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Val and Sal of 2018

Naomi+Galeazzi%2C+salutatorian%2C+and+Noah+Que%2C+valedictorian%2C+were+formally+announced+at+the+senior+awards+presentation.+Photograph+by+Clarisse+Guevarra
Naomi Galeazzi, salutatorian, and Noah Que, valedictorian, were formally announced at the senior awards presentation. Photograph by Clarisse Guevarra

Naomi Galeazzi, salutatorian, and Noah Que, valedictorian, were formally announced at the senior awards presentation. Photograph by Clarisse Guevarra

Naomi Galeazzi, salutatorian, and Noah Que, valedictorian, were formally announced at the senior awards presentation. Photograph by Clarisse Guevarra

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The time for graduation is almost here, and with that comes the announcement of the top two students in the senior class. This year, Charter Oak is privileged to announce the valedictorian and salutatorian of 2018: Noah Que and Naomi Galeazzi.

Standing outside of her Spanish class after just finding out that she had received the title of salutatorian, Naomi had a big smile on her face. The students had just applauded her when she walked in the door. “It means a lot. I thought that they basically vote on it, but I found out that they actually have to calculate based on classes that you’ve taken,” she said. “I didn’t expect it! Now that I’m actually it, I’m very nervous.”

The smile would not come off her face, despite a hint of anxiety about what the title requires. “I think I’m nervous about the speech, just because I’ve never spoken in front of that many people, but also just trying to come up with a speech that really embodies our graduating class and trying to make sure that everyone’s happy with it,” she said. “Mrs. Archer had me call my mom. Since my mom wasn’t born here, she didn’t actually know what [salutatorian] was, so I had to explain it to her. She was so excited. I think she even started crying. She seemed to cover it up, but I think she was crying.”

In the near future, Naomi will be attending UC Santa Barbara as a biology major. “I’m planning on going to med school to be a pediatrician. Now I realize that all the hard work really does pay off. In the long haul, it felt like it was just a lot of work, but it really does pay off.”

Meanwhile, sitting in his English class, Noah had just received the same round of cheers and applause from his peers. Smiling and thanking everyone for the praise, Charter Oak’s new valedictorian shared his own take on all the excitement.

“I think it’s a great honor, and I appreciate everyone involved in making the decision. I called [my parents]; they breezed over it. I said, ‘Dad, I am the valedictorian of Charter Oak High School,’ and he said, ‘Congrats, make sure you drive safely to work after school.’ That’s basically as hyped as I thought they would be. Mrs. Archer even laughed when she heard the conversation.”

As amazing of an achievement as it is, Noah believes that the award does not need to embody all that he worked for. “I don’t think that this position will define the countless hours of everything I did. Even if I hadn’t won this award, I know that all I’ve done; it wasn’t for this award. It was for myself. This award is another achievement, but it truly doesn’t define everything I’ve done in the past four years.”

Noah will be attending Baylor University in Texas. “My major is called University Scholars. It’s actually a mixture of philosophy and science. The science I’ll be focusing on is neuroscience, and I’ll be on a premed track. Hopefully, in four years, I’ll be applying or attending a med school.”

The two definitely deserved their titles. Hours of lost sleep and crammed hours of work paid off. Hopefully, their future will be as bright as the path they have laid, along with the rest of their graduating class.

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

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