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Rye High School Graduates Share Musical Talents, Academic Successes

Rye High School valedictorian Christopher Karpovich at the recent commencement ceremonies at RHS. He'll begin college studies at Yale University in the fall. Photo Credit: Contributed/Island Photography
Frank Alvarez, superintendent of schools at Rye City School District, speaking to 223 graduates of the Class of 2016 at Rye High School's recent commencement ceremony. Photo Credit: Provided/Island Photography

RYE, N.Y. -- Academic excellence, art, music and athletic achievements of Rye High School's Class of 2016 were detailed and displayed during recent commencement ceremonies for 223 RHS graduates.

Frank Alvarez, superintendent of the Rye City School District, said, "Graduation is an opportunity for members of the Class of 2016 to share some of their many talents and interests with the Rye community."

Su-Lynn Kok, a first chair violinist for the high school orchestra, sang “For Good” from the musical Wicked. The lyrics recognize two friends about to go their separate ways, Alvarez said, calling it "a fitting tribute to our seniors having been close friends, and now preparing to go in different directions."

The Class of 2016 is characterized by many artistic talents, Alvarez said. All seniors were invited to audition to perform for their classmates, parents and guests at commencement.

One group of students who had sung together over the years during many school concerts, in Chorus, Awards Assemblies and during the Arts Awards dinner sang “Unwritten,” as composed by Rye High graduate Natasha Bedingfield. "What makes this song special is that many in the group sang this song at their Midland School 5th to 6th grade 'Moving Up' ceremony," Alvarez explained.

The keynote speaker was Julia Stern, who was active in many of Rye High School's clubs and organizations. Julia also is an athlete, participating in field hockey, cross country and lacrosse. Her enthusiasm for lacrosse led her to teach in various clinics, assisting elementary and middle school students to learn the nuances of the game. Julia also was a member of the very popular Awards Assembly Committee. Each year, the Awards Assembly Committee hosts three different celebrations of student achievement, artistic performances and student recognitions.

Christopher Karpovich was Rye's valedictorian after achieving an extraordinary cumulative grade point average of 101.77. Christopher completed a record 11 Advanced Placement courses, multiple honors courses and many electives.

Christopher’s passion for technology has been a lifelong interest. As a young boy, he would tinker with the building and programming of small robots. Christopher continued with this passion during a summer program at Westchester Community College as a high school freshman, in a program addressing engineering and computer science. Additional summers were spent taking on-line courses and physics at a Harvard Summer session. He also was captain of the cross country team, among many of his extracurricular activities at RHS.

Many recognize Christopher for his efforts in creating the high school club Bread of Life – Hope for the Hungry. Christopher used this organization to spread awareness of the plight of the hungry and homeless.

Class of 2016 salutatorian was Isabelle Hentschel. Isabelle, or "Izzy," earned this distinction as a scholar by securing an amazing average of 101 while at the same time dedicating herself to numerous personal goals and activities. Izzy is a Commended Student as determined by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and was inducted into the National Honor Society. She also is an AP Scholar with Distinction; that accomplishment she met before she completed five more Advanced Placement courses this year. She also competed in soccer and crew for the Garnets, which included rowing at Scholastic Nationals this spring.

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