YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Diane Yang and Kevin Fink have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Yorktown High School Class of 2019.
Both students credited much of their success to their experiences in the Yorktown Central School District.
“I love all the classes that I am taking and the teachers at Yorktown are amazing,” Yang said. “There were times when I was struggling and they were always there to give me a hand. My parents were really hands off when it came to my grades, which gave me the freedom to explore my love of learning and all the opportunities Yorktown offers.”
Yang, who hopes to study aerospace engineering, praised the course selection at Yorktown High School, which allowed her to take accelerated math classes as well as AP physics. Yang said she was drawn to aerospace engineering because it “combines math and science with the magic of getting a vehicle in the air.”
Yang said Yorktown’s Science Research Program was also a critical part of her high school experience.
“I created self-sustaining wind energy harvesters at the City College of New York, and the experience gave me a real-life view of what engineering is truly like,” she said.
When not pursuing academics, Yang is on the Yorktown High School tennis team and participates in Midnight Run and the high school chapter of Amnesty International. In addition, she serves on the Teen Board of Audubon Greenwich, interns with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, and plays cello in the school orchestra. She is also secretary of the orchestra and section leader for cello.
Fink, who hopes to pursue a career in music, credited his music teachers in Crompond Elementary and Mildred E. Strang Middle School, with nurturing his interest in performing at a young age and encouraging him to work hard at it. “I wouldn’t be pursuing music if it wasn’t for them,” he said.
Although he didn’t set out to be one of the top scoring students at Yorktown High School, Fink said he was nonetheless excited and happy to be named salutatorian. He praised the course selection at the high school and noted the excellence of the math and science teachers, in particular.
“The teachers at this school are great, and for someone with an interest in math and science, I would have to say those teachers were especially excellent,” he said.
Fink serves as president of the Yorktown High School Orchestra, plays classical double bass in the school orchestra and also performs with the jazz band.