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Stephen Siciliano, principal of John Jay High School, has announced the top honors for the Class of 2019: Ruby Potash, valedictorian, and Jordan Schwartz, salutatorian.
“Ruby Potash and Jordan Schwartz’s high school careers have been exemplary,” said Dr. Siciliano. "Both students are most deserving of this special recognition, and we all warmly congratulate them.”
“Ruby Potash and Jordan Schwartz have persevered and excelled in the most rigorous coursework available at John Jay High School," said Principal Siciliano. "In addition, both students have been service-oriented and positively contributed to the school’s culture and wider community through their many commitments."
Valedictorian Ruby Potash describes her main interests as split and seemingly opposite—dance and science. Her favorite subject is biology. Outside of school, she spends the majority of her time at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance and performs with its ballet and contemporary dance ensembles at local events, including fundraisers for Ann’s Place and the Somers Holocaust Memorial Commission.
“I plan on studying neuroscience/cognitive science in college,” said Potash. “Hopefully, I will still have the opportunity to continue dancing as well.”
Potash’s previous honors include the Yale book award, the Rensselaer Medal for Math and Science, the language department’s Award for Excellence in Spanish, and being inducted into the National Honor Society. She is a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist.
Salutatorian Jordan Schwartz has a similarly balanced palette of talents—math and science and alto saxophone.
“I have always loved math, science, computers, and technology and want to combine these interests through engineering,” said Schwartz about his plans for college.
Schwartz took high school math classes while in middle school, enabling him to take a higher-level college course during his senior year. He also pursued his interests through participating in the Science Research program and taking an online course from Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Schwartz is First Alto Saxophone, Soloist, for John Jay’s Wind Ensemble and Advanced Jazz Band, and has been awarded positions in the Area All State Band and All County Band.
Schwartz’s previous honors include the Harvard-Radcliffe College Book Award, being a State Finalist in Materials Science at Science Olympiad State Competition, and Excellence in Science and Band Studies.
In addition to taking rigorous classes, both students have found time to help others. Potash has tutored a woman who is studying for her high school equivalency test and assisted in translating sewing classes for Spanish speakers at the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Schwartz has tutored middle school students through Reach Out John Jay.
“I am grateful for all of the amazing teachers, family, and friends, inside and outside of school, that have helped me throughout my high school years and made it such an enjoyable experience,” said Potash.