Michelle He and Ashwin Kumar, Scripps Ranch Highâ€™s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. (photo by Laura Hogan)
Looking to the future
Caps, gowns, smiles and celebrations are around the corner for local high school students.
Graduation at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) will be held at the University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion on June 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For two hardworking seniors, this will mean the opportunity to share a meaningful quote, sit on the stage and be properly acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to their studies.
Michelle He and Ashwin Kumar have been named the SRHS valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the 2019 graduating class.
“I was really surprised at the news that I was valedictorian. It was not something I had been working towards; I was mostly focused on keeping up my grades,” He said.
Kumar reiterated these sentiments.
“It’s an interesting feeling. Throughout high school you know roughly where you stand in class rank, but when it was announced it felt like ‘Wow, my hard work actually paid off,’” Kumar said.
Neither He nor Kumar felt a sense of rivalry for the top spot and shared that they are close friends. The talented students both have bright futures ahead of them albeit some 3,000 miles apart. He will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Kumar will attend The University of California, Berkeley. He said she plans to study computer science and biology. Kumar will focus on computer science as well.
He said she was nervous for the next step in her academic journey, but that she is also feeling excited for what is to come at MIT. Kumar said he has a sense of dread about leaving his friends and family, but that he can’t wait to meet new people and build new friendships in college.
He and Kumar credit their family and friends for their support in achieving their academic success, but, above all, they said they were grateful to the teachers at Scripps Ranch High School.
“The teachers at Scripps are massively supportive and amazing. I’m really going to miss this place,” Kumar said.