They had the highest grade point averages among Parkland High School's 802 graduates, nearly perfect SAT scores, and a long list of extracurricular activities to their credit.
They are the Class of 2011's two valedictorians and four salutatorians, who were recognized by Superintendent Louise Donohue at .
Co-valedictorians Eugenia Kim and Danielle Rosen both had 5.0 cumulative grade point averages.
“If you put your mind to it, nothing’s impossible,” Kim said, reflecting on her achievement.
Rosen too cherished the recognition. “It felt good to feel our work kind of paid off a little bit in the end,” she said.
In addition to their academic success, the two were very involved in the school and community.
Kim was president of Science Olympiad, co-president of the National Honor Society, Debate Team captain, vice president of the Math Honor Society, Parkland Community Advisory Council student representative, and Lehigh Valley Hospital volunteer. She will major in psychology on a pre-medicine track at Cornell University.
Rosen was co-captain of the Varsity Girls Tennis Team as well as the Debate Team, co-president of the Math League, vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America, vice president of Student Council, and co-founder of Tennis Friends, which hosts free tennis clinics for teenagers with developmental disabilities. She will attend the University of Pennsylvania. She is undecided on a major because, she said, she is “interested in a little bit of everything.”
Looking back on high school, Kim and Rosen cite the little moments, such as the good laughs in class with friends and teachers, as their favorite memories.
As for the class that almost put their grade point averages in jeopardy, the co-valedictorians immediately said -- Mr. Martin’s World History class. (The salutatorians agreed.)
The four salutatorians -- Nishant Modi, Christina Hardin, Sophia Srinivasan, and Bakhtawar Rana -- each achieved a cumulative grade point average of 4.96.
“It’s been a long four years, but we helped each other make it through, so we’re all excited to be here,” Hardin said before the graduation ceremony.
Like the co-valedictorians, the salutatorians were active in many extracurriculars and are off to college in the fall.
Hardin was a member of multiple honors societies, Key Club, Art Club, and more. She will attend Cornell University for engineering.
Modi was also in four different honors societies, senior representative of the Math League, and treasurer of Club Med, to name a few. He plans to study neuroscience on a pre-medicine track at Penn State Schreyers Honors College.
Srinivasan was not only in numerous clubs at school, but she also plays a Chinese instrument known as the erhu and can speak three languages. She plans to be a Foreign Service major at Georgetown University.
Rana was a founder of the Science National Honor Society and secretary of Peers Assisting Learning Support, or P.A.L.S. She volunteered at Lehigh Valley Hospital. She will attend Villanova University for pre-medicine.
While excited for the the future, the co-valedictorians and salutatorians said they were sad to put Parkland behind them.
“It’s actually bittersweet,” Modi said.
“It’s a new beginning ... and we’re not losing what we had,” Rosen said. “We’re just branching out a little bit more, and we’ll always have our Parkland family to fall back upon.”
The Class of 2011 is the second to last class at Parkland High School to have valedictorians, salutatorians, and class rank in general. Two years ago, the Parkland Board of School Directors voted to eliminate class rank at the high school and restructure the grading system.
Starting with the class of 2013, the top 2- to 3 percent of students will be recognized at graduation in an effort to commend more high-achieving students.