Carrboro High School named six valedictorians among the 172 graduates who received their diplomas at commencement ceremonies at the Dean Smith Center on the UNC campus June 9.
Carrboro’s 2012 valedictorians are:
• Caroline “Carrie” Hamilton: Hamilton plans to take time off from school to spend next year in Ecuador, Brazil, Senegal or India with the program Global Citizen Year. After returning, she plans to attend UNC Chapel Hill as a Global Gap Year Fellow.
Although Hamilton’s not sure what the future holds, she could study environmental studies and Spanish in college, she said.
No matter what happens, her “fondest memories of high school will be of her wonderful teachers and friends,” she said.
• Jason Ilieve: Ilieve will attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C., this fall. He will take with him the knowledge “there’s much more to know than what I can ever know, but trying to learn it anyway is too rewarding to pass up,” he said.
As Quiz Bowl founder and leader of Carrboro High School’s Model U.N. and Spanish Honor Society, Ilieve said scholarship has been the most important aspect of his high school career.
“I’ve concluded that education is not about the hurdles you overcome, but the challenges you make for yourself,” he said.
His college and career plans also are based on those experiences, he said.
“I’m fascinated by the amount and depth of information and opinions people all over the world have to share. I’ll remember how active in the community and outspoken my classmates were, and also how bright I thought some of their futures would be – and surely they will be. I’ll never forget the teachers who fostered real learning and understanding over performance, and I’ll value all the successes I’ve had with Quiz Bowl – district champs, state finalists, national championship – and Model U.N.,” he said.
• Michael Jushchuk: Jushchuk said he is looking forward to traveling “far down the street” to UNC Chapel Hill this fall to study mathematical decisions sciences.
The aspiring actuary said he will remember most running on the Carrboro High School track and cross-country teams and spending time with friends. Off the track, he enjoyed researching brachiopods and hiking about 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail during the summer, he said.
While in high school, Jushchuk earned a NCHSAA 2A State Champion 800-meter gold medal, a Team State Championship in cross country and an N.C. Summer Ventures Catalyst Award for Outstanding Scientific Research. He also was named a three-time Carrboro track MVP, a National Advanced Placement Scholar and National Merit Finalist Scholarship winner.
• Francesca Perone: Francesca “Frankie” Perone has been a six-time state champion and varsity athlete in cross country, track and soccer at Carrboro High School. She also is an Advanced Placement Scholar and member of the National Honor Society and French National Honor Society.
Perone’s favorite subject is math. She said she loves school and has had an amazing four years at Carrboro High. She will miss her coaches and teachers and carry with her memories of running with her track and cross country “family,” she said.
This fall, she will study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
• Hadley Reid: Reid excelled on the ice for 11 years as a figure skater and was the captain of a nationally-ranked synchronized skating team. At Carrboro High School, she was the president of the Senior Class Council, president and founder of the French National Honors Society, a National Merit Scholarship winner, member of the National Honor Society and a four-year member of the varsity field hockey team.
Reid said she appreciates all the inspiration and support her teachers gave her.
“As the newest high school in the district, it has been important for us to form a tight community and a strong identity for the school. I have enjoyed being part of the energy of C-Town, as well as lounging in the student store with my friends,” she said.
This fall, she will study biology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Reid said she wants to be a medical researcher and is interested in the emerging field of epigenetics.
• Hannah Rounds Schwarz: Schwarz said she will remember most the people she has met and gotten to know at Carrboro High School.
“The teachers, who have asked me questions that made me re-examine the merits of certain beliefs and passed on their love of learning and discussion to me, and my friends, who have shared the ups and downs of high school with me, and most importantly, who have introduced me to and challenged me with new ideas, engaged me in a deeper thinking than I was accustomed to before, and made me truly understand why I believe what I believe,” she said. “It’s rare to have people with whom you can laugh and discuss deep issues, but I’ve been fortunate enough to find those people at Carrboro.
This fall, Schwarz will attend Yale University for a double major in history (with a focus on U.S. history) and public policy. She would like to have a career that allows her to help others, she said, perhaps by writing federal education policy or doing nonprofit work for education reform. However, “life could take me down a completely different path,” she said.
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