Pat Med’s best and brightest
This year’s Patchogue-Medford valedictorian Maddie Miehle with salutatorian Jonathan Craig (right) and essayist Daniel Gordon (left). They anticipate graduating in June.

Adv/Allegrezza

Pat Med’s best and brightest

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
5/10/2018


It’s that time of year again and Patchogue-Medford’s valedictorian, salutatorian and essayist have been announced.

Madeline Miehle, valedictorian 

Miehle has achieved a 103.4 weighted GPA, deeming her the class of 2018’s highest achiever. She says becoming the valedictorian has been one of her goals since witnessing the 2015 val’s speech during her sister’s graduation.

“I told everyone that day that I want that to be me up there on that stage when I graduate,” she said as a then 9th-grader. 

Having now achieved her goal, Miehle will be attending the University of Minnesota to study biomedical engineering, with the hopes of becoming involved with prosthetics upon gradation.

During her time in high school, she was a member of the UNICEF Club (president for two years), Academic Team, National Honor Society (president), Class of 2018 (executive board member), History, French and English honor societies, and Brookhaven Polar Plunge (team captain). She also runs varsity spring track and is an AP scholar, scholar-athlete, RIT Innovation and Creativity Award recipient and the Rensselaer Medal for outstanding achievements in math and science recipient.

Miehle, 18, is from East Patchogue and has chosen her field of study following in the footsteps of her father, a programmer, mother, a teacher, and sister, who is in the computer security field.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies and has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. This summer, she said she looks forward to working at a local movie theatre, attending prom and seeing her friends.

As for her speech, well, she’s not quite there yet, but she hopes to inspire her classmates and future Pat-Med grads to be balanced and enjoy their time while in high school.

Jonathan Craig, salutatorian

This year’s salutatorian has achieved a 103.2 weighted grade point average with plans to attend Stony Brook University for civil engineering. Craig, 17, is a Medford native who is fascinated with the natural world and all sectors of the universe.

Though he didn’t have eyes set on the accomplishment, he said, “I always aim to better myself. I never aspired to be anything other than the best version of myself.”

As for civil engineering, he said he chose the major wanting to contribute his services to others by leading them through stewardship.

Craig is a Boy Scout, Eagle Scout Project Phase, Physics Olympics vice president, and a member of the Academic Team Varsity Division, Model UN and National, English, Spanish and History honor societies.

Upon graduation, he joked, saying simply he would like to be employed. But more seriously, he said he hopes to find himself doing something that helps others.

His mother is an administrative assistant, father an armed forces helicopter pilot turned building inspector and his older brother attends St. Joseph’s College for chemistry and teaching.

A point of advice he would like to impart on current and future grads is to “cherish each moment because they are brief. Always value what one has and engage oneself in the present moment,” he said.

This summer he said he also looks forward to attending prom with his friends and eventually finding a short-term job as well as becoming an Eagle Scout upon completing his summer project.

Daniel Gordon, essayist

This year’s essayist, Daniel Gordon, has been selected for his 102.99 GPA and involvement with the cross country and badminton teams, Academic Team, Robotics Team 329, the Red and Black school newspaper, and as the treasurer for the National English Honor Society and executive board member for the National Honor Society.

Gordon, 18, plans to attend Stony Brook University majoring in biology and nursing. This year, he said he took biology and fell in love with it. “I always loved science, but biology in particular,” he said, also noting that his aunt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “Growing up in a small family, I was with her seeing the harsh reality of MS and trying to live with it. It has inspired me to help people through a career in nursing.”

His ultimate goal is to become a nurse practitioner and obtain a doctorate with a focus on MS research to find a way to prevent the disease. Neither of his parents attended college, allowing him to be a first-generation college student. His father owns a pool company and his mother is a medical biller. He also has a sister in 10th grade at Pat-Med High School. 

In his spare time, he said he enjoys taking a ride with his newly obtained driver’s license and grabbing a bite to eat. As this year’s essayist, he wants his class to always seize the opportunity to take classes that they might not have had interest in originally, because, he said, “you might really enjoy it.”

All three students have received academic scholarships and look forward to a bright future. Congrats and good luck.