Carmel High School Names Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Carmel High School has named Ariana Boswell as valedictorian and Sandy Zheng as salutatorian of the Class of 2021.

 “I was shocked to learn that I was the valedictorian! I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I am honored to receive this distinction,” said Boswell.

Ariana Boswell with 2 dogs

Boswell will attend Vassar College as a biochemistry major later this year. She credits her AP Chemistry lab group at Carmel High School for helping her discover her love of chemistry and considers the group members some of her closest friends.

“Science has always been my favorite subject, and it fascinates me to learn about life both on the molecular level and on a larger scale,” said Boswell. “The field of biology is constantly expanding and there is always more to learn and discover, which is why I find the topic so captivating.”

While she has not chosen a career path yet, she plans to work in the medical field as a physician, biomedical researcher or in some other role.

“One field that interests me in particular is rare diseases,” said Boswell. “I would like to be involved with either the research or treatment of rare autoimmune diseases and chronic illness.”

In addition to her impressive academics, Boswell has been an active member in many extracurricular activities during her time at Carmel High School. Her academic excellence earned her membership in both the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. In the community, Boswell serves as vice president of the Carmel DoSomething Chapter as well as the Patterson Library Teen Leadership Council. She spearheaded a project that provided crocheted hats for individuals battling cancer in the local community.

Ariana Boswell surprised by school administrators and mascot at her home.Boswell praised her teachers throughout her time in Carmel schools.

“So many of my teachers have had had a positive influence on me, helping me to grow both as a student and as a person,” she said.

“We are proud of Ariana and the remarkable academic success she has achieved during her years at Carmel High School,” remarked Carmel High School Principal Lauren Santabarbara. “This is a well-deserved honor that recognizes her talent, academic curiosity, active goal setting, hard work and dedication, and we are proud to add her to the ranks of our successful graduates. Ariana has truly exemplified each one of the Carmel 6Cs during her time in the District, and we know that she will successfully carry those into her next chapter!”

As for her advice to her peers, Boswell stressed the importance of getting involved in clubs and activities that fuel your passions. She recommended being deeply dedicated to a few activities rather than having a surface-level involvement in many activities.

Sandy Zheng surprised by school administrators and mascot at her home.

Zheng will attend Wellesley College this fall where she plans to major in both environmental and computer science.

In addition to her impressive academics, Zheng has been involved in a variety of extracurriculars including Varsity Tennis, Interact Club and French Club. She has also been a member of the Carmel Science Research program which provides students the opportunity to participate in the community of scientific research as part of their high school experience and earn college credits. Last summer, Zheng interned with the Rochester Institute of Technology where she assisted in research sponsored by National Geographic, applying imagery technology to assess stress and resilience of coastal salt marshes.

“Sandy is an extraordinary student who has a true love and interest in learning,” said Santabarbara. “Her drive and curiosity are outstanding and immeasurable. When you meet Sandy, you are taken back by her poise and kindness. There is no doubt that she will be incredible in all of her future endeavors!”

Carmel High School will celebrate Boswell, Zheng and the entire Class of 2021 at a graduation ceremony on June 24 at The Overlook Drive-In Movie Theatre in Poughkeepsie.