Meet this year's valedictorians and salutatorians


The Islip Bulletin asked the valedictorians and salutatorians in our coverage area about their experiences, dreams for the future, and to select a picture that best captured their high school experience.


**Please note that there is no valedictorian or salutatorian at West Islip, but two students are selected as academic leaders from the top 10**

John Benedetto
GPA: 97.71 (unweighted)
College: Stony Brook University 
Major: Physics

Q: Who is your favorite teacher and what have you learned from them?

A: For the past two years, Mr. Dixon has taught me so much about physics. What sticks with me, though, is all of the laughs, the jokes, the "chill" environment that he provided to allow me to learn effectively with minimal stress.

Q: What makes your graduating class unique?

A: My graduating class is particularly unique because of the unprecedented circumstances that we were given. Although our year was far from normal, we all fought through together to make it work. I believe that we are notably resilient, and we are not afraid to voice our concerns in order to better our high school experience.

Q: What impact would you like to make on the world by age 30? 

A: By age 30, I'd like to have changed the world in some way, whether it is inventing something new, or helping a significant number of people in some aspect of their lives. Above all else, I want to be happy with myself and how I have spent the first half of my life.

Giavanna Genna
GPA: 96.66 (unweighted)
College: Baruch College 
Major: Business

Q: Who is your favorite teacher and what have you learned from them?

A: Mrs. Wasserman! She taught me that there are so many different ways to express yourself and that the quality of your work is dependent on the passion you put into it. Most importantly, she showed me that a teacher can be a friend, too! She was there for me when I needed support the most.

Q: What makes your graduating class unique?

A: This year’s graduating class is unique because every single one of us has had to adapt to a year that was unlike any before. We endured the same obstacles and hardships together, and we are now united in rebuilding what we lost to the pandemic.

Q: What impact would you like to make on the world by age 30? 

A: I would like to show the world that it is possible to be a respected woman in any career field, especially as an entrepreneur in the business world. The most important thing I want to show the world is that you are more than the adversity you face. No matter what challenges you encounter, you can still succeed if you are committed to yourself and passionate about what you do. 


**Please note that the students declined to participate in the additional questions**

Lauren Callaway (valedictorian)
GPA: 103.16
College: Georgia Institute of Technology
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Jessica Chan (salutatorian)
GPA: 102.89
College: Carnegie Mellon University
Major: Computer Engineering


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