Irvington High School has announced seniors Ryan Liu and Olivia Yin as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. “Ryan and Olivia have both been able to accomplish incredible things at Irvington,” Principal Jon Hirsch said. “These honors are testament to their skills and persistence. What may not be as obvious are how essential they are to our community. Their character is as impressive as their intellect. I can’t think of two better people to represent our school.”
Liu is a well-rounded student with a love for math and track and field and speaks Mandarin and French. In addition to his rigorous schedule at Irvington, he has also taken courses at a local college and attended the Harvard Summer School Program. His many honors to date include the Harvard Book Award and the Marra Achievement Award for Orchestra, and he is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and a U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad finalist. He credits Irvington schools’ diverse classes, clubs, sports and extracurricular activities with preparing him to carefully plan his future while considering the balance of academics and his own curiosity.
“This school has given me an appreciation of putting myself out there to discover and have fun,” Liu said. “When I stepped outside my own comfort zone, I found tons of amazing activities, events and competitions that [make] me eager to explore more in college and beyond.”
Liu is the president of the Irvington High School Academic Challenge Team, where he leads a team of 25 in practice, recruitment and competition. He has conducted research with a doctor at Montefiore Medical Center on the effects of antidepressant medication on COVID-19 mortality. He takes part in the Columbia University Science Honors Program, captains the track and field/cross-country team, sits first-chair bass on the school orchestra and volunteers his time at Abbott House helping acclimate child refugees from Central and South America to U.S. culture.
Liu hasn’t decided where he will attend college, but his intention is to pursue applied mathematics.
Yin’s diverse interests include tennis, fencing, track and field, Investment Club, Paw Print reporter, Science Olympiad and Ocean Club. She credits Irvington’s myriad of programs for helping her explore her interests while prioritizing what is best for her.
“Irvington schools has provided pathways beyond just extracurriculars of sports and art, but also science.” Yin said. “Having a program like Science Research which lets us learn and research beyond what would’ve been possible otherwise, I’ve learned advanced skills that will guide me in college and beyond.”
In addition to her vast volunteer experience and work as an art studio assistant and art camp counselor, Yin curated an art exhibit at the Irvington Public Library, was a poster presenter at the Junior Science Symposium, won the Yale Book Award, serves as Student Council class president and was published with her peers in the journal PLOS One 2022.
Yin will attend Princeton University in the fall, where she tentatively plans to study psychology.