Top Honors for the Class of 2021

John Jay High School Names Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

John Jay High School is pleased to announce the top honors for the Class of 2021: Jonathan Frantz is the Valedictorian and Remington Sandell is the Salutatorian. “These are wonderful accomplishments and testament to these students’ years of hard work and determination,” said Dr. Steven Siciliano, principal of John Jay High School. “We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and all they bring to the student body at John Jay High School.”

The outstanding young people, both residents of South Salem, have excelled in science, sports and much more.

Jonathan Frantz, Valedictorian

A love of physics, music and more

Jonathan’s well-rounded nature is quickly evident in the classes he names as favorites: AP Physics 1 and C (Electricity and Magnetism) and Music Technology. He’s a keyboard player for the School of Rock’s house band, where he also performs on guitar, saxophone and vocals, and is a giant slalom racer and two-time recipient of the Coach’s Choice Award with the John Jay/North Salem Varsity Ski team. Jonathan is Co-President of the Computer Science Club, a member of the Chess Club and has been a Sacred Text Reader at the Bet Torah Synagogue for over five years.

NEXT YEAR: He will study Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University
FUN FACT: He likes reading and watching mystery stories
JUNIOR YEAR AWARDS INCLUDE: Harvard-Radcliffe Book Award

Excels in chemistry, soccer and more

Remi names AP Chemistry as her favorite class. She also researched food allergies at the USDA through John Jay’s Science Research program, is the starting center back for the New York Soccer Club and competes in sprinting and jumping events with John Jay’s Varsity Track Team. She volunteers with Reach Out John Jay, has participated in Science Olympiad throughout high school and holds leadership positions with the Red Cross Club, Student Council and Students for K.E.E.P.

NEXT YEAR: She will study Chemical Engineering—and play soccer—at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
FUN FACT: Remi has also found time to try over 40 different Oreo flavors
JUNIOR YEAR AWARDS INCLUDE: University of Pennsylvania Book Award

Remington Sandell, Salutatorian

Accolades for Jonathan Frantz

"In my entire teaching career, I have never had a student as knowledgeable as Jonathan who is as modest and humble," said Jodi Riordan, chemistry teacher. "His classmates were always in awe of him and grateful as he was kind and always willing to help them. This character combination is what will allow him to continue to succeed and to inspire all who will have the pleasure to work with him in the future."

"Jonathan’s self-discipline and commitment to excellence, combined with his incredible musical talent, have made working with him over the last four years an absolute pleasure," said Amy Geiger, music technology teacher. "Jonathan is an exceptional musician and his compositions will serve as a lasting legacy that will inspire our younger music techies for years to come. I will miss him dearly next year!"

Accolades for Remi Sandell

"I have been teaching Chemistry Honors / AP Chemistry for many years, so I have had the privilege to meet and teach many students who go on to achieve success," said Emilia Camporese, chemistry teacher.

"Almost from the first day, I knew that Remi would distinguish herself. While she is soft-spoken, it is not because of a lack of knowledge or confidence, but because she is unassuming and prefers the background to the spotlight.  Remi proved herself time and again, and I can honestly say that she is one of the top students I have had in my 20+ years of teaching. I know that she will have great success in all that she does!"

A strong foundation for the future

Jonathan and Remi both acknowledge the strong foundation they gained at John Jay High School. “I'll miss being able to connect with my teachers and learn beyond the course with them,” said Jonathan. Remi highlights the clubs and activities that helped her meet new people, explore different interests and learn about herself.

She encourages younger students to get involved. “Take advantage of the opportunities to explore your interests through extracurriculars and the variety of classes offered at the high school. When choosing these activities, don’t worry about what will look good to colleges, but instead choose activities that genuinely interest you. The rest will figure itself out.”

Jonathan concurs. “Find something interesting in every class you can; it will help you become more confident with the material,” he advises. “Ask questions about anything that drives your curiosity!”