Helen Tejada couldn’t be prouder to represent Sleepy Hollow High School as this year’s Valedictorian. “I have been working really hard and just to see it pay off, is an amazing thing to me,” she said.
Tejada admitted there have been nights when she didn’t get much sleep, balancing schoolwork with a vast array of extracurricular activities. This year she was co-president of the student government and president of the National Honor Society. Each year she has participated in the school musicals and, on the field, she has played and been captain of the field hockey team. She also runs spring track.
Her involvement in the Science Research Program allowed her to become a mentorship student at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“Many people want to do everything for their resume, but I believe it is about doing things because you love them and being willing to sacrifice.”
Tejada may pursue political science or molecular biophysics and biochemistry when she enters Yale in the fall.
The example set by her parents drives her to succeed. “My parents came to this country from the Dominican Republic without anything and they are very hardworking people. They have always shown me what hard work really looks like and inspire me to do my best in school,” said Tejada.
When Eliza Grose learned that she will be the Salutatorian for the Class of 2019 she was “really shocked.” She added, “It just showed how all the things that I have been doing were worth it, and that I have accomplished and learned so much.”
Grose’s rewarding participation in the Science Research Program at Sleepy Hollow High School led her to acquire a passion for psychology and research that she expects to pursue at Tulane University this fall.
“I just really enjoyed learning everything,” said Grose in a recent interview. “I would take many hard courses in different subjects because I genuinely wanted to learn about those things.”
Grose has served as co-president of student government, vice president of the National Honor Society and the Foreign Language Honor Society and has tutored students in math and French. On the field she played varsity and club volleyball where she has been captain of the school team for two years.
Music and theater also play a large role in her life. She played clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, acted as parade captain for SHHS band, sang in the chorus and the select singer’s group, and choreographed the middle school musicals.