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Top 20 of 2012

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Top 20: Who’s in it, and What Happens Next?

Scoring well in classes is a serious focus of many for all four years of high school.  When students strive to place at the top of their graduating class, one honor in all High Schools holds a place in students’ priorities – the prestigious “Top 20”.

Here at High School West, students are generally understood to be competitive not only in athletics, but in class as well. Top 20 is a group of the twenty students in the senior class who have the highest combined and weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) for freshman, sophomore, junior, and first semester of senior year. This group was announced via slips calling the recipients to the Principal’s Conference Room on Leap Year day, and includes the valedictorian, salutatorian, and eighteen others who are unranked.

The Top 20 list for the 2012 senior graduates includes Jesse Schanback as valedictorian, Tanya Jain as salutatorian, and (in alphabetical order): Lauren Barabash, Maha Chaudry, Anthony DeMatteo, Malini Desai, Kim Dyckman, Daniel Jayson, Lauren Kiedaisch, Diana Knieste, Mikayla Koval, Cameron Lee, Andy Margulies, Abby Ritter, Carly Rosen, Matt Rudin, Julianna Schneider, Mackenzie Schneider, Davide Sferrazza, and Trishna Sharma.

These twenty students consistently excelled at the top of their class for three and a half years of their high school careers.  Many studied day and night; working hard and taking challenging classes. To others, good grades just came a bit more naturally.

Many were pleasantly surprised at the results of the Top 20, unexpectedly placing so high. While some say that Top 20 “doesn’t matter” because colleges can’t even see the ranking, as it is released past most college application deadlines, a few Top 20 awardees beg to disagree.  “I did work really hard for my grades,” says Kim Dyckman, one of the Top 20, “so even though being in the Top 20 doesn’t exactly get you into college or anything, having the high GPA in general helps.” She and many others look at being in Top 20 as more of a reward for personal achievement, versus an aid for college decisions.

Whether it assists these successful students in college acceptance or not, the annual Top 20 list is a positive accolade for countless hours of studying and stress, as well as a recognition of truly gifted intellectual minds.