Thursday, 06 May 2021 13:20

The Top 10%; Last Year of Academic Recognition

Photos provided. Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ms. Michelle Tsao, Principal of Saratoga Springs High School, announces that Jason Zheng has been named Valedictorian of the Class of 2021 and that Julian Silva-Forbes has been named Salutatorian of the Class of 2021 at Saratoga Springs High School. 

Jason Zheng
Jason Zheng, son of Dun Ming and Mei Zheng of Saratoga Springs, will attend Yale University, and plans to pursue a career as a physician. 

Julian Silva-Forbes 
Julian Silva-Forbes, son of Keith and Sonia Silva of Saratoga Springs, will attend Columbia University and pursue a career in the media industry as a journalist or screenwriter. 

Kara Hausam
Kara Hausam will attend Northeastern University and major in chemistry.

Raquel Cohen
Raquel Cohen will attend Boston College and plans to become a doctor.

Jonathan D’Alonzo
Jonathan D’Alonzo will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to become a doctor.

Devon “Kale” Kimble-Lee
Devon “Kale” Kimble-Lee will attend Lesley College and plans to pursue a career in art illustration and secondarily as an art teacher.

Kai Farr
Kai Farr will attend Boston University and plans to pursue a career as a film director.

Ava Herzog
Ava Herzog will attend RPI’s 7-year Accelerated Medical Program with Albany Medical College and plans to become a physician-scientist.

Jane Ginley
Jane Ginley will attend Boston College, where she was one of only 25 students selected to be part of its inaugural Human-Centered Engineering program.

Cristina DeMeo 
Cristina DeMeo will attend Harvard University and plans to become a doctor.

Tyler Munter 
Tyler Munter will attend Northeastern University and plans to pursue a career in Engineering.

Cole Zeh
Cole Zeh will attend Colgate University with a premedical path and plans to become a surgeon.

Last Year of Academic Recognition

Saratoga Springs High School has also announced that beginning with the Class of 2022, they will no longer be reporting the top students of the class, including a valedictorian and a salutatorian. They will start using only an unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA).

This decision was made by the Building Leadership Team (BLT), which is comprised of  members in the school district: students, teachers, parents, school counselors, support staff, and building administration. The BLT presented this to the Board of Education in July 2019, and it was communicated to families the following month. The team used research from college admissions counselors, national organizations, the SSHS Graduation Committee, and other local high schools to form their decision. Student Council received input and feedback from the student body. 

Student Council received input that if a weighted GPA is removed, so should the top rank, as the top rank creates division, anxiety and separation among peers.

The switch to use only the unweighted GPA was made because the BLT believes that the dual GPA system is not only confusing, but inconsistent when used to determine scholarships, merit awards, and rank. Therefore, they will no longer be reporting class rank on a student’s transcript. 

The BLT believes that their decision will impact the school culture by fostering an environment in which students will place more importance on learning and personalizing their schedules. With the weighted GPA system, students are more likely to prioritize their grades over their interests, passions, and academically challenging themselves. College admissions counselors have reported they like to see students taking courses that are challenging, yet appropriate, for their
academic interests. 

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