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Highland High School Names Top Students of Class of 2023

Highland High School (HHS) is proud to announce that Alisha Mokal has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2023, and Erica Angelillo is this year’s salutatorian. 

Alisha, the daughter of Sultaan Mokal and Javeria Sultaan of Highland, earned a GPA of 103.58. She has taken advantage of the Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered at HHS, enrolling in more than 10 throughout her high school career. 

Alisha is president of Model UN, co-president of Science Olympiad, and secretary of the Future Medical Professionals club. She is also a member of Peer Leadership, Mathletes, the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and the High School Fed Challenge. She has performed annually at the New York State School Music Association Solo Festival, and was selected for the All-County and Area All-State Honor Bands this year. In addition, she serves as the student conductor of the HHS Band and tutors students in Biology and Geometry.

Alisha is deciding between attending SUNY Binghamton, SUNY New Paltz, or SUNY Stony Brook in the fall. She plans on majoring in Biochemistry and following a pre-med track. 

She said that she appreciates the supportive faculty members who have helped her throughout her time at HHS. “Many of my teachers have taught me meaningful life lessons and are a source of inspiration for me,” she said. “Each of them has contributed to my academic character in a unique way, and I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to learn from such amazing people.” 

Erica, the daughter of David and Mary Angelillo of Highland, earned a GPA of 102.33 while maintaining a rigorous course schedule of AP classes. As a HHS student, she competed on the Cross Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track teams. She also serves as secretary of the Spanish Honor Society and is a member of the National Honor Society, Model UN, and Book Club.

When reflecting on her years at Highland, Erica said that many of her favorite memories are tied to sports. “I made such amazing friends on the Cross Country team, and I will miss practices and meets with them,” she said. “I also accomplished so many things that I am proud of in Cross Country and Track. I will miss knowing that my friends are so close to me and that I can see them any time.” 

This fall, Erica plans to attend either SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Binghamton, or the University of Vermont. She hasn’t decided on a specific major yet, but will likely study something within the field of Environmental Sciences.

HHS also recognizes the accomplishments of its other high-achieving graduates. Rounding out the Top 10 for the Class of 2023 (in order of rank) are Kevin Zheng, Gabrielle Minard, Diana Brouillard, Panagiotis Bakatsias, Sanaa Omondi, Gavin Landry, Jakob Bishop, and Trevor Ebert.

Principal Kevin Murphy is very proud of the seniors and their accomplishments. “The Top 10 students of the Class of 2023 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 the future has in store for them.”