Top Honors for the Class of 22
announcing Kaitlyn Varriale, Valedictorian, and Victoria Fenton, Salutatorian
Principal Steven Siciliano announced the top honors for John Jay High School’s Class of 2022: Congratulations to Valedictorian Kaitlyn Varriale and Salutatorian Victoria Fenton!
“We are incredibly proud of our students and congratulate them in this wonderful achievement,” said Dr. Siciliano. “We also know their families, friends and teachers are also incredibly proud of them. Thank you, Kaitlyn and Victoria, for representing John Jay High School so well."
Both students found the calling that propels their outstanding accomplishments through life experience as well as John Jay’s Humanities Research program. For Valedictorian Kaitlyn Varriale, the subject that goes beyond schoolwork is advocacy for access to universal healthcare. Salutatorian Victoria Fenton is passionate about sustainability.
Valedictorian Kaitlyn Varriale
Salutatorian Victoria Fenton
Driven by her own struggle with type 1 diabetes and inspired by existing research and extensive interviews she conducted of professionals in the health care field for Humanities Research, Kaitlyn wrote the paper “How Socioeconomic Status Dictates the Health Care Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Receive in America,” which will be published by the International Journal of High School Research in the spring.
That deep dive propelled her to secure a long-term internship with the Right Care Alliance, through which she helped with an insulin campaign by contributing to a graduate student’s research on equitable healthcare, helps lead meetings to improve the leadership and speaking skills of study session facilitators, and co-founded and facilitates youth study group meetings where high schoolers and college students discuss a variety of aspects of the healthcare system.
Kaitlyn also helps run a type 1 diabetes support group for teens and another for families with newly diagnosed children through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as participates on the Northwell Health Northern Westchester Hospital’s President’s Junior Leadership Council and John Jay High School’s Equity and Racial Justice Committee. She’s also the president of the school’s National Honor Society.
When asked about downtime, Kaitlyn lights up about volleyball. “I’m co-captain of the varsity volleyball team. It’s a great group—our camaraderie is amazing, and our play improves with each game.”
Victoria’s interest in sustainability inspired her to become vice president of John Jay’s Earth Rise club and write two environmentally themed research papers: one for her Humanities Research class entitled “The Connections Between Gender and Environmentalism,” and a second independently for the World Food Prize Foundation entitled “Iodized Solar Salt Production in Guinea Bissau to Provide Income to Poor Women and Fight Iodine Deficiency Disorders,” which she will present at an international symposium on global food security.
She is captain of John Jay’s varsity tennis team and plays first French Horn for the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestra, Area All-State Band, Area All-State Orchestra and All-County Band. She is also an active member of the schools’ Campus Congress, tutors for Reach Out John Jay and Neighbor’s Link, and, during summers, coaches the Waccabuc Lakers Swim Team.
Senior year goals
Both students are excited for their senior year. “My senior goal is to connect more with my classmates after last year’s separation,” said Victoria. “I’m looking forward to having a proper last year—a send-off—with the classmates I’ve grown up with while appreciating the ability to be together safely,” said Kaitlyn.