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Herricks HS Introduces Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Herricks HS Introduces Valedictorian and Salutatorian


Herricks High School has announced seniors Esme Chen and Janet Hsu as the Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. The district is proud to congratulate them for earning these highly sought-after titles that can only be obtained through impressive levels of academic effort and commitment. Both students are actively involved in their school and community and have already achieved many successes.

Esme has been named AP Scholar with Distinction, National Merit Commended Student, semifinalist in the Theodore Roosevelt Speaking Competition and National Finalist for the National History Day competition. She participates in Columbia University’s Science Honors Program on weekends and is a National Honor Society member. She serves as editor of the Herricks Highlander, yearbook layout manager, and is founder and president of the Embracing Elders school organization.

An accomplished and talented musician, Esme plays the violin in the chamber orchestra. She has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as an associate concertmaster, was accepted into the 2018 National Orchestra Festival and the 2017 All-State Orchestra, is in the Tri-M Music Honor Society and volunteers at the Herricks Summer Music Program. An athlete as well, Esme is an All-Division tennis player and plays doubles for Herricks. She is captain of the girls varsity team and has competed in All-County competitions.   

Outside of Herricks, Esme volunteers at the Garden City Center nursing home. Over the summer, she attended the Girls Who Code Summer Program for IBM in New York City. Her college goals involve studies of the natural sciences with some integration of computer science.     

Janet is a standout musician set to graduate from The Juilliard School’s elite pre-college program, to which she was accepted as a sixth-grader. Through this opportunity, she attends classes for nine hours every Saturday, year-round. Janet is among only 12 violinists across the nation who were chosen to attend the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program in Ottawa, and she won honorable mention and alternate titles at the Charleston Symphony National Young Artist Competition sponsored by Pepsico. She also attended The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia in 2015.

Academically, Janet has nine perfect scores on her Advanced Placement exams, is a National Honor Society member and was recognized as a National Merit Commended Student. She is co-president of the Herricks STEM Club, captain of the Mathletes team, and was selected to represent the district in the Physics Bowl at the Annual Science Fair at Molloy College. She was named a semifinalist in the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge last year. With plans to major in biochemical science in pursuit of a career in medicine, Janet broadened her learning this past summer at New York Medical College’s Camp Neuro and NYU Langone Medical Center’s Camp Cardiac.

Despite her busy schedule, Janet has dedicated hundreds of hours to the Shelter Rock Library as a teen tutor and summer volunteer.