2016 IPS Vals and Sals

This year, 18 Indianapolis Public
Schools students have worked hard to become the valedictorian or salutatorian
of their high school class. It’s an accomplishment worthy of celebration by our
district and our community.


On May 26, IPS honored our 2016
Vals and Sals at an evening reception at the John Morton-Finney Center for
Educational Services, followed by recognition by the Board of School
Commissioners during the board’s Action Session. Each student also received an
award for their accomplishment.


These scholars exemplify our
values of service and academic dedication in our diverse community. They come
from all over the world and right here in Indianapolis, and have interests and
strengths as varied as our unique schools. Many have overcome obstacles or
challenges to reach this milestone, which is not easy to achieve.


“Especially with teenagers, to
get to valedictorian and salutatorian takes a lot of commitment, a lot of
sacrifice,” said IPS Curriculum Instruction Officer Tammy Bowman. “Students
sometimes have to make a sacrifice between being with their friends, going to a
game or going to bed early at night verses studying and getting the work done.
So valedictorians and salutatorians often sacrifice a part of their young
adulthood to reach this accomplishment.” 


However, many of these students
made it to the top of their class by balancing school and work obligations.


Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, IPS Superintendent,
quoted Thomas Edison while praising the work ethic of these young scholars.


“Thomas Edison once said, ‘There’s no
substitute for hard work.’ Our 2016 IPS valedictorians and salutatorians have
done no less than that,” said Ferebee. “They have studied hard, participated in
athletics and extracurricular activities, volunteered and also worked afternoon
and weekend jobs. These scholars are informed citizens who contribute to their
communities. They are inspiring.”


We are delighted to introduce to
you our 2016 valedictorians and salutatorians:


Arlington Community High School

Valedictorian: Yettif C. — Yettif has attended
Arlington since the 7th grade, and enjoys art and music. She is
excited to take her passion for fashion design to her studies at Ball State
University this fall.

Salutatorian: Christian S. — Christian
comes from a large family and takes pride in being a role model to his younger
siblings. He hopes to become a sports reporter, and will pursue a degree in
Journalism at Indiana University.


Arsenal Technical High School

Valedictorian: James G. — James is a
star athlete who’s ready to take his academic talents to Rose Hulman Institute
of Technology. He’s president of the National Honors Society, an academic
all-star and a member of Tech’s Top 25. In addition to the basketball, track
and football teams, James participated in Science Bound, Model UN and Tech’s
Brain Game team.

Salutatorian: Jacob S. — Athletics
and academics have been Jacob’s strengths during his time at Tech. A recipient
of the Titan Award, Jacob played tennis and performed with Techoir. He
volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club, and will attend the University of


Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts
and Humanities

Valedictorian: Marley A. —
Marley is an accomplished dancer and plans to study Exercise Science and
Pre-Physical Therapy at Bellarmine University. She is president of the Senior
class, president of the National Honor Society, Tuft’s team captain and Brain
Game team captain.

Salutatorian: Monica H. — Monica’s
experience with visual arts in IPS has inspired her to pursue a degree in Art
Education at the University of Indianapolis. She’s also an experienced athlete
and volunteers with organizations including Gleaner’s Food Bank, Indy Urban
Acres and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Monica is the recipient of the
Edward Kassig Math and Science Award.


Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

Valedictorian: Kayla S. — Kayla is
president of the Senior class at Crispus Attucks, and proudly carries a 4.19
GPA! She is a four-year member of the volleyball team, and will attend the
University of Kentucky.

Salutatorian: Shelby J. — Shelby’s first year attending Crispus
Attucks was as a junior, but it didn’t take long for her to make a name for
herself academically. She solidified her place as salutatorian with a 3.99 GPA.
In the fall, Shelby will attend IUPUI to major in Anthropology. 


George Washington Community High School

Valedictorian: July M. — July was
born in Thailand and came to the United States with her family through a
refugee camp. She began attending IPS in 7th grade, and has worked
hard to excel academically. She has been the top-ranked student in her class
since freshman year! July received an ISHAA recognition last year for good
sportsmanship on the volleyball court. She will attend IUPUI this fall.

Salutatorian: Luis M. — Luis
participated in Project Lead the Way programs, which inspired his passion for
engineering. He maintains an excellent academic record while working to support
himself. Luis plans to attend either Purdue or IUPUI for engineering.


John Marshall Community High School

Valedictorian: Jacqueline W. —
Jacqueline will study Photography at Valparaiso University, as she hopes to
inspire others by showing the beauty of the world around her. She has been
building a portfolio with many styles and a variety of subjects, and she hopes
to pursue her dream while traveling the globe.

Salutatorian: Rosa P. — Rosa
completed her coursework in December, and has been working full time to save up
for college. She hopes to study Accounting at Ball State University. Rosa says
she’s excited to graduate and begin the next stage of her life!


Northwest Community High School

Valedictorian: Aminata S. —
Aminata was born in West Africa, where her first language was French. A strong
product of our IPS ESL program, she competed in basketball, soccer and track
while maintaining her academic standing. Aminata will attend IUPUI to study

Salutatorian: Raj M. — Raj is
excited to begin his undergraduate studies in Construction Management
Engineering at IUPUI. His family has always been involved in the construction
business, and he’s carrying on the legacy. Raj and his brother live in
Indianapolis, but visit their mother in India as often as possible.


Shortridge High School

International Baccalaureate Valedictorian: Isaac V. — Isaac is one of only 12 Bezos Scholars in the nation! He will be
attending Stanford University in the fall. Isaac is a member of Shortridge’s
debate team, and he served on the Indiana State Bicentennial Committee.

International Baccalaureate Salutatorian: G. Gray — G. is one of three Shortridge scholars to receive a full-tuition
scholarship to Butler University! He credits his high school experiences of
community service, focus on academic achievement and athletic participation as
driving factors as he forges his own path through life.

Valedictorian: Olivia O. —
Olivia got a head start on her postsecondary experience through Butler’s Early
College Program, and she will attend Indiana University this fall. Olivia
served on student government, volunteered at the Concord Community Center and
competed on the golf team.

Salutatorian: Emily O. — Emily, a
member of the National Honor Society, is dedicated to showcasing the values of
service and character. She has served as a Shortridge ambassador, volunteered
for the Monumental Marathon and taught golf lessons for children with autism.
Emily will continue her studies at Indiana University.


“We have some amazingly talented students,”
said Dr. Wanda H. Legrand, IPS Deputy Superintendent for Academics. “These
students have persevered to earn their place at the top of their class. We
commend the families, friends and supporters who have helped these students
achieve at a high level. Though their faces will be missed in our classrooms,
we look forward to following their future accomplishments.”

Dr. Legrand also thanked our sponsors, Ivy Tech Community College and the IPS Education Foundation.
Ivy Tech presented each student with a scholarship redeemable for up to 15 college credit hours of tuition, which is equal to one full semester of college coursework, valued at approximately $2,000! Courses are transferable to colleges and universities throughout our state and even around the country. The scholarships, which are valid for two years after high school graduation, can also be used to take summer courses at Ivy Tech as a guest student. 


are so proud of our top scholars! You’ll soon see our Vals and Sals in
promotions around our city, so be on the lookout for billboards and newspaper
ads featuring these friendly and hard-working faces. Please join us in
celebrating the success of our graduating class!