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At the top of the Class of 2013  
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picture of WHS valedictorian Cassandra Bryant and salutatorian Lea Liburdi

Cassandra Bryant (left) and Lea Liburdi (right), have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the Class of 2013.

Class of 2013 valedictorian and salutatorian announced

Congratulations to Cassandra Bryant and Lea Liburdi on being the top scholars in the Class of 2013. Separated by a fractional difference in their grade point averages (GPAs), Cassie whose GPA is 94.4 percent, has been named valedictorian; while Lea with a GPA of 94 percent, is the salutatorian of this year’s senior class.

Besides capturing the top academic honors in their class, these two soon-to-be graduates of Watervliet High School made High Honor Roll every semester of their high school careers, both have successfully completed Advanced Placement and college-level courses, and both plan to pursue studies in the field of science next fall in college.

Cassandra Bryant, Valedictorian

After graduation, Cassie plans to attend Hofstra University on Long Island and enroll in the Physician’s Assistant Studies program. Through the university’s program, Cassie will have an opportunity to earn a Physician’s Assistant license and practice medicine under a physician’s supervision in a range of medical settings.

Cassie is a member of the National Honor Society and has been involved in a number of extracurricular clubs during her high school career including: Character Ed, Drama Club, Chess Club, Masterminds, Student Council, Photography Club, and Spanish Club. In her junior year, she was a recipient of the 2012 Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award.

Q & A with Cassie

Q. What advice would you offer students entering grade 9 to ensure success during the high school years?

Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Go to your teachers, they are here to help you.

Q. Who is your role model or hero?

My father because he has always worked hard to give me and my sisters whatever we need. He has always put his kids first.

Q. What is your favorite academic subject and why?

Biology. It’s fun! I have loved it since the ninth grade, maybe because it came easily to me. It’s interesting to learn how the cells and the organs in your body work, and amazing to think about everything that is going on in your body at this very moment.

Q. What is your "dream" job?

My dream job is to become a physician’s assistant and work in a place that allows me to help anyone and everyone who needs it.

Q. Do you have a favorite memory of your time in Watervliet schools?

My favorite memory is of my sixth-grade field trip to the Farmer’s Museum and Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. My father chaperoned the trip, and when he took our group to get some Italian ice, the bus nearly left for home without us.

Q. What is the last book you read?

The most recent book I read was The Color Purple. I read it for class, and really liked it. It was pretty intense; it’s a very emotional book.

 

Lea Liburdi, Salutatorian

In the fall, Lea plans to major in biology at the State University at Albany, and pursue a career in Marine Biology.

Lea is a member of the National Honor Society and participated in several extracurricular clubs including Drama Club, Best Buddies and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving). She was selected the 2013 WHS Scholars' Recognition Representative, a program that honors outstanding scholastic achievement by members of the graduating classes of area public high schools.

Q & A with Lea

Q. What advice would you offer students entering grade 9 to ensure success during the high school years?

Don’t procrastinate! It’s easy to slack off; but it pays to do the work, and not put it off until the last minute.

Q. Who is your role model or hero?

I admire my older sister Lydia. She graduated from here (WHS) and was also the salutatorian of her graduating class.

Q. What is your favorite academic subject and why?

AP Biology. I like science and learning about the environment.

Q. What is your "dream" job?

My dream job is to be a marine biologist. Everything about marine life fascinates me. I consider myself to be environmentally conscientious and it sounds cliché, but I want to make the world a better place.

Q. Do you have a favorite memory of your time in Watervliet schools?

I have many good memories. I will probably remember the Drama Club’s performance of Anne of Green Gables because it will be my last time on the stage at Watervliet High School. Drama Club has made a big difference in my life. Through it, I’ve met many friends and it has given me more confidence. When considering colleges, I looked closley at the quality of drama and performing arts programs, and chose SUNY Albany, in part, because it has a really good program.

Q. What is the last book you read?

I love to read. The last book I read was Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children for the high school’s Book Club. It’s not a book I would have chosen to read on my own, but I really liked it.

 

The Class of 2013 Commencement is set for Friday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Harry Tucker Gymnasium at Watervliet High School.