Two Sammamish students named valedictorians at Eastside Catholic

As the school year wraps up, high school seniors are looking ahead to graduation. Last week, Eastside Catholic High School (EC) released its list of valedictorians and salutatorians for the Class of 2021.

Four seniors – Olivia Curtis, Garrett Delaney, Tai Do and Natalie Ellis – were awarded the honor of being valedictorians. Two students were honored as salutatorians – Ann Kaufmann and Gabriella Vanover. Both Delaney and Ellis are Sammamish residents.

“Our valedictorians and salutatorians have defined grace under pressure,” said EC President Gil Picciotto. “They worked diligently and are finishing their academic careers in a year where nothing has been normal. Their commitment to maintaining an exceptional level of learning in this environment is reflective of their entire academic careers and it is reflective of the determination and grit they possess at their core.”

Ellis and Delaney both have big plans for the future. Ellis plans to take the pre-med track with the aim of studying psychiatry. She is still waiting to hear back from colleges but hopes to attend Dartmouth College in the fall. Delaney plans to study electrical and computer engineering.

When asked about advice for younger students who want to become valedictorian, Ellis said, “A lot of it is time management…but also make sure that schoolwork is not the only thing that you do. If you just do that, you are not happy and when you’re not happy about doing schoolwork, you’re not going to try your best.”

Ellis balances her schoolwork with being the stage manager of the EC drama department’s plays. She also enjoys spending time outside of school with her friends.

While Ellis appreciates all of her teachers at EC, she attributes her success and growth as a student to Dr. Lesley Wootton, an English teacher, and Mr. Paul Morrisroe, a history teacher. Both teachers have been supportive of Ellis and taught courses that had a meaningful impact on her.

Graduation plans have not been solidified yet, but Ellis has already started writing her valedictorian speech and is excited to share it with her fellow classmates and teachers.

Garrett Delaney did not respond to the Sammamish Independent’s request for an interview.

Maria Langworthy

Maria is a junior at Eastside Catholic High School. She contributes to the school’s newspaper, the EC Insider, and is an education reporter for the Sammamish Independent.

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