YLHS Class of 2022 Valedictorians and Salutatorians


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Teddy Adams and Sophie Zhang were recognized as Co-Valedictorians and Esther Yang and Kayla McKechnie were recognized as Co-Salutatorians.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Editor-in-Chief

During Senior Night for the graduating Class of 2022, many students were recognized for the hard work they had put into the last four years and presented with scholarships and awards. Among these awards, Theodore Adams (12) (Teddy) and Sophie Zhang (12) were recognized as Co-Valedictorians and Kayla McKechnie (12) and Esther Yang (12) were recognized as Co-Salutatorians.

The initial reactions of each student seemed overall similar after being sent a call slip during class. Teddy states, “I was shocked. I remember getting a call slip that said ‘Principles Office NOW’, and thought that I might have been in trouble. I never thought that the valedictorian could have been me.” Sophie shared the initial feeling of shock as she adds “When Teddy, Kayla, Esther, and I were called to the Principal’s office, I didn’t even consider the thought of being selected for the title of Valedictorian. Instead, I was trying to figure out what I did to get in trouble with the Principal!”

Academically, each of the students pushed themselves to take the hardest classes YLHS has to offer and managed to find enjoyment in a few. Teddy shares, “Math would probably be my favorite subject. I mean, there’s usually only one correct answer and it’s something I actually understand.” Sophie found AP European History to be her favorite subject for one reason: “The journey. Through the class, I grew as a student. I learned how to study, how to take notes, how to formulate an argument with the given evidence, etc. It is because of the undeniable struggle that I experienced that the ultimate result felt that much more special.”

I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and face and overcome whatever challenges college throws my way.”

— Sophie Zhang (12)

While many may think the Valedictorians and Salutatorians do nothing but study and get good grades, these students have continuously used their strengths to help both themselves and others grow. Sophie shares about founding the YL Speakers club to help her fellow students: “In high school, communication and public speaking skills are important to connect with new people and excel in class presentations. I felt like many students, including myself, struggle to find the courage to use our voices. Thus, as president of YL Speakers, I try to create a safe and inclusive environment for students to feel supported and encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions.”  

Looking onward toward their future in college, they all seemed to feel a similar sense of curiosity and independence that they had in their freshman year of high school. Kayla expresses, “I’m excited to live on my own and meet new people. The last four years are unforgettable and I can’t wait to see how college will be!” Sophie adds, “I look forward to growing as a person the most in college. In my case, college will be a whole new environment. I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and face and overcome whatever challenges college throws my way.”

Congratulations to the YLHS Class of 2022! We can’t wait to see where the next chapter takes you.