles have always been there for her. Without her family’s constant support, Leah would not have been able to achieve her dreams.

In the fall, Leah will continue her academic endeavors at SUNY Binghamton University with an undeclared major.

ALEXANDER SOLEK


Alexander Solek is the second son of Waldemar and Monika Solek and is the younger brother of Nicholas Solek. He is very thankful to have such a loving and supportive family throughout his life. He would not be the person he is today without their encouragement, support, and hard work. Additionally, he would like to thank his friends for creating memories with him to last a lifetime. 

Alex valued his academics highly during his enrollment at Washingtonville High School. He challenged himself with many AP classes including, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, and AP Calculus BC; and college classes like College Physics, SUPA Public Affairs, SUPA English, and College Macroeconomics. As a result, he is a member of the National Honor Society and Math Honor Society.

Alex played for the varsity tennis team throughout high school. He is thankful for the friends he made and the experiences they shared with him. He would like to personally thank his coach, Mr. Anastasi, for the effort that was put into training him and for being such a fun person to be around. Being a part of the tennis team taught Alex good sportsmanship and teamwork, and gave him a competitive spirit to always do better.

Throughout his junior year, Alex discovered his passion for engineering in College Physics. Not only was he enveloped by the topics being taught, but the teacher was funny, knowledgeable, and made every moment of class enjoyable; although he is no longer teaching at Washingtonville High School, I would still like to thank Mr. Morgante for the impact he had made on my life.

Alex will be attending the Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall of 2024. He will be majoring in electrical engineering and may take part in the Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program. He would again like to thank his family, friends, and teachers for supporting him and believing in him.