WALLKILL—Wallkill Senior High School (WSHS) has announced the top ten students, including the valedictorian and salutatorian, of the Class of 2020. These students reached the highest level of achievement, not only in academics, but also in an array of athletic, extracurricular, and community endeavors.
Valedictorian Conor Bready, the son of Robert and Jennifer Bready of Highland, leads his class this year with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 102.5840, which he maintained while enrolled in numerous college-level and Advanced Placement (AP) classes. While his passion for learning ecompasses all subjects, he especially enjoys classes in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.
Reflecting upon his achievements, Conor expressed gratitude towards his family. “I’d like to thank my family for their continued support throughout my entire life,” he said. “Whether it was school, sports, or whatever else I decided to participate in, my family was always there to cheer me on and push me to be my best.” He is especially grateful to his older brother, Brenden, who he says supported his goals, served as a role model, and helped him to create countless positive memories.
Conor also credits his teachers, all of whom impacted him in some way. Especially inspiring, he said, were Chemistry teacher Ed Davis and Physics/Computer Science teacher Samrat Pathania, who influenced his plans for future studies. In college, he plans to focus on chemistry and mathematics, and also possibly computer science. Conor has a particular interest in studying the efficiency of batteries and renewable resources.
Outside of the classroom, Conor played on the JV and Varsity soccer teams, and ran track during the indoor and outdoor seasons. During his freshman year, he competed on a gymnastics team at an outside gym in Poughkeepsie. After an injury, he switched from competing to coaching, serving as a coach for the team.
Conor also served as President of the National Honor Society, a member of the Spanish Honor Society, a student representative for the Comprehensive District Education Plan (CDEP), and a volunteer with the Athletes Helping Athletes organization.
Andrew Conklin, the son of Marlene and Shane Conklin of Wallkill, is this year’s salutatorian. During his High School career, Andrew took numerous AP, honors, and college-level courses, earning multiple Academic Excellence Awards along the way. He also found time to participate in the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, and to compete on the Junior Varsity Baseball team and the Nordic Ski team.
Andrew is appreciative of the strong support he received from Wallkill faculty and staff over the years. “I found it very easy to approach my teachers with questions regarding my schoolwork and my future,” he said. “Everyone has provided me with advice that has been helpful and encouraging.”
Andrew also noted the lifelong support of his family, who he says encouraged him to work hard to achieve his goals. In addition to expressing the “utmost gratitude” towards his parents, he cherishes the bond he shares with his younger brother William.
In the fall, Andrew plans to attend college and major in Biochemistry while pursuing additional interests, including Management and Photography. He has been accepted at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Binghamton University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Vermont, but has yet to make a decision about which one he will attend. “My ultimate goal,” he says, “is to help individuals with lost limbs and nerve damage through regenerative cell research.”
As he prepares to leave WSHS, Andrew would like to thank everyone who assisted him along the way, including his classmates. “I’d like to congratulate the Class of 2020 and wish all the graduates luck in identifying their talents and pursuing their goals!” he concluded.
Along with announcing the valedictorian and salutatorian, WSHS also named the next eight high-achieving academic students. They are: Glynis Craner, Desmond Ley, Mary Seelmann, Dylan Masterson, Grace Hammond, Daniel Torres, Cassandra Rydell, and Patrick Robisch.