SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Jothi Ramaswamy and Kiera Wax have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of Lakeland High School’s Class of 2019.
As a freshman, Ramaswamy founded ThinkSTEAM, a non-profit organization that offers free technology workshops for girls and seeks to integrate arts with traditional STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering and math).
She has won several awards for her technological and computing prowess, is a member of Lakeland High School’s Science Research Program, and has a passion for artificial intelligence. She is also part of Columbia University’s science research honors program, where she assisted in developing an app for The Knot.
She recently qualified as a semifinalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program due to her high PSAT scores. Last year, she was invited to attend a selective conference known as WeCode (Women Engineers Who Code), hosted by Harvard University.
Ramaswamy has also participated in Lakeland’s chamber orchestra for many years (achieving NYSSMA Level 6), volunteers as a nurse’s assistant at a local hospital, is an active member of the debate team, and runs on the high school’s cross country/track team.
Wax is a standout player on the nationally renowned Lakeland varsity field hockey team. As a defensive starter for both her junior and senior years, Lakeland appeared twice in the state championship game, winning it all in 2017.
Coach Sharon Sarsen selected her to receive the Most Improved Athlete Award in the 11th grade. She was also awarded the NYSPHSAA Section 1 All-League Designation. She was also named a winner of the Con Edison Scholar-Athlete Award this year.
She also volunteers as a coach for the fifth/sixth-grade girls field hockey team at Shrub Oak Athletic Club.
In addition to field hockey, Wax has participated in lacrosse, track, and the UNICEF club. She is very involved with her church where she routinely volunteers her time at the food pantry, goes on Midnight Runs to New York City, and prepares and serves meals at the Jan Peek Shelter in Peekskill. She has also been elected as a youth elder on the church’s Mission Commission, where Wax has helped to organize and raise money for various mission trips that help the underserved both in and outside of the United States. She has also volunteered at vacation bible camp, the SPCA camp and shelter, as well as participated in dance benefits for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Dancing Dreams, and Dancers Against Cancer.