Academic News

SJA Announces Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Harper (Hoke) Wallace of Lyme, New Hampshire (right), was named valedictorian; Emily Green of Waterford (left) was named salutatorian.

St. Johnsbury Academy has announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2017. Harper (Hoke) Wallace of Lyme, New Hampshire, was named valedictorian; Emily Green of Waterford was named salutatorian.

Valedictorian Hoke Wallace has received a number of awards and honors during his high school career. He was selected to the All-State Music Festival, was selected twice as a Vermont team member to travel to Pennsylvania to compete in the American Regions Mathematics League national competition, was a National Merit Scholarship program Finalist, AP Scholar with Honor, and AP Scholar with Distinction. He has also received Academic Excellence awards for AP Chemistry and AP Microeconomics, a Certificate of Honorable Merit (Maxima Cum Laude) on the National Latin Exam, a Certificate of Honor on the National French Exam, 6th place statewide on the 2017 University of Vermont Math Prize Examination, and 2nd place in the region at the 2016 Rallye Maths Sans Frontières in Gap, France.

Hoke has pursued a broad range of interests during high school including computer programming, French, and music. Beginning in seventh grade, Hoke took programming courses online and has since established a software development company called Wallace Enterprises, LLC, and published iOS applications on the Apple App Store. He is fluent in French having attended the Lycée Saint-Charles in Marseille, France, during the second semester of his junior year. He is also a musician – he plays the alto saxophone and sings baritone in the Hilltones – and is partial to jazz. Additionally, Hoke has run track and cross country and has participated in Nordic skiing. He has also been captain of the Academy's Scholars' Bowl team for the past two years. He is extremely interested in the brain and hopes to explore various fields including computational neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.

Hoke will attend Denison University next fall as a Founders Scholar. He was also accepted to several other colleges including Baylor University (Regents' Gold Scholar), Boston College, Furman University (Townes Scholar), Providence College (Liberal Arts Honors Program), University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Commonwealth Honors College), University of Richmond, University of Southern California (Resident Honors Program), and Washington and Lee University. He plans to major in biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career in neurosurgery.

Salutatorian Emily Green has also received many honors during her time at the Academy. She was awarded the Green and Gold Scholarship from the University of Vermont and was recently named a Vermont Presidential Scholar. She received a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship program, a Gold Medal on the National Spanish Exam, and Certificates of Academic Excellence in both Health and Microeconomics.

Emily has also been active outside of the classroom, participating in Colwell Scholars, the Model United Nations Club, and the Literary Society. She is a three-season athlete competing in Soccer, Nordic Skiing, and Track and Field. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and has been an active leader in the school, serving on both as the Treasurer of her Class Council and as a representative in Student Government for the past four years. Additionally, Emily is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, and hopes to learn French.

Emily will be attending St. Lawrence University in the fall. She was also admitted to Middlebury College, Colby College, Acadia University, University of Vermont Honors College (Green and Gold Scholar), University of Richmond, and St. Mary's College of Maryland. Emily has a broad range of academic interests, which includes languages, economics, history, politics, and science, and is hoping to combine these into a major such as international relations or global studies.

Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "Although I have not taught Hoke and Emily, I have taken great pleasure in watching them perform. I have seen math awards and academic accolades given to Hoke for years, and have seen him sing with the Hilltones and play with the Jazz Band. He has a singular focus in everything he does. I have seen Emily excel academically and lead successfully as a student government rep and Student Body Vice President. My favorite memory of both Emily and Hoke, however, is their Capstone presentations. Hoke presented on artificial intelligence and Emily presented on the most cost effective high-speed train route for the northeast; both presentations were among the highest caliber I have witnessed in our seniors. It was like watching polished professionals present and both of them had fun doing it! And that's probably the best way to describe Hoke and Emily—young people with professional-level skills who enjoy the fruits that come with the hard work of scholarship but who also know how to have fun."

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