Ellenville Senior High School Names 2023's Top Students

Ellenville Senior High School Names 2023's Top Students
Posted on 03/15/2023
Ellenville Senior High School Names 2023's Top Students

Ellenville Senior High School (ESHS) is proud to announce that Shyama Patel has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2023 and Antonella Silva is this year’s salutatorian. These students not only excelled academically during their high school careers, but in a wide array of sports and extracurricular activities as well.

Shyama, the daughter of Jigisha and Dipakkumar Patel of Ellenville, currently holds a weighted GPA of 99.8. She is the president of the National Honor Society, vice president of the Spanish National Honor Society, and vice president of her class. Shyama also serves as vice president and co-founder of Students Against Violence In Our Schools, and participates in the Art Club. She has earned a place on the High Honor Roll every semester since her freshman year, has taken several Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and is graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma.

Outside of the classroom, Shyama played on the Varsity Tennis team, earning Athlete of the Month, and making it to Sectionals with her team. She also volunteered as a Spanish tutor and helped staff the school concession stand during football and basketball games. 
She credits a number of Ellenville educators with having had a positive impact on her during her high school career. “My mother has also been a great influence,” Shyama adds. “She always pushes me to be the best version of myself.”

Shyama, who plans to pursue a career in Computer Science, is waiting to hear back from her top college choices. Ultimately, she says, would like to work for a well-known technology company and be able to travel abroad for work.

Reflecting upon being honored as Ellenville’s top student, Shyama says, “I am very proud of myself and the work ethic I put forward. This accomplishment demonstrates that I can do great things with hard work and perseverance.”

With a weighted GPA of 99.5, Antonella is ranked second in her class at ESHS. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and has maintained placement on the High Honor Roll throughout her academic career. In addition, Antonella will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. 

Antonella, who is the daughter of Miguel and Ivon Silva of Ellenville, participates in Jazz Band as a tenor saxophonist, and has been in the school band for about eight years, playing the B flat clarinet. She has attended the New York State School Music Association festival and was selected for the Zone 9 area All State Band. This fall, she played on the Varsity Tennis team, and received the Scholar-Athlete award in recognition of her academic excellence during a sports season. Antonella has also participated in the Environmental Club and Art Club, and was awarded Honorable Mention in the NAACP Black History Month Contest. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, drawing, sewing, painting, and baking.

The salutatorian says that many Ellenville teachers have had a positive influence on her. Her father has been another strong source of support. “My dad has always encouraged me with my studies,” she says. “He has consistently expressed his pride in my academic achievements.” 

In the fall, Antonella will attend SUNY New Paltz, where she would like to focus on Visual Arts. In the future, she hopes to be a freelance artist and “be her own boss,” and to travel around various states and countries.

“I am very grateful for the people in my life who have always believed in my ability to succeed, which has kept me motivated,” says Antonella. “The success I have experienced only makes me more excited about what’s to come.” 

Rounding out the Top 10 for the Class of 2023 (in order of rank) are Nurzina Rahman, Landon Hembdt, Mya Espinosa, Max Dickman, Justin Coniker, Nathan Towne, Danne Escalante, and Joseph Smiles.

ESHS is extremely proud of all of its hardworking seniors!