Andrews and DeBalsi capture coveted valedictorian and salutatorian awards


On Thursday, March 10, Will Andrews ’16 and Hannah DeBalsi ’16 were named valedictorian and salutatorian respectively for the Staples graduating class of 2016.

“It felt like a validation of all the late nights and early mornings and the work that has gone into the last three-and-a-half years,” Andrews said in response to the news.

Both students said they felt honored to receive the recognition, although this academic achievement was more of a byproduct of continuous dedication to academics than a long-term goal.

“I’ve always tried to do well in school but with the motivation of learning and performing to the best of my ability, not with the motivation of being salutatorian,” DeBalsi said.

DeBalsi said she is driven in school because she enjoys her classes and Andrews added that friendly competition with a friend plays a key role for him. When asked about advice for other students striving to be in the top of their class, both students agreed that it is important to have other goals besides valedictorian or salutatorian.

“Being at the top of your class is a great goal to strive for, but I think it’s more important to make sure you’re enjoying the four years you get in high school. Focus more on the journey rather than on the accomplishment,” DeBalsi added.