More than 530 joined the ranks of Highland Park High alumni as the district celebrated the class of 2022 on May 27.
This year’s class of 533 includes two U.S. Presidential Scholar candidates, 14 National Merit finalists, 28 National Merit commended students, 14 National Hispanic Recognition Program scholars, two National African American Recognition Program scholars, and one National Indigenous Recognition Program scholar.
The valedictorian, Daniel Carillo, participated in the Academic Decathlon Team and the Latin Club.
“Our high school experience has been anything but ordinary,” Carrillo said.
“But I am eternally grateful that our senior year has been relatively normal, and with all of our impressive academic and athletic achievements and passionate community service, I know that the Class of 2022’s futures will only be brighter.”
Tied for salutatorian were Justin Li and Clare Wu.
Li served as captain of the HPHS UIL Math and Science teams for the last two years, individually won state championships, and led teammates to six championships in number sense, mathematics, and science.
“We’ll approach tomorrow with no fear — only passion and fortitude,” Li said. “The future is in our hands, and this task may (appear) daunting; we’ll have our lifelong friends and mentors to guide us along the way. Our teachers and community provide us with endless inspiration, enthusiasm, and encouragement to last us a lifetime.”
Wu, a National Merit Commended Student, also earned recognition as an AP Scholar with Distinction.
“I know the class I see before me is unlike any other, so while it’s a scary thought that everything that we’ve known up to this point is about to dissolve into memory, above all, I think everyone here is proud of what they’ve been able to achieve by just being here, and I’m just a little excited about what’s to come,” Wu said.
The 2022 Blanket Award went to Katherine Anne Massey and George Wright. They collectively served more than 1,100 hours of community service and got involved in 20 or more extracurricular activities during their high school careers.