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WHS announces class of 2023 top ten

WHS announces class of 2023 top ten
Katherine Shcherbatsevich headshot.

Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Katherine Shcherbatsevich is the daughter of Alexander and Natallia Shcherbatsevich and is the younger sister of Nastassia Shcherbatsevich Li.

Throughout high school, Katherine has pushed herself to excel academically. She has pursued a rigorous high school curriculum by taking challenging classes such AP Biology, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, Dual Enrollment Spanish 4 and 5, SUPA Writing 105, SUPA Class & Literary Texts, SUPA Public Affairs, and SUPA Macroeconomics. She has received numerous academic awards as well as a Reward of Recognition for AP Biology and a Clarkson University High School Achievement Award. Outside of school, she has also taken a physics course through the University of Virginia.

In addition to academics, Katherine has also been an avid member of the music community and has played the clarinet for over seven years. She currently plays in the Wind Ensemble and received a 2022 Outstanding Musician Award in her junior year.

Katherine believes that it is important to help the community and she has served as a member of the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and Community Service Club. She has also been a dedicated peer tutor, working with regular, advanced placement, and special education students to prepare them for the Living Environment and Algebra 1 Regents Exams. In addition, she has also helped maintain the school courtyard and participated in the school’s recycling club.

Katherine knows that exercise is vital to physical and mental health. She has been a student athlete since the 7th grade, running Cross Country and participating in indoor and outdoor track.

Katherine would like to thank her incredibly supportive family and friends for always encouraging her to excel in her endeavors. She is also very grateful for the guidance of her teachers and the Washingtonville administration.

Katherine’s career goal is to become a specialized doctor.

Jacqueline Brienza headshot.

Class of 2023 Salutatorian

Jacqueline Brienza is the daughter of Danielle and Jeffrey Brienza, younger sister to Jason Brienza, and older sister to Eric, Cynthia, and Alan Brienza.

Throughout her high school career, Jacqueline has challenged herself with a plethora of AP and dual enrollment courses, including AP Biology, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, SUPA Writing, Spanish 4 and 5, and SUPA Public Affairs. Dedication and resilience in her classes and academic efforts have brought Jacqueline a multitude of awards including excellence in Math Modeling and Technology, Spanish 3, and Precalculus. In September of 2022, Jacqueline was also recognized as a National Merit Commended Student for her score on the PSAT.

In addition to a rigorous schedule, Jacqueline has partaken in numerous after-school activities. She is Vice President of the Math Honor Society and a member of the World Language, Art, Science, and National Honor Societies. Jacqueline was a member of the Quiz Bowl Team in her senior year and a member of the Math Team for all four years of high school. In her senior year of Math Team, she qualified individually for States and was a member of the sectional team for Washingtonville.

Jacqueline would like to thank her family for their unconditional support throughout her time at school. With their endless encouragement, they have supplied her with the drive to do the absolute best that she can, both inside and outside of school. In addition to this, her friends have played a central role in defining these past four years of her life. She is deeply grateful for the feedback and support they have supplied, making her time at school not only successful but also enjoyable. A culmination of the guidance and support stemming from her family, friends, and teachers has encouraged Jacqueline all through her high school career, pushing her to make the most of her time at Washingtonville High School.

Although Jacqueline is not sure which university she would like to attend, nor her specific area of study, she is looking forward to exploring the field of Math and Sciences and is excited to begin the next chapter of new endeavors and academics. Jacqueline has enjoyed her four years at Washingtonville and wishes all of the Class of 2023 the best of luck in their own future endeavors.

Katya Baranov headshot.

Class of 2023

Katya Baranov is the daughter of Yelena and Vassili Baranov.

Katya has always strived to excel in her classes. She took it upon herself to challenge herself with numerous rigorous courses. Among them are AP U.S. History, College Physics, SUPA Writing, SUPA Public Affairs, College Macroeconomics, AP Calculus BC, and AP Chemistry. Her hard work has led her to receive awards of recognition for Geometry Enriched and Algebra 2 Enriched. Furthermore, in her junior year, Katya was awarded the Rensselaer Medal.

Throughout her time at Washingtonville, Katya has become a member of several clubs. She is part of National Honor Society and was voted treasurer of Science Honor Society and World Language Honor Society, as well as President of Math Honor Society. Katya is also part of math team and peer tutors in math and physics. Outside of school, she works at Goshen Aquatic Center as a swim lesson instructor and lifeguard.

Katya has not only excelled in the classroom but in the pool as well. Her love for swimming began when she joined the Washingtonville Seahawks in fifth grade and has only continued to grow throughout the years as she became a member of the New York Sharks. Over her six years as a swimmer on Washingtonville’s Girls Varsity Swimming and Diving team, Katya has qualified for the Section 9 meet four times and the NYSPHSAA meet two times with the 200- freestyle relay. During her senior season, the 200-freestyle relay was OCIAA and Section 9 Champions. As a six-time NYS Scholar-Athlete, Katya was awarded the Coach’s Award and Anthony C. Quinn Scholarship for Academic and Athletic Excellence.

Katya would like to thank the people who made her high school years ones that she will look back on fondly. She wants to thank her coaches and teammates for never doubting what she could accomplish. Her teachers’ constant words of support and encouragement over the years have kept her going. Katya is eternally grateful for all the laughs and memories she has had with her friends and the “Cloughionares” for always pushing each other to be better. Finally, she wants to thank her parents for their unconditional love and support.

Katya’s passion for math and science has led her to pursue a career in engineering. She is excited to be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall. Katya wishes the Class of 2023 the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Madison Brown headshot.

Class of 2023

Madison Brown is the daughter of Doctor Emily Rivera Brown and the Honorable Craig Stephen Brown, and the sister of Olivia, Isabella, Craig, and Bailee.

Madison will be graduating from Washingtonville High School in the Class of 2023. She has always valued her ambition. She challenges herself every year by enrolling in various AP and college-level classes, including AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, AP U.S. History, Criminal Justice, Spanish, Italian, SUPA Public Affairs, and SUPA Writing. She is a member of the National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, English Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and Science Honor Society where she balances her academics and community service. To further give back to her community, Madison has completed her Girl Scout Gold Award. Throughout her life, she has made it a priority to be a leader in both her school and community.

In addition to academics and community service, Madison has dedicated herself to numerous extracurricular activities. She has been a member of the Girls Varsity Swim Team since seventh grade, and had the honor of being voted captain this past season. She has also been on the Girls Varsity Indoor Track Team since freshman year. Additionally, during the spring season she has participated in the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team and the Girls Varsity Track Team. She is also a member of the Mock Trial Team, participating as both Defense and Plaintiff Counsel in the past two years. Her motivation, determination, and work ethic have been the keys to her success in both her academics and extracurriculars.

Madison would like to thank her family, friends, coaches, and teachers for their belief in her ability, especially when she was doubting herself. They have helped her to both achieve her goals and enjoy life along the way.

In the fall, Madison will continue her academic endeavors as a double major in Biology and English as well as a minor in Spanish. She plans on pursuing a career in health and law where she can fight for social parity.

Sofia Monaco headshot.

Class of 2023

Sofia Monaco is the daughter of Patricia and Stephen Monaco, older sister of Olivia Monaco and younger sister of Isabella Monaco.

Throughout high school, Sofia has had the pleasure of learning from so many incredible teachers. She would not have been so academically successful without the effort and passion that they had for their classes. She is so appreciative of all of her teachers for cultivating her love of learning.

Not only has Sofia been diligent in her classes but she has challenged herself as well. She took College Physics and AP Biology to expand her knowledge of her favorite subject, Science. Since her days at Taft elementary school, Sofia has enjoyed school and it has been her top priority. There was a strong emphasis on the value of education in her home. Her parents, educators themselves, provided much support to her in her endeavors and on her educational journey.

Sofia has had wonderful experiences participating in extracurricular activities in high school as well. She took part in the Community Service Club and Masque and Mime. Sofia was a Team Leader for the Recycling Club her senior year and she is a member of the Science Honor Society. Sofia received the Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award from Chatham University.

Sofia’s love of Science and nature has not only been furthered in school but also by her family. She enjoys getting out into nature whenever she can.

Sofia would like to thank her family and friends for their support and encouragement. She is so grateful to have met so many wonderful people throughout high school. She has learned so much from all of them and she wishes the best of luck to all of her classmates in the future.

At the time of this writing, Sofia is undecided as to where she will attend college but she hopes to major in Biology.

Theresa Karp headshot.

Class of 2023

Theresa Karp is the daughter of Paul and Christine Karp, and the younger sister to Katie, Owen, and Brenna Karp.

Academics have always been a major part of Theresa’s life. She enjoys challenging herself and testing the limits of what she can achieve. She has taken four AP courses -- AP Environmental Science, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, and AP Calculus BC -- as well as four college courses -- SUPA Writing, SUPA English, SUPA Public Affairs, and Macroeconomics. In terms of academic extracurriculars, Theresa is a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and is the president of the Science Honor Society.

One extracurricular endeavor Theresa has found particularly rewarding is peer tutoring program. Starting her junior year, Theresa began tutoring students in numerous different subjects, primarily math and science. She finds so much joy in helping others learn and push through difficult topics; the moment a student’s face lights up with realization makes all the work worth it. She finds that teaching others also helps her knowledge and understanding of the subject grow.

Outside of academics, Theresa spends most of her time involved in Masque and Mime. The arts have always been her passion; she sang in chorus for seven years, took dance lessons for eleven, and participated in theater for six. She started her theater career on stage in elementary and middle school; however, in high school, she drew back from the spotlight and began working behind the scenes. She started with the construction crew her sophomore year and fell in love with the club. After jumping from crew to crew, she settled on sound engineering, becoming the sound chief her senior year. She also worked as the club’s treasurer for two consecutive years. Theresa will always appreciate her experience in Masque and Mime for providing her with an accepting space and lifelong friendships.

Theresa would like to thank her family for standing with her no matter what. She would like to thank her teachers for always pushing her to be a better version of herself. She would like to thank her friends for making her smile each and every day. Lastly, she would like to thank her Masque and Mime advisors; she wouldn’t be the person she is today without them.

In the fall, Theresa is hoping to attend the University of Rochester and will be pursuing a major in biochemistry.

Hailey Leonard headshot.

Class of 2023

Hailey Leonard is the daughter of Heidi and Robert Leonard, and sister of Owen Leonard.

In the classroom, Hailey has taken numerous college-level courses, but chose her senior year to focus on what she will spend the rest of her life doing: art. She has taken a rigorous, art-centered course load consisting of Filmmaking, Media Journalism, Portfolio Development, and an independent study in Sports Media, on top of two English credits and a SUPA course.

After school, Hailey has involved herself in nearly anything she can fit into her schedule. Throughout her four years at Washingtonville Senior High School, she’s played on the varsity soccer and softball teams, founded the Society of Young Authors, was president of the National Art Honor Society and Blue & Gold Designs, was the captain of the 2022 State Champion Odyssey of the Mind team, and was a member of the National Honor Society and National English Honor Society. She was also a part of the WHS Masque and Mime Society, holding the positions of treasurer her sophomore year and stage manager her junior year, as well as earning a lead role in the fall and spring musicals her senior year.

Her involvement in the arts earned her an Orange-Ulster BOCES Arts and Humanities Award. She also won the NYSTEA Student Playwriting Contest in 2022 and 2023 and the ADAC Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Essay Contest in 2019 and 2021. She has received Academic Excellence Awards in French 2, French 3, English 10, Computer Animation and Illustration, and Digital Photography. She has earned NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete status three times.

Outside of WHS, Hailey waitresses at Newburgh Brewing Company and participates in community theater at Beacon Performing Arts Center. In addition, she spent two weeks this past summer in Los Angeles at UCLA’s Digital Filmmaking Summer Institute.

She is an active member of Chabad Orange County, where she volunteers as an event photographer. She is honored that she gets to use her artistic talents to showcase the joy and the pride of Orange County’s Jewish community.

Hailey would like to thank her family and teachers for pushing her to perform. Her academic drive and immense passion for the arts can be accredited to the high bar she has always been held to, and she will forever be grateful for that.

This fall, Hailey will be studying Film Production at Arizona State University.

Michaela Stack headshot.

Class of 2023

Michaela Stack is the daughter of Deirdre and Michael Stack, and the younger sister of Ryan and Kate Stack.

In the entirety of her academic career, Michaela has challenged herself by taking rigorous and enriched courses such as AP U.S. History, College Statistics, and College Spanish 4 and 5.

Coinciding with Michaela’s diligence to her schoolwork, she was inducted into prestigious organizations such as the National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and National English Honor Society.

As a result of her dedication to language learning, Michaela was elected as the president of the World Language Honor Society. In addition, Michaela was the recipient of a multitude of Academic Excellence awards including English Enriched, Advanced Spanish Grammar, and Chemistry, as well as the St. Michael’s College Book Award for Achievement and Social Conscience scholarship.

Additionally, Michaela has been an active participant of numerous clubs throughout her high school career. Since her sophomore year, she has been an avid member of the Peer Tutoring Club and iDecide Program. In her junior year, Michaela was admitted to the Safe School Ambassadors club. Michaela was also a student athlete, running Indoor Track and playing for the JV and Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team. In addition, Michaela has held multiple leadership positions. At the end of her junior year, Michaela was elected Senior Marketing Manager of the BG Designs club. During her senior year, Michaela was voted co-captain of the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team and promoted to Vice President of the BG Designs club.

Additionally, Michaela believes in her duty of volunteerism outside of school. Since her sophomore year, Michaela has been a catechist assistant for the Religious Education program for St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Michaela has also continued the efforts of the National English Honor Society’s program “Mystery Readers" that involves reading books to elementary students about concepts such as courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion.

Michaela would like to thank the plethora of individuals who have contributed to her success and accomplishments. Firstly, she would like to thank her family for unconditionally supporting her throughout her academic career. She would also like to thank her teammates and friends for pushing her outside her comfort zone.

Lastly, Michaela is forever grateful for her teachers, coaches, and staff of the Washingtonville School District for challenging her to achieve her academic goals and accolades. In the fall, Michaela will be attending college to study childhood education.

Abigail Lowenkron headshot.

Class of 2023

Throughout high school, I have always strived to challenge myself academically by taking what I felt was a rigorous course load including college level classes such as AP Chemistry and AP Calculus AB. I have had the pleasure of being an active member in the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and World Language Honor Society. During my junior and senior year, I became a peer tutor in Math, Science, History, and English. During my junior year, I was honored with the Elmira College Key Award.

Outside of school, I am a competitive dancer and dedicate many hours a week to training in the studio. I have always had a tremendous passion for dance and it has presented me with many once in a lifetime opportunities, wonderful memories, and amazing friends. Over the last 14 years, I have been a part of many award-winning competition teams, including four teams that became regional champions, and have had the opportunity to compete at the World Dance Championship. During my senior year, I was presented with the opportunity to share my love for dance with the younger generation of dancers by teaching two classes of my own.

I would like to thank my family, friends, and teachers who have supported me along the way and have always pushed me to reach my full potential. I am grateful for all of the memories I have made during my time at Washingtonville High School.

This fall, I will be attending Binghamton University, where I will be majoring in Chemistry.

Jaxon Troast headshot.

Class of 2023

Jaxon Troast is the son of Alan and Maryke Troast, and the older brother of Savanna, Irelynn, and Dutch Troast.

Jaxon has worked very hard over the years to secure his spot in the top ten. He has taken every opportunity that has been presented to him to challenge himself. Jaxon has taken multiple AP and college courses, including AP Calculus B/C, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP
U.S History, and College Spanish.

Jaxon has tried to dedicate his time throughout high school to be as involved as he can in different clubs. He has participated in every production that Masque and Mime produced while also working backstage during the middle school shows. He has a deep love of theater and tries to share that love with as many people as he can. Jaxon also enjoys spreading his love of music with the community. He has played the trumpet since elementary school and continues to enjoy the time that he spends playing. Music has always been precious to him and it is of his personal belief that there should be more music.

Volunteering is another major aspect of Jaxon’s life. He has been involved in many of the Washingtonville Kiwanis events in recent years and has made it his most enjoyable pastime. He loves volunteering at their annual Pumpkin and Mum sale, pancake breakfast, and most recently the Flag’s for Heroes event. Jaxon also loves to help the Goshen Rotary whenever he gets the chance. He has tried to help with a majority of the Goshen Rotary’s events including the Great American Weekend 5K and again Flags for Heroes. Jaxon believes that the time that he has spent volunteering has helped him learn how to push himself out of his comfort zone and it is this that allowed him to excel academically, while being involved with his local community.

Jaxon would like to thank his family and friends for their support throughout the past multiple years. Without their support, he is not sure that he would be where he is today. Jaxon is planning to go to Elmira College to major in Environmental Science.