In February, a three-way competition for the top two spots in Valley Stream South High School’s class of 2013 was over. Andrew Hess was named the class valedictorian and Jeanne Powell, just a half-point behind, earned salutatorian honors.
“I was happy to say the least,” Hess said. “If anything, I was more relieved that the whole jockeying for the top two spots was finally over because that was never really a priority of mine. The priority of mine was just doing the best that I could and let the chips fall as they may.”
Hess will be attending Harvard University in the fall where he plans to study economics. Though Yale was actually his first choice, Hess says he is quite pleased that he will be studying at one of the nation’s most prestigious colleges.
Powell will be continuing her education at Cornell University. It was a choice between there and Boston College. “I just fell in love with Cornell when I visited,” she said, adding that she even sat in on some classes. “The campus is beautiful.”
She plans to study physics and ultimately wants to become a college professor. Powell said she is looking forward to being more independent and selecting the classes she wants to take.
Both soon-to-be graduates have definitely made their mark at South High. Hess was on the varsity baseball team where he was a named an All-Conference player in 10th and 12th grades and was team captain. He also was an All-County volleyball player this year, has been a National Merit Scholar finalist, a National Advanced Placement Scholar and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman winner.
Hess has been president of the Falcon Report, South’s student-run television program, and was the in-game captain for the It’s Academic quiz team. For the Falcon Report, he has worked both on-air and behind the scenes and one of his primary responsibilities was editing larger projects, such as the year-end montages that are put on DVDs for students. He also has been selected to the National, Language, Math, Athletic and Music honor societies and has played trumpet for the district band.