Irvington High School has named its distinguished seniors Henry Demarest and Esha Shenoy as co-valedictorians of the Class of 2021. Both accomplished students said they were honored to share the school’s top honors.
Demarest is described as insightful, composed, reflective, articulate, engaged and completely invested in all that he does. He has been taking classes in the school’s highest-level content area, while incorporating Science Research and Latin into his schedule, as well as numerous extracurricular activities.
“My experience at Irvington High School has been amazing, filled with learning both inside and outside of the classroom,” Demarest said. “In this school, I have been able to dive into everything from robotics to the classics to track, exploring the IHS community in any way I could. I have grown in so many different ways over the past four years, discovering new interests, learning new skills and building new relationships.”
Demarest attributed his success to the support of his family, teachers, classmates and coaches, but it’s been his curiosity and love of learning that has motivated him to pursue new subjects and ideas. As a founding member and captain of the high school’s Robotics Team, he has served as the head programmer in the design and building of a robot. He is also president of his school’s National Honor Society and, as a three-season varsity runner since freshman year, he is captain of the track and cross-country teams. Outside of school, Demarest has volunteered with the local Fuller Center for Housing, tutored younger students and served as counselor at a local running camp.
While he hasn’t decided what college he will attend in the fall, he plans to pursue mechanical engineering.
“The Irvington Robotics Team has been a central part of my high school experience, and it has inspired me to continue studying this field after high school,” he said. “I can’t wait to use the engineering and computer science I have learned at IHS to create robots in college.”
Shenoy also attributed her success to the support of her family, teachers, classmates and friends. She is described as compassionate, highly entrepreneurial and a leader with a strong passion for research, science, politics and social justice. Throughout her high school career, she has taken a rigorous course load and exceeded academically while participating in an array of extracurricular activities.
“I appreciate how Irvington challenges individuals to step outside of their comfort zone,” Shenoy said. “With the guidance of some truly exceptional teachers, I began engaging with programs like the Innovation Fund and volunteered for my first local political campaign. These experiences helped me grow as a person.”
She is president of the Science Olympiad and Academic Challenge teams and qualified alongside her teammates for the National Academic Quiz Tournament for four consecutive years, ultimately placing second nationally in 2019. She was accepted as a finalist in the prestigious and highly competitive Regeneron High School Science Mentorship Program. As a member of the Science Research program, she conducted her research at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and recently earned first place in the Medicine and Health category at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
While Shenoy is still finalizing her college plans for the fall, she said she will pursue her passions in science and history.
“Reflecting on my time here, I realize that there’s always been a village behind me,” Shenoy said. “From wonderful families, remarkable teachers, and friends and classmates who never cease to amaze me every day, I’ve had the privilege to learn and grow from some truly extraordinary individuals. I hope to take the lessons I’ve learned from them with me into the future.”