Riverhead High’s top 15 students for 2013

05/31/2013 12:11 PM |
COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead High School's top 15 students. Front left to right: Daniel Raynor, Daniel Tysz, Samantha Colt, Alexandra McKillop, Charlotte Palmer. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith. Back row left to right Roger Rosenquist, Kyle Trypuc, Peter Schumejda, Karla Reyes, Jonah Spaeth, SUNY Binghamton.

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead High School’s top 15 students. Front left to right: Daniel Raynor, Daniel Tysz, Samantha Colt, Alexandra McKillop, Charlotte Palmer. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith.
Back row left to right Roger Rosenquist, Kyle Trypuc, Peter Schumejda, Karla Reyes, Jonah Spaeth.

The Riverhead School District announced Friday the class of 2013’s top 15 students, including this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

Valedictorian Daniel Raynor, whose weighted grade-point average is 109.54, will be attending Yale University to study physics. He was named National AP Scholar during his junior year, which is the first time in the district’s history that a junior earned the award.

Daniel Raynor was recently named National AP Scholar. The designation is the highest achievement in the AP Scholar Program, school officials said.

He was named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, an honor that indicates he was among the top-5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition.

In addition, he’s a Mentathlete, a member of the Math Club, Foreign Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, Protein Challenge Team, CSI Challenge team, LI Challenge Team, Student Government vice present, Youth Court, Latin Team, and an actor in Blue Masques Drama Club.

Daniel Raynor is also in the chamber choir and plays baritone horn in the band. He practiced photography while interning with photographer Steve Berger. He tutors elementary students and is a counselor at Camp Invention.

“Although my parents were relieved to know that they had successfully found a way for me to keep myself amused by giving me math workbooks, something much greater happened to me: I had discovered my enthusiasm for mathematics,” he said. “My interest in math led to my even greater interest in science and its practical applications. My interest in math and science has led me to a decision to pursue the study of physics in college.”

The Class of 2013 Salutatorian is Daniel Tysz, who earned a weighted grade point average of 108.06. He will be attending SUNY Stony Brook to study math and biochemistry and plans to practice medicine.

“Intelligent, focused and caring are the first words that come to mind when I think of Daniel Tysz,” his guidance counselor Christy Salerno said. “Dan has two great gifts: a wonderful memory and the focus and drive to take advantage of it. In spite of being an extraordinary student academically, he is very humble and his peers look up to him for that.”

Daniel Tysz earned a 98 average in trigonometry and took an AP Calculus BC course. This fall, he was named an AP Scholar with distinction. He has been the school’s student of the month and outstanding student of the year. He was also on the Advanced Latin Certamen Team, which won second place in this year’s competition at SUNY Stony Brook.

He’s a volunteer in the “Going Green” program where he teaches students about the importance of recycling and environmentalism. He also volunteers at his local church. Daniel Tysz has been a member of Key and Math clubs, and tutors high school students in geometry.

Other top 2013 Riverhead High School grads include:

• Samantha Colt, University of Rhode Island, pharmacy
• Alexandra McKillop, Cornell University, pre-med neuroscience
• Charlotte Palmer, Case Western University, history/psychology;
• Julia Vunkannon, St. Joseph’s College, physics /chemistry/neuroscience
• Jayson Cosgrove, Rowan University, engineering
• Brian Unruh, SUNY Binghamton, undeclared
• Leia Kent, Albany College of Pharmacy, pharmacy
• Jaclyn Griffith, Monmouth University, social work
• Roger Rosenquist, SUNY Stony Brook, computer science
• Kyle Trypuc, St. Joseph’s College, secondary education/history
• Peter Schumejda, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, biology
• Karla Reyes, SUNY Stony Brook, biology
• Jonah Spaeth, SUNY Binghamton, pre-med

jennifer@timesreview.com