By Alex Malm
This weekend the Londonderry High School Class of 2022 will be graduating marking the end of four years of high school.
This year’s Valedictorian is Annabella Wu.
“Earning the title of Valedictorian is the perfect culmination to 4 years of sleepless nights, stress, and sacrifice. It is a reflection of all the effort I put into my academics. My title is also a reflection of the strong supportive network behind me,” said Wu. “I couldn’t have done it without my family, friends, and mentors.”
Asked what her favorite moments were during high school Wu said “school was filled with memorable events like pep rallies and field trips, but my favorite memories were all the moments in-between.”
“Singing loudly in the school bathroom with the dance team as we got ready to perform, rehearsing with the Mr. LHS contestants until midnight, joking and laughing with my classmates during work periods, cheering on athletic teams as they competed – those are the memories I will miss the most,” said Wu.
Wu and the rest of her classmates also dealt with adversity during their school careers including dealing with the pandemic.
“Like many of my peers, I struggled mentally and emotionally during my junior year of high school. It was extremely draining having to maintain high achievements in school without the physical interaction with teachers and classmates,” said Wu.
During her time in high school Wu was the captain of the dance team, president of the National Honors Society, a representative of the Class of 2022, board member of Community Service Club, and a competitor on the math team.
“Outside of school, I dance ballet and contemporary, conduct sustainability research, and compete in the Miss America organization,” said Wu.
This fall Wu plans to attend Dartmouth College where she plans to major in engineering and economics.
“My future career plans are open; I hope to explore my options in college,” said Wu.
This year’s salutatorian is Grace McDonough.
McDonough said that the most difficult part of her high school career was managing her time.
“Juggling school, athletics, and extracurriculars took practice and patience,” said McDonough. “As a dedicated member of all those communities, I always put forth my best effort in all areas, meaning my schedule would fill up pretty quickly and I would get overwhelmed at times with the number of commitments I had.”
McDonough said that while she feels honored earning the distinction she said she doesn’t feel she earned it alone.
“It’s thanks to my supportive family, friends, and incredible teachers that I achieved such success in high school,” said McDonough.
Asked what her favorite moments were during her time as a Londonderry student McDonough said it was the time spent outside of the classroom.
“I treasure walking the halls during spirit week, the pep rallies before Mack Plaque, Friday night football games, and simply catching up with friends in between classes, something we were temporarily deprived of due to the pandemic,” said McDonough.
This fall McDonough said she plans on attending Connecticut College in New London, where she will also be running cross country and track and field.
“Although I’m unsure exactly what job I will pursue, I am interested in working with children in some regard, whether that be as a teacher, guidance counselor, or a different avenue,” said McDonough.
A life long Londonderry resident her sister Cailey was a member of the Londonderry Class of 2020.
McDonough said that the Class “were deprived of many senior activities and traditions, so I realize how fortunate we are this year for everything to be back to normal.”
“My mom is a local preschool teacher in Londonderry, so that is where my love for working with children originated,” said McDonough. “I am a member of the LHS girls cross country, indoor, and outdoor track and field teams and this past year, I served as secretary of our school’s chapter of the National Honor Society.”
McDonough said that she is thankful for the Londonderry community.
“I just want to thank everyone in the Londonderry school community,” said McDonough. “From Moose Hill to Londonderry High School, I have felt loved and welcomed into every classroom, thanks to the countless educators and administrators at every level. I am so fortunate to call this Londonderry community my home.”