Grady and Wejko Named Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Alexandra Lajo Leonardi, Staff Member

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The class of 2019’s Valedictorian is Abigail Grady, and the Salutatorian is Zoe Wejko. Abbey and Zoe have worked hard all of their high school careers to achieve this great success. Their hard work and dedication paid off in the end, and they are role model students to the rest of the student body. Although it was their determination that led them to this great accomplishment, they could not have done it alone – they had their families, teachers, and friends who have supported them throughout their entire lives.

Abigail Grady has two sisters that are attending Weedsport: Erin and Faith. She is the vice-president of the senior class, the president of the National Honor Society, she participated in the student government, and she was the team captain for both volleyball and softball. She has also participated in cross country and has been a member of the Odyssey of the Mind and the Math team. Abbey’s hobbies include reading and playing volleyball and softball. She is going to RIT in the fall. and wants to study math.

 

Zoe Wejko has a twin brother, John Wejko. She is the secretary and treasurer of the chorus, she was first chair saxophone player, she is a member of the National Honor Society and has been on the Odyssey of the Mind and the Math team, and has played in both the jazz and pit bands. Zoe loves to play the saxophone. She will be attending RIT in the fall and plans on majoring in chemical engineering.

The Johnny Green interviewed Abbey and Zoe, to get to know them better and ask what has helped them achieve this great accomplishment, and what their plans are for the future:

What advice would you give to students that are working to be Valedictorian or Salutatorian?

Abbey: “I would tell them to do their best and to always work as hard as they can.”

Zoe: “To not go too hard on themselves and do their best but know their limits, because I would say I went too hard on myself and pushed myself past what I could do.”

 

What helped you achieve such great success?

Abbey: “My family and teachers, they pushed me to do my best and they always gave me everything I needed to do my best.”

Zoe: “Believing in myself, not giving up when I didn’t do as well as I wanted to on a test or a project, or essay, thinking it’s fine it’s not the end of my life I will carry on, I think that that helped me not completely give up and so it helped me keep going and stick with it.”

 

What is one thing that you would change or add about Weedsport?

Abbey: “I would add more classes on how to use credit cards, those kinds of classes would be really helpful.”

Zoe: “I would advocate for more communication between administration and students, I know we have the new Weedsport Senate, but one of my main struggles is that there are no written guidelines for what it means to be Valedictorian or Salutatorian. You can look at a student book or on a website but there’s nothing written which has been very frustrating for me and so I think it would be helpful to make it a more open and healthy learning environment.”

 

Did you have a role model that you look up to?

Abbey: “I always look up to my parents, they always push me really hard to do my best. I also look up to Bethany Brown because she was the Valedictorian when I was in sixth grade, and she spoke at our sixth-grade graduation ceremony, and I remember listening to her talk and that’s when I decided that I wanted to be the Valedictorian.”

Zoe: “My mom is my role model, because my mom’s parents died when she was sixteen and she had to put herself through college on her own and had to live on her own and struggled through all that and she still got to where she is now and made it through college and got a great job and started a great family.”

 

What will you miss most about attending Weedsport?

Abbey: “I will miss the people, and all the teachers and students because there are a lot of good people here and it was nice to go to school here.”

Zoe: “I’ll miss the teachers the most. I think they’re so kind and caring, and since we have so few students they have a personal relationship with every single one of them, and I think that that’s such a precious thing to have, that a lot of kids don’t have in bigger schools.”

 

Which year in high school was your favorite and why?

Abbey: “Freshman year is my favorite because I feel like that year wasn’t as stressful, junior year was very stressful and then senior year is stressful with college. Freshman year is the most laid back and fun year.”

Zoe: “Senior year, freshman year you don’t know what your doing, you think your a lot cooler than you are, sophomore is like a transition year, and then a junior year is a kicker, it’s really not fun, senior year is objectively more difficult but junior year was my first introduction to like, doing work, constant quizzes and test, and getting stuff done, but senior year is so much more different because you’re driving yourself to finish and get out of high school, but still you’re like thinking back at all of your years, and becoming closer with your friends and the people in your grade that you don’t usually talk to. You still feel a sense of community with them.”

 

Do you feel that Weedsport has prepared you for college and the real world?

Abbey: “Yes, I think Weedsport really has done that. I have learned a lot of things here that I can use later in life.”

Zoe: “Yes, I think being able to take so many college classes, has shown me the difficulties of what college is really like and the workload.”

 

What are your feelings about college?

Abbey: “I’m excited and nervous for college, but I feel like I’m ready for college and I’m excited to see what’s out there and learn new things.”

Zoe: “I’m going to RIT for chemical engineering which is not the easiest subject, but from what I’ve seen there it’s just a great place with great people and you learn a lot and you get exposed to the world and what you’re doing and what your career will be like – so I’m pretty excited.”

 

What would be your ideal job?

Abbey: “I don’t really know  yet, but I know that I want to go into a math career where I’m helping solve problems through math.”

Zoe: “I’m studying to be a chemical engineer, but that’s so broad. I feel like I might end up in research and development but that could be in makeup, pharmaceuticals, or anything that needs to be mass produced.”

 

Do you have a favorite quote or song that inspires you?

Abbey: “My favorite quote comes from my favorite book We are liars, ‘Be a little kinder than you have to.’”

Zoe: “A quote by Van Gogh, a summarized version is ‘What is done in love is well done’ It means that if you do something you have to love it, otherwise there’s no point in doing it.”

 

The Johnny Green wishes the best to Abbey and Zoe in college and in the future. They have done great things here at Weedsport and we know that they will continue to make Weedsport proud.

 

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