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Class of 2024 Valedictorian, Ian Park, Reflects on Time in Paramus District

Ian Park, Valedictorian of the Paramus High School Class of 2024, reflects on his time in Paramus Public Schools.

In the District since third grade, Ian attended Ridge Ranch Elementary School and East Brook Middle School. He will be heading to the esteemed Harvard University in the fall, studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology.

Ian said he did not expect PHS to name him valedictorian. “I was honestly very surprised when I learned that I was the valedictorian, particularly because it was not something that I was truly working toward during my time in Paramus High School,” he explained. “I was also extraordinarily happy that I received recognition for the work that I put in during my time at Paramus.”

Ian said his biggest accomplishment during his four years in high school was not academic or extracurricular, but the close personal connections he has made with faculty members. “Having such a bond with such a range of teachers is one of the things that I am proudest of when I reflect on my time at Paramus High School,” he explained. There are two particular staff members to whom Ian sends his heartfelt thanks: school counselor, Mr. Joseph Gencarelli, and history teacher, Mrs. Barbara Kondratowicz.

“Thank you to Mr. Gencarelli, the best counselor I could have asked for, without whom I would not have been able to accomplish what I have, and to Mrs. Kondratowicz, for being one of the best teachers that I have ever had,” he said. Ian also expressed his gratitude to his family and friends for their continued support.

With September quickly approaching, Ian said he is excited for college life. “Being in such a challenging environment is something that I look forward to,” he continued, “as well as the endless possibilities that I will have access to, particularly in the research field, so that I can continue the work that I have started. I also look forward to all the new friends, mentors, and peers that I will meet, but I plan to keep in touch with the people I have met in Paramus.”

Ian standing between adults in front of a wallIan and surrounding adults in a formal setting

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