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John Jay High School is pleased to announce Katherine Ricca as the valedictorian for the class of 2018, and Kaley Mamo as the salutatorian.
“Both Katie and Kaley have exemplified sustained excellence and have richly earned these distinctions," said Steven Siciliano, Principal of John Jay High School. "All of us at John Jay are extremely proud of them for the people they are, their achievements, and what they have contributed to the high school."
Ricca is a scholar-athlete-leader. She is both a National Merit Semifinalist and a captain of the women’s varsity swim and dive team. She has been elected president of Mock Trial—a club in which students participate in rehearsed trials to learn about the legal system in a competitive manner—for the past three years, and elected as a grade representative to Campus Congress since freshman year.
Her volunteer activities include being treasurer of the Katonah Chapter of the Appalachian Service Project, a member of the Teen Advisory Group at the Lewisboro Library, and tutoring middle school students through Reach Out John Jay.
When asked about a favorite subject, Ricca names political science. “Details of legal cases and the statutes that support them have always fascinated me,” said Ricca. “I plan to attend law school to become an attorney.”
Awards received in her junior year include the Harvard-Radcliffe College Book Award, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Excellence in Math award, and John Jay’s Excellence in Science Award and the Language Department Book Award for Excellence in Spanish.
“Being the valedictorian has been a goal of mine since middle school,” said Ricca. “My father was the valedictorian of his high school and college classes. He passed away in August 2014. Along with the immense sadness that accompanied his passing, it made the prospect of being valedictorian that much more important because it would be something that connected us and something that we could share even though he is no longer here.”
Kaley Mamo, salutatorian, is also a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and a Campus Congress representative at John Jay. Her favorite subject is English and she loves writing, reading, watching films, and dissecting stories. Mamo participates in creative writing workshops at Writopia Lab, where she also interns; assisting with the workshops for younger writers and helping with outreach.
“Last year I had the opportunity to have my one-act play, 'Like Brother, Like Brother,' produced in Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival for one night in Manhattan. It was rewarding to see my writing performed by professionals in an interactive theater setting,” said Mamo. “I’m looking forward to majoring in creative writing, film studies, English, or philosophy.”
Mamo received a Best-in-Grade Award last year, as well as a National Gold Medal, and a National Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her flash fiction pieces.