Arianna Vandezande said she always liked science, but didn’t realize she wanted to pursue veterinary science until this year.
Vandezande, this year’s Sewanhaka High School valedictorian, will attend LIU Post’s Honors College in the fall and plans to major in biology.
The New Hyde Park resident realized she wanted to pursue veterinary medicine after taking an anatomy and physiology course this year, she said.
Adrian-James Gevero, the graduating class’s salutatorian, was also inspired by a class he took at Sewanhaka.
Gevero, from Elmont, will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to study computer systems engineering.
The three-year pre-engineering course offered at Sewanhaka is what made him interested in the field, Gevero said.
Gevero was also president of Model UN, and a member of Key Club and Science Olympiads during his high school years.
He also wrote for the school’s newspaper.
In addition to her classes, Vandezande played on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.
She also wrote for the yearbook and was a member of the Science Olympiad team.
Vandezande was also a member of National Honor Society, and the English, science, math and art honor societies.
She said she was shocked when she found out she was the top student in her class.
“It hit me really hard because I worked so hard for it,” Vandezande said.
Vandezande said she would look into playing club sports in college and would like to join a service club.
“It’s a little scary,” she said on starting college. “But I know change is good, so I’ll take it a day at a time.”
Gevero said he thinks he’s been ready to take “that next step” for quite a while.
“I’m excited to explore what’s out there, new things, meeting new people and see how I sort of react in this exciting new environment,” Gevero said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Klar by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 204, or follow her on Twitter @rebeccaklar_.