Evan Olin said he wasn’t too nervous about giving the Valedictory Speech at Ossining High School’s graduation because he has given many presentations this year.
“I’m just going to pretend I’m giving another science research presentation and I should be OK,” said Olin, who was named an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist earlier this year and has participated in a number of science competitions.
Olin, who is heading to MIT in the fall to study bio engineering, said what he valued most about Ossining High School was the tremendous diversity it offered.
“I had the opportunity to meet so many different types of people with different interests and strengths and backgrounds,” he said. “I’m going to be so much better prepared for college than people who went to schools that don’t have this type of diversity.”
In addition to being named an Intel Semifinalist, Olin, who studied the effects of running barefoot, qualified to compete in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium National in Baltimore, Maryland.
An outstanding student who graduated with a cumulative average of 101 and about 10 advanced and college-level courses under his belt, Olin didn’t focus solely on science during high school. He also participated in three Varsity teams: Cross Country, Swimming and Track and Field. In addition, Olin swam on a club team for the Mt. Kisco Boys and Girls Club year-round.
Ossining’s Salutatorian, Mykaela Copeland, said it had been a dream of hers to be a student speaker at graduation from the moment she began high school. Still, she said, when Principal Josh Mandel called her into the office to tell her that she had been named Salutatorian “I couldn’t help but cry.”
Copeland, who is headed to Stonybrook University in the fall to study Marine Science, recently won high school theater’s Metro Award for Most Outstanding Lead Actress for her role in “Aida.” Not surprisingly, the actress said she wouldn’t be nervous delivering her speech, “just excited.”
Copeland, who was Captain of the Varsity Soccer team and was also involved in Peer Tutoring during high school, said what she valued most about her Ossining education was the “relationships I built with my teachers.” She added, “My teachers have always cared about me and my goals and when I have doubted myself, they have been there to remind me of my capabilities and spur me on.”
Like Olin, Copeland praised Ossining’s diversity, saying that being exposed to so many “people with differing talents and capabilities made Ossining an awesome place to be.”