Cassandra Rogers thinks there is no better place to have spent the last four years than .
The graduating senior, who was named valedictorian for the class of 2012, said she has been surrounded by incredible teachers, lots of helpful people and was among a group of very bright students.
“There were so many talented and intelligent students in my class—I am really pleasantly surprised to be named valedictorian,” Rogers said.
Having focused both on math and on science during high school, she credits a favorite teacher, Mr.Tullo, with helping her foster a love for calculus. “I did not expect to enjoy calculus,” Rogers said. “But Mr.Tullo really made that happen.”
And the 18-year-old Peekskill resident looks back on the Science Research Program whose director happens to be her mother, Dr. Christine Rogers, as an especially meaningful high school experience.
“I had an opportunity to intern at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where I completed a research project on the genetics of schizophrenia, the young scientist said. “And it was so great to have my mom for a teacher in AP Biology and Science Research—she is already such a role model for me.”
Cassandra’s highly technical project won fourth place in the biology category of the county qualifying Intel Science and Engineering fair, and second at the state level.
The older of two siblings, this valedictorian has also excelled in the arts—having played violin for many years, as well as having continued to pursue her love of painting and drama. Cassandra has been the President of National Art Honor Society for two years and was also part of the stage crew for school productions and served as Art Director of the Drama Club.
Her final grade point average of over 100.3 percent has earned her places in both the National Honor Society and the National Math Honor Society.
The star student will attend McGill University in Montreal in the fall and said she is excited to be immersed in the French speaking city. “With 25,000 undergraduate students, it will be a new experience compared to HHHS,” she said. “But I really look forward to learning to be independent and self-sufficient.”
Her academic plans include mathematics and pre-med courses with a goal of becoming a pediatrician.
As for community service, not only has Cassandra worked at a therapeutic horseback riding center, but she was also inspired by her longtime love of the Harry Potter series to start a chapter of a club at school that raised money to prevent disadvantaged children in poor conditions, from being institutionalized in Eastern Europe.
Some advice for those fellow students who have yet to complete high school?
“Put yourself into your work and make a personal connection with it,” she said. “You definitely have to work really hard to succeed but if you enjoy what you are doing, it all comes to you much easier.”
HHHS Graduation ceremony takes place on Sunday, June 24, 1 p.m. at SUNY Purchase