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The Milton Measure

Seniors Elect 2017 Valedictorian Speakers: Jake and Sophia

by on Friday, April 28th, 2017

Valedictorians have the special opportunity to say the parting words on behalf of their classmates. These two individuals have the chance to give their final impression of the entire 2016-2017 school year, and of their entire high school careers, in front of their classmates, friends, and families. Although most schools decide valedictorians solely on GPA, Milton’s senior class votes on whom they want to give the speeches after self-nominated candidates give short speeches on why they want to represent their peers.

Because Milton’s valedictorians are not chosen based on grades, speakers are chosen simply on their ability to give a speech and engage an audience. When asked about what makes a good speaker, Ms. Figueroa, a Class I Dean, said, “A good speaker is someone that can not only connect with their peers, but can also bring the energy and enthusiasm to connect with the audience.” She also adds that because “the entire Milton community and student families will be present,” the speakers must “capture all Milton Academy stakeholders.”

This year Sophia Wilson Pelton and Jacob Atwood have been chosen as the Class of 2017’s valedictorians. As representatives of a community as diverse and talented as Milton, speakers must be involved in many activities within the Milton community. Both Sophia and Jake have pursued a wide variety of passions throughout their times at Milton.

In his time at Milton, Jake Atwood has played varsity lacrosse and varsity soccer, coached the middle school speech team, participated in the Dance Concert, acted as one of the Orange and Blue Key Society’s Heads, and written for The Measure’s humor section. Jake’s older sister, Olivia Atwood (’12), was also valedictorian. Christina Sakellaris (I) said that she thinks Jake will make a great valedictorian because he is “funny, a great public speaker, and he clearly cares a lot about our class and our school.”

When asked about why he nominated himself, Jake said that not only is he “intensely passionate about the Class of 2017” but also “cares intensely about podiums,” and therefore being the valedictorian would be a “win-win.” In response to his nomination, Jake said that he was “pretty fired up” and a “little surprised,” adding that the other candidates would have “crushed it.” About the content of his speech, Jake said, “there are a lot of things I’d like to touch upon, but I definitely hope to entertain our class and families.”

Sophia, in addition to working on Milton’s other news publication The Milton Paper, is a co-head of the Student Activities Association, a board member for Multi-Cultural Club, and teaches a class on women’s empowerment for girls in the Milton middle school called Bold. Ricky Lin (III) said that he thinks that Sophia will make a “great speaker because she’s funny and smart,” and he “can’t wait for her speech”.

About her nomination, Sophia said that she is “really excited” for this opportunity to represent her peers. She also added that she wants to “make things exciting,” and, in reference to the 2007 film Blades of Glory, wants to “get the people going.” Clearly, Sophia and Jake feel similarly about wanting to give fun and gripping speeches, something all members of the Milton community can look forward to. Additionally Sophia adds that, “I really don’t want my speech to end up being cliché, but I know it probably will.”

The overarching goal of a valedictorian, according to Ms. Figueroa, should be “to inspire and bring closure to a student’s Milton Academy experience.” Jake and Sophia will almost certainly inspire their classmates at graduation, and make a memorable, final mark on the Class of 2017’s Milton careers.


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Posted by on Apr 28 2017. Filed under More News, News, Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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