Meet Glen Cove’s valedictorian and salutatorian

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With nearly 250 students graduating from Glen Cove High School in 2019, being named as one of the top two students in the class is quite an honor. This sense of honor is not lost on Matthew Tran and Mackenzie Edwards, who have earned the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. With weighted GPAs over 102 and a variety of extracurricular activities, the two seniors have worked hard to reach the top of their class. The Herald Gazette spoke with them to learn about their experiences at Glen Cove High School and their hopes for the future.

Matthew Tran

Herald Gazette: What was your reaction to being named valedictorian?

Tran: At first I was a bit surprised. I felt really honored to become the valedictorian and I felt like I had worked a lot of the last four years. I earned it and it was really nice to be honored.

Herald Gazette: Could you briefly describe your experience at Glen Cove High School?

Tran: These past four years at Glen Cove have been great for me. I really enjoyed learning in a diverse community and I got to meet a lot of different people. It was a really exciting experience for me.

Herald Gazette: What was your favorite memory from high school?

Tran: I think the most fun I had was playing tennis at Glen Cove High School. Last year, we won a conference championship and we moved up to Conference 2.

Herald Gazette: What was it like to skip two grades?

Tran: I skipped sixth and seventh grade. I felt like I wasn’t being challenged and could do more in school. I took an IQ test and I was in the 99.8th percentile. I did really well on a bunch of other tests, so the principal thought it would be good if I skipped two grades.

Herald Gazette: What will you include with your graduation speech?

Tran: I think I’m going to talk about my experience here. Specifically, I was younger than everyone else in my grade and I’ll talk about how this community helped me grow. I’ll also thank my teachers, parents and my sister, Evelyn. I’m also gonna talk about the future.

Herald Gazette: What will you miss most from your time at Glen Cove High School?

Tran: Probably my friends and my sister. Going to Georgia, I feel like I’ll miss them the most being so far away.

Herald Gazette: What are your anticipations for college?

Tran: I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of different people. I visited it and it’s a very nice place and I really loved the labs and the faculty there. They can help me achieve my potential.

Herald Gazette: What would you like to accomplish in your career?

Tran: I want to invent a bionic eye — a retinal prosthetic. As a biomedical engineer, I would like to perfect that invention and make it better and more accessible for everybody.

Mackenzie Edwards

Herald Gazette: What was your reaction to being named salutatorian?

Edwards: I was very excited. It’s a big honor and I was just very excited to find out.

Herald Gazette: Could you briefly describe your experience at Glen Cove High School?

Edwards: I think Glen Cove is a very adaptable school. This year in particular, I wanted to take an AP Physics course which they didn’t have, so I was able to take it online. They’re really helpful and the teachers are all wonderful, they really put a lot of effort forth. I feel like there’s a really great community, there’s a lot of diversity. One of the things we were really looking with our yearbook was make it more diverse, especially with ELL students. I feel like our school is constantly improving and I really enjoyed my experience here.

Herald Gazette: What was your favorite memory from high school?

Edwards: One of my favorite memories is probably just at the end of the year when we’re handing out our yearbooks. It’s fun to see everyone look through it and see themselves and how the year went.

Herald Gazette: What will you include with your graduation speech?

Edwards: I’m planning on putting on using excerpts from “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann in honor of my uncle who passed away.

Herald Gazette: What will you miss most from your time at Glen Cove High School?

Edwards: I’ll probably miss how close I’ve been with a lot of students and faculty. Like I said earlier, it feels like a very strong community.

Herald Gazette: What are your anticipations for college?

Edwards: Since I am undecided, I’m really looking forward to delving into the varied classes that they have. In Glen Cove, I took Film Appreciation and I took a psychology class, so I’d like to see more of what exactly I like and how to blend my different interests together.

Herald Gazette: What would you like to accomplish in your career?

Edwards: Although I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian, I’m also interested in working with the environment. I want to help make our environment a better place.