At the W.T. Clarke High School graduation, which will take place on the school’s football field on June 23, seniors Daniel Wang and Alexander Evangelatos will deliver speeches in front of their peers, families and teachers. In October, the pair were named the top two in their class — Wang as valedictorian and Evangelatos as salutatorian.
As of a couple weeks before graduation, the teenagers were still working out exactly what they wished to tell their classmates during the afternoon ceremony, but both said they hoped to say something meaningful. “Follow up on all the opportunities you have,” said Evangelatos, 17. “Do you what love, really, because I think that’s one of the most important things.”
Wang, 18, said it is important that he thank the people who guided him throughout his four years at Clarke. But he added, “I definitely want to say something that’s inspiring.”
Wang will be attending Harvard in the fall, while Evangelatos will be studying at Brown. With just days remaining in the school year, the reality of the big changes in their lives was finally sinking in. “I used to be really excited to graduate,” reflected Evangelatos. “But now I’m realizing why all the seniors in past years have been so reluctant to want to graduate.”
“I realized that a big part of me is because of Clarke,” Wang agreed. “So it’s kind of like leaving a big part of your life behind.”
There are very few school activities that at least one of the two hasn’t taken part in. Wang is president of the Science Honor Society, vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, a founding member of the Math Honor Society, the editor in chief of the school newspaper, the Vanguard, a member of the tennis team and a violinist since age 6 who has performed at Lincoln Center twice.