New Rochelle High School announced that senior Abigail Kazakov is the Class of 2020 valedictorian and Stephen Bartell is the Salutatorian.
"Please join me in congratulating these two outstanding students," said Interim Principal Joseph Starvaggi. "We are proud of Abigail and Stephen for consistently pursuing academic excellence and for being stellar examples of New Rochelle High School achievement."
Both students show a range of interests. Kazakov plans to enter the medical field, considering a career in internal medicine or possibly dermatology.
"I've always been fascinated by it," she said. She is a member of the National Honor Society, secretary of the school's Spanish Honor Society (for which she also serves as a tutor) and a member of the Math Honor Society. In other interests, she plays tennis and practices taekwondo. She has played piano for 12 years, preferring Baroque and Romantic periods.
She said she appreciates the passion of Romantic-era composers such as Chopin and Rachmaninoff.
"When you play their pieces, it's like a story that you're telling," she said.
Bartell plans to major in math in college, possibly with a minor in economics, as he explores possible careers. He is president of the Math Honor Society and a member of the National Honor Society and the English Honor Society. He is also active on the Math Team and the school's chapter of Junior State of America, an organization that helps develop leadership and debating skills.
To unwind from the rigors of mathematics, he plays the flute, preferring Baroque, jazz and blues.
"It's nice to unplug and be a little more expressive," he said.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey joined in praising the seniors. "These two students exemplify the high-quality education our District provides," she said. "We congratulate them and we look forward to their future accomplishments."