Get to know some notable valedictorians and salutatorians in the Dayton area

·6 min read

Jun. 4—The Dayton Daily News today is honoring the impressive valedictorians and salutatorians from across the area. Here is a sampling of some notable members of that group:

Panayiotis Mavridis is the Lebanon High School salutatorian. He has a 4.571 GPA, 1520 on the SAT, and 34 on the ACT. Aside from rigorous academics, he has played soccer all his life, helped bring back the men's volleyball program at Lebanon during his senior year, and has played piano for 12 years. His future plans are to pursue a major in medical sciences at the University of Cincinnati and play for their club soccer team, and then continue on to medical school.

Keiana Briscoe is Fairborn High School salutatorian. She is planning to attend Central State University in the fall to pursue a degree in biological sciences. During high school, she was involved in the music program through marching band and pep band, in which she played the flute. She plans to continue her honors education in college and is excited to exit high school to begin the collegiate experience.

Katie Grace Weddle is the Miami East High School co-salutatorian. She is a member of the National Honor Society, concert band, jazz band, and marching band, as well as a participant in the Ohio science fair for four years. She has also been the leader of the Miami East Birding Club for the elementary school for the past two years. Additionally, she has helped her community by being a junior volunteer and extern at the Brukner Nature Center. She is currently working as an intern at Brukner. After graduation, Katie plans to attend Otterbein University to major in zoo and conservation science.

Zy'Aire Parker is the Troy Christian High School salutatorian. She will be attending the University of Indianapolis this fall where she will major in mechanical engineering and minor in biotechnology and business. She will also play on the women's soccer team. Zy'Aire hopes to use her degree to create tools and machinery for doctors, specifically physical therapists. While at Troy Christian, she has been active in Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, the Math Department as a teacher assistant, mission trip to the Dominican Republic and varsity women's soccer.

Kaitlyn Holp is one of the Brookville High School valedictorians. She will be attending Cedarville University in the fall pursuing a degree in psychology. Holp was student body vice president, president of Shades of Blue, secretary of National Honor Society and member of student council, Relay for Life and Hope Squad. She also played varsity volleyball, was recently crowned Prom Queen and played the lead role of the spring musical Freaky Friday. Outside of school, Holp sings with The Ridge Church worship team and at other local events. She even had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the Cincinnati Reds and Dayton Dragons game.

Samuel Hendrick is one of the Dayton Christian High School salutatorians. He has had multiple areas of interest including strong academics and participating at the varsity level in cross country, track, and swimming. After graduation Sam will be attending the United States Naval Academy. He intends to pursue mechanical or nuclear engineering, as well as participate as a member of the men's triathlon team. Upon graduation, Sam will commission as an Ensign in the Navy, and would like serve his country through a career in naval aviation.

Matthew Adkins is the Dixie High School valedictorian. He played four years of varsity soccer and participated in two years of track. He has been a member of the National Honor Society for four years and a member of the National Technical Honor Society and FFA. At the Miami Valley Career Technical Center, he participated in the Veterinary Sciences program, and he is a valedictorian there as well. Outside of school, he is a member of the Preble County 4H, where he served as club president for two years. A member of the New Lebanon Boy Scout troop, he earned his Eagle Scout rank. This fall he will be attending the Ohio State University, where he will pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Sciences.

Aniyah Thomas is the Jefferson High School salutatorian. She has participated in the Dayton Youth Media Collaborative Program, also known as DYMC, and the Central State Upward Bound Trio Program. She also played various sports such as basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading. In addition to the high school diploma, she earned an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts though the College Credit Plus Program. She plans to attend the University of Dayton, where she will be majoring in criminal justice with a pre-law track in a program for obtaining a criminal justice bachelor's degree and law degree both within five years.

Veronica (Ronnie) Rajotte is a Miami Valley School Graduate with Distinction. She plans to attend Northeastern University to study marine science and pursue her passion for ocean conservation. She is co-president of the MVS student government, founder and president of the Green Club and president of the Spanish Honor Society. For fun, Ronnie swims and participates in theater, activities she has done every year since first grade. She is scuba certified, has volunteered at the Newport Aquarium, tutored kindergarten ESL students and was recognized by Kroger as a Zero Waste Hero for starting a plastic bag recycling program at school.

Sophia Hatton is one of three top graduates from Stebbins High School. Mad River had not picked valedictorian and salutatorian by deadline. She is a current student at the prestigious San Francisco Ballet School on a full scholarship. During her last two years of high school, Sophia attended full-time ballet schools while earning her final high school credits through online Sinclair College Credit Plus courses. During her first two years of high school, Sophia participated in Orchestra and Air Force Junior ROTC. She earned the silver star for her scores on the AFJROTC physical fitness test both years. During her junior year, Sophia was a finalist at the Youth American Grand Prix and ADC IBC ballet competitions. She spent her summers training at some of the top ballet schools in the country, including the Houston Ballet, the School of American Ballet in New York City, and San Francisco Ballet School, where she now trains year-round. After high school, Sophia plans to continue training at San Francisco Ballet School and work towards an online Associates degree in Business Administration at Sinclair. Within the next few years, Sophia plans to join a professional ballet company. At the same time, she will pursue a bachelor's degree in Business Administration-Finance through online courses at the University of Cincinnati.

Miguel Abeldano is the Wayne High School valedictorian. He has received numerous awards through his school career, including the President's Education Award and The Ohio Academy of Science Award. He has been involved in marching band, pit band, jazz band, tennis, National Honor Society, Class Cabinet and Student Diversity Council. Miguel is a first-generation American, as both of his parents were born in Mexico. He will also be the first in his family to finish high school and attend college. Miguel will be attending Ohio State University, where he plans to major in Computer Engineering. In the future, he hopes to be a software engineer, as well as an inspiration to other Latino/Mexican students.