Congratulations to the Top 10
Highland Central School District Superintendent Joel Freer and Highland High School (HHS) Principal William Zimmer are proud to announce that Katelin McPeck has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2022, and Dimitrios Bakatsias is this year’s salutatorian.
McPeck, the daughter of Mark and Karen McPeck of Highland, earned a GPA of 103.57. She has taken advantage of the Advanced Placement courses offered at HHS, enrolling in more than 10 throughout her high school career.
As a HHS student, McPeck is a member of Science Olympiad, Model UN, Mathletes, Interact Club, Peer Leadership, and Peer Mediation. She serves as the Co-President for National Honor Society and the Co-Secretary for the National Spanish Honor Society. She also competed on the school’s Track team in her junior year.
While McPeck is undecided on where she will be attending college this fall, she plans to pursue a career in the science field. So far, she has been accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Marist College, and the State University of New York at New Paltz, and has earned several tuition-based scholarships.
Although McPeck is thankful for all of her Highland teachers, she said that Social Studies teacher Barry Ranalli was particularly memorable. She also mentioned that because of her love for science, teachers Dan Lynn, Chris Sgro, and Chris Cozzolino have all left an impact on her.
Bakatsias, the son of Mike and Eleni Bakatsias of Highland, earned a GPA of 103.49 while maintaining a rigorous course schedule of AP classes.
This fall, Bakatsias plans to attend either Stony Brook University or Binghamton University, and plans to major in Biology while following a Pre-Medicine Track.
During his high school career, he played on the school’s Football, Track, and Lacrosse teams. Bakatsias has been a part of the Student Council as the Class President since freshman year. He is also President of the Interact Club, Treasurer of Model UN, Co-President of the National Honor Society, President of the FED Challenge, Co-President of the National Spanish Honor Society, Co-Vice President of Future Medical Professions, and a member of Peer Leadership, Peer Mediation, Art Club, Yearbook, People Who Code, and Mathletes.
When reflecting on his years at Highland, Bakatsias said, “One of my absolute favorite school memories is when, as an eighth-grade class, we went to Boston. Those were much simpler times and we didn't yet understand all that was to come. We were able to eat, sightsee, sing, dance, and experience a party boat cruise all in one trip.”
HHS also recognizes the accomplishments of its other high-achieving graduates. Rounding out the Top 10 for the Class of 2022 (in order of rank) are: Dorothy Suzuki-Burke, Riya Shenoy, Ava DeMassio, Margaret Van Valkenburgh, Tyreese Ling, Marcelo Cuya, Ryan Ta, and Evelyn Wright.
Principal Zimmer is very proud of the seniors and their accomplishments. “The Top 10 students of the Class of 2022 are an impressive group,” he said. “They each have made us proud during their time at Highland High School, and we look forward to seeing what lies ahead for them.”