Valedictorian Sophia Milanov
This year’s valedictorians at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) are Sophia Milanov and Shravya Sanigepalli, each ending their senior year with a 4.83 grade point average.
Following the unusual completion of their senior year which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, these top students now have a chance to describe their futures and express their thoughts.
Sophia Milanov: Valedictorian Sophia Milanov will be attending UC Berkeley and plans to study business administration. At Berkeley, Milanov hopes to rush for a sorority as well as join clubs and acquire internships that are related to her major.
Throughout her time at SRHS, Milanov played junior varsity volleyball for two years and played varsity badminton for three years. In her junior year, Milanov joined Environmental Club and became secretary her senior year. She also started a club of her own during junior year for STEM tutoring and was president. Going into her senior year, she began working at Starbucks and is still employed.
“I just joined clubs and sports that interested me and that really helped me and made high school a
better experience,” Milanov said.
She attributes her success to many people such as her parents, her counselor Leslie McDonald and her freshman English teacher Andrew Laverty.
“I don’t think I would be anywhere without my parents. I always wanted to be valedictorian, it was just something I wanted to achieve for myself and my parents have always been
a great support system. As well as my parents, my counselor Ms. McDonald was always there for me not only academically, but also emotionally and mentally. Lastly, my English teacher Mr. Laverty was always encouraging and believing in me. His class was the first class I struggled with, but he pushed me to do better and prepared me a lot for what was to come,” Milanov said.
As part of the class of 2020, Milanov graduated under the restrictions of COVID-19.
“I think the last semester of high school was something we all anticipated, but it got taken away from us. We ended up missing a lot, but I don’t think that will stop us in the future. As a whole, I think it has made us stronger,” Milanov said.
A message Milanov would like to share with her fellow graduates: “2020 has been a rough year and we have been through the most by far. However, now is your chance to start over and go follow your dreams. Following your dreams will take you where you are meant to be,” Milanov said.
Shravya Sanigepalli: Valedictorian Shravya Sanigepalli will be attending UC San Diego (UCSD) on a Regents scholarship and plans to study ecology and go into pre-med. At UCSD, Sanigepalli wants to do research, volunteer work in hospitals, study abroad and join clubs such as “Crochet for
This September, Sanigepalli will be participating in a lab regarding the effects of TB on zebrafish at UCSD.
Throughout her time at SRHS, Sanigepalli played varsity badminton for all four years and started Pen
Pals for Patients in her junior year – and was co-president. In her sophomore year, Sanigepalli was part of a lab at San Diego State University relating to genes. In her junior year, she was involved in a lab at Sanford Burnham Prebys relating to colorectal cancer. She also began working at Wild Birds Unlimited, going into her senior year and is still employed.
Sanigepalli attributes her success to her parents, friends and her AP biology teacher Patricia Fowler.
“My parents encouraged me throughout my whole journey, and I can’t thank them enough. Alongside my parents, my friends were always supportive and without them I really would not know what was going on. Most of all though, my AP biology teacher, Ms. Fowler was the one who inspired me to do biology – and she was such a great influence,” Sanigepalli said.
Even though Sanigepalli graduated under COVID-19 and its restrictions, she doesn’t consider it a setback.
“We might not have gotten the traditional graduation, but I think that makes our class even more special. We were the first to graduate with a drive-thru graduation and we are for sure going to make a mark in history,” Sanigepalli said.
A few words Sanigepalli would like to share with her graduating class: “We’ve been through so much and because of that the class of 2020 should be the catalyst for change. There is so much that our class will achieve that no other class before us has done and we are going to make a big difference in the world. As long as you follow your flow, everything will turn out fine,” Sanigepalli said.
Valedictorians at SRHS are those who have the highest weighted cumulative grade point average calculated from sophomore to senior year.
“I’m impressed with both Sophia and Shravya and their qualities as people,” SRHS interim principal
Matt Lawson said. “I am so happy that they are representing SRHS. I want them to grow up and be successful, but most of all happy and accomplish their goals.”