Two Women Head Class of 2019

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Earl L. Vandermeulen High School is proud to announce that seniors Annalisa Welinder and Ava Schully have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2019.

Annalisa has an impressive and diversified high school résumé, includes taking eight honors and 12 Advanced Placement courses and one college-level class. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar, a Presidential Scholars Program nominee and a National Latin Exam four-time gold medalist. She serves as president of the Latin Club, is a member of Mathletes and the school’s Academic Team. Annalisa is also a member of the both the track team and tennis team.

Annalisa’s musical achievements are also exceptional and she is applauded by the school community for her many accomplishments. A violinist, she is a member of the prestigious National Youth Orchestra, where she served as a concertmaster in 2017, traveling to numerous concert halls, including Carnegie Hall. She and her brother have run a summer music camp – Sound Strings Long Island – for all age levels and she is a frequent award winner for various violin competitions. Annalisa is also interested in creative writing endeavors.

Asked for some words of wisdom to share with future graduates of the school, Annalisa had an uncomplicated and masterly response. “Everything seems easier and more doable if you enjoy it,” she said.

Annalisa is excited to enter the freshman class at Stanford University in September.

Ava Schully is proud and humbled by her accomplishment as salutatorian of the Class of 2019. She commended her family, peers, and teachers who have helped her succeed in school and other aspects of her life.

Ava’s list of achievements is comprehensive and includes taking 10 AP courses, four honors courses and two college-level courses. She was on the school’s soccer team in ninth grade and has run on both the school’s track team cross-country team. She is a member of the Peer Leadership, Interact, Drama, and Latin clubs as well as a member of Tri-M Honor Society, Honor Society and Sources of Strength.

Ava took a service trip to Peru to help build a clean water system for local people, attended a six-week intensive study of classical music at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, took part in the Philadelphia International Music Festival and recently performed on cello in the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern music conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Her extracurricular activities include being a member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York and Stony Brook University Young Artists Program. She has received numerous school awards and is active in the local community.

Ava’s post high school plans include exploring how music can promote community partnerships and cross-cultural relations. She has committed to Brown University where she plans to create her own major that focuses on a mixture of topics including ethnomusicology, human development, international relations, education, and non-profit organization in an interdisciplinary context.

Ava shared some enlightened words for her peers: “challenge yourself in classes you’re actually interested and take part in extracurriculars that you love,” she said. “Don’t worry about doing what you think a college admissions office might want to do and just pursue your passions. The rest will follow.”