At a meeting on Thursday, May 9, the Board of Education at Roslyn High School announced their valedictorian and salutatorian. Johanna Kann will be this year’s valedictorian and Gemma Schneider will be the salutatorian.
“Being honored along with all of ours peers who are so hardworking and dedicated, it’s exciting to be graduating with them and [to] have their support,” Schneider said.
During her senior year, Kann was president of the math team, and was involved in the science olympiad and ethics and government club. Kann also participated in behavioral and biochemistry research, attended German school and was a member of the varsity softball team. Earlier this year, Kann won first place in a science olympiad competition and was named an MIT Inspired Semifinalist, as well as a National Merit Scholarship winner. She was also recognized in the science, national and world language honor societies.
During her senior year, Schneider was Editor in Chief of the Hilltop Beacon [student newspaper,] executive editor of [the literary magazine] Student Prints, president of ethics and government, speech captain of Roslyn speech and debate, vice president of NHS (National Honor Society) and a member of the math team.
Schneider was also a national merit scholarship winner and a U.S. presidential scholars program semi-finalist as well as received a National Council of Teachers in English (NCTE) award for superior writing, a Scholastic Writing Gold Key award, a Quill award for best news article, and preformed research at the Garcia summer program and was honored at the 2019 material research society spring meeting oral presenter.
During the board meeting, Principal Scott Andrew, read aloud the letters of recommendation from each student’s guidance counselor. Schneiders’ guidance counselor, Jayson Geller had this to say, “Gemma is one of the most impressive students I’ve ever encountered, I’ve rarely written that in a letter of recommendation. A quick glance at her transcript will show you a young woman who has taken the most challenging courses we have to offer and has succeeded in all of them. Gemma is not afraid to work hard and will continue to turn heads in college.”
“Johanna’s brilliance and superb intellectual ability has no boundaries. I could write pages about her academic success and abilities, like the studying German outside of school and scoring a 99 on the Regents exam. Her positive leadership and teamwork approach is visible on the varsity softball team, and the way she leads the math team as president,” said her guidance counselor, Elizabeth Brown.
Kann leaves her peers with one piece of advice, “One of my teachers at the school always told us that it’s not about the journey, it’s about the destination. Try to enjoy your high school experience because you only have one, and make sure that you’re not wasting it just trying to get to the next place.”
In the fall, Kann will be attending Northwestern University with a Murphy Scholar Distinction. She will be double majoring in integrated science and chemical engineering. Schneider will be attending Harvard University. Currently, her major is undecided, but she is interested in studying public policy or journalism.