Meet the high school valedictorians of the Valley and enjoy passages from their speeches, as they prepare to head off to some of the best colleges in the country. Some were chosen based on GPAs; others were selected by peer vote to be “student speakers.” Congratulations to all!

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  • Written by
    Karen Silver |




Zoë Bohn

Harvard-Westlake School

Attending Stanford University

"My coach was one of the many people I encountered at Harvard-Westlake who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. And she taught me something that I hope all of my classmates have also learned here at Harvard-Westlake: that you can be the person you want to be, not just the person you see yourself as.” Zoë Bohn



Benjamin Bottomley  

 Amber Levine 

Austen Needleman

High Tech High School Taft High School  Sierra Canyon School

Attending University of California, Berkeley

 Attending Stanford University Attending Harvard University



"In an instant, a life can change, or in a moment, a dream can be realized. Make sure to capture each day’s moments, simply as they are, and never forget to smile when you say cheese.” Jordy Shinbane

     Jordy Shibane (far left) 

       New Community Jewish High School

     Attending Indiana University Bloomington


Summer Silbart

Campbell Hall

Attending Tulane University




Although I don’t find myself credible to give advice to everyone here on how to reach their goals, since I am in their exact same position, I want to pass on the best advice I ever received in high school. Before one of my class election speeches, I was shaking from nervousness, and an opponent of mine told me very simply, 'It’s all about confidence'—and proceeded to blow me out of the water. Ever since then, I have grown tremendously to become more self-confident and more sure of myself. I see no reason why this class cannot continue to do just that with such an impressive track record of achievements in four short years here at Chaminade." Jake Stark

Jake Stark 

Chaminade College Preparatory

Attending University of California, Berkeley



Luke Verlinksy  

Delaney Lepak

James Bernstein

El Camino Real High School  Notre Dame High School The Buckley School
Attending University of California, Los Angeles Attending University of California, Berkeley Attending Harvard University



Milana Bochkur Dratver

Milken Community Schools

Attending Yale University

"We all have the potential and are blessed with the opportunities to do great things; we just need to take advantage of what we have. We can’t be bystanders in our own lives for the most momentous things can happen if we live with intention behind our actions." Milana Bochkur Dratver




Hayden Sand

Joselyn Ruiz

Bradley Emi 

Crespi Carmelite High School CHAMPS Charter High School Viewpoint School
Attending University of Texas at Austin Attending University of California, Berkeley Attending Stanford University




Timothy J. Kang

Van Nuys High School

Attending Harvard University

"Even though many of us are afraid of these uncertainties that lay ahead, we will face them with old, familiar friends: sleep deprivation, unreasonable workloads and a whole lot of coffee.” Timothy J. Kang



Sam Shpall (right center) 

Ben Antin (left center

Caila Glickman (far right)

New Community Jewish High School New Community Jewish High School New Community Jewish High School
Attending Northeastern University Attending Stanford University Attending Oberlin College