William Floyd’s top two
The William Floyd School District is pleased to announce its 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian, who anticipate graduation in June. Both are heavily involved in the National Honor Society. Valedictorian Asma Asghar serves as a co-president of NHS and saluatorian Michelle Lara is vice president.
Valedictorian: Asma Asghar
Finishing at the top of her class, Asghar has secured a 102.36 weighted grade point average as a first-generation American, moving from Pakistan to Shirley in fifth grade. She has an older brother studying engineering, who graduated from William Floyd, and a second younger brother in the district.
Asghar will be studying neuroscience at Barnard College and aspires to continue that discipline or other options within the medical field. She has been conducting research as an advanced research student at William Floyd High School and is president of Stony Brook Science and Technology Entry Program, which is dedicated to encouraging and preparing more underrepresented minority and low-income high-school students for entry into scientific, technical, health and health-related careers.
“Just like with the research and with Stony Brook STEP, [William Floyd has] been very supportive in providing a lot of opportunities, where we can go to Brookhaven National Lab and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory,” Asghar said.
After completing school, Asghar aspires to volunteer in countries in need of medical camps and would like to be a part of setting up those camps.
“Over here, we have affordable healthcare compared to other developing countries,” she said. “So I would like to use that knowledge to help other places in the world and other people.”
Asghar has served the William Floyd community along several avenues of community service, including Relay for Life for Breast Cancer Awareness, Thanksgiving food drives, and tutoring.
She sees her tutoring of students learning English as their second or third language as most notable, since she was an ENL student herself. Asghar is fluent in four languages, including English, Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.
Salutatorian: Michelle Lara
Lara has earned a 101.20 weighted grade point average and has been named the salutatorian of her graduating class. She is also a first-generation American and, along with six other William Floyd students, was honored by the Town of Brookhaven Hispanic Advisory Board in November.
Lara says her greatest achievement is receiving acceptance to Harvard University, where she plans to study biology. She said that the application process was tough in that she had to teach herself.
“I don’t really have any family with the experience of going to college,” Lara said. “It was great to have that hard work and a bunch of research that went into it pay off.”
Lara aspires to become a neurosurgeon though is not ruling out other medical-field ventures.
She has been heavily involved in the music community through her time at William Floyd, serving as vice president of both the symphonic orchestra and jazz band. Playing piano, violin and percussion, Lara also took part in chamber orchestra, pit orchestra and wind symphony. She also participated in NYSCAME All-County Band and NYSBDA High School Honor Concert Band. Lara plans to continue being in orchestras and jazz bands in the future.
“Music has always been somewhere I can call home,” she said. “The music faculty [at William Floyd] is so supportive, and I’ve always found it to be a welcoming and enriching community.”
Lara also participated in girls varsity cross country and girls track and field for three years.
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