Garden City High School has determined which of their students will be receiving highest academic honors for the Class of 2016, but things will be a little different this year. Morgan Hermann and Hannah McDonald have been named co-valedictorians, with Elizabeth Rieger named as salutatorian. Garden City High verifies this is the first time in recent memory that co-valedictorians have been named.
“I was really excited because we have a really strong grade and it is a really big honor to be able to be co-valedictorian,” Hermann said. “We have a great grade with so many amazing people.”
Hermann, who has a GPA of 101.18, is part of the Tri-M Honor Society, a former member of the tennis team and co-president of the German Club.
“I also do violin tutoring, so I tutor children in the orchestra from elementary school through middle school and high school,” Hermann explained.
McDonald, also sporting a 101.18 GPA, has a fondness for sports as she runs track, plays for the soccer team and is a former member of the lacrosse team. She is also president of the National Honors Society.
“I was kind of all over the place,” said McDonald. “I was more of an English Science kid. I love to write but I also love chemistry and biology.”
Riegler, with a startlingly close GPA of 101.02, does science research and was a former member of the track team. She has also engaged in math research in the past and participates in the Columbia Science Program.
“I want to be an engineer. I’ve been leaning towards biomedical engineering,” said Riegler. “I definitely favor science, especially chemistry and physics.”
Both Riegler and McDonald also participate in the Peer AIDS Education program, where they provide more information about the epidemic to young students.
“We go into the classrooms—both health classrooms and ninth-grade classrooms—and we just introduce the topic of AIDS, because so many people our age don’t know what it is,” said McDonald.
The students, who are very close in GPA, all have very distinct interests and goals. Hermann, who wants to major in biomedical engineering, also has interests in graphic design.
“I also do video editing and costume design and creation. I’m hoping to maybe try and incorporate it because I am on a pre-med track, but I’m also looking into digital media design,” said Hermann.
Hermann will be attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering in the fall. Riegler and McDonald are still deciding between schools.
“Right now I’m waiting,” said McDonald. “I’m very open to anything but I’m undecided. I just want to find something that I love. I want to continue to learn because it is something that I am passionate about.”
Riegler may be undecided about college, but she is a finalist in the PSAT/NMSQT competition hoping to obtain a scholarship.
The students are set to co-lead the Garden City High School Commencement Ceremony on June 25.