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John Jay High Names Valedictorian, Salutatorian

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – Melissa Grossbarth has been named the valedictorian of the John Jay High School Class of 2012 and Stephanie Riocci has received the salutatorian honors.

Grossbarth will attend the University of Chicago in the fall. She is considering a career involving statistics and/or economics. During the summer she will further explore computer programming.

Creative writing is an outlet for Grossbarth. She is president of Reflections , the school’s literary magazine, and also writes for the Lewisboro Ledger as a student columnist. She has served as a member of John Jay High School’s mock trial team for the past two years, and has been a middle school tutor for the past four years with an emphasis on organizational skills, math, science and Spanish.

The 2012 valedictorian is also the team captain and co-founder of the “Challenge Team.” This first-year team engaged in an academic competition, which was broadcast on the MSG Varsity channel. The team made it to the second round.

Riocci has focused on science throughout her high school years and has held a mentorship at a medical science laboratory for the past two years. Last summer, she was involved with cell work – specifically methods to block angiogenesis in cancer cells. Her team used techniques that may one day be involved in the elimination of cancer cells.

Riocci has also been a member of the Science Olympiad team for two years (making it to the state competition) and the mock trial team for the past three years. She has coordinated the John Jay High School blood drive.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Riocci is a diverse athlete, playing both school and club soccer and serving as captain of the high school track and soccer teams. She also holds the title of No. 1 javelin thrower in New York State, High School Division. Last year she held the record at 117 feet. This year, she broke her own record by throwing the javelin 118 feet, 2 inches.

Riocci was recruited for the track and field team by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she will study bio-engineering. Riocci is a a triplet and she helps her family socialize puppies for Guiding Eyes. She also loves to bake.

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