The ‘Datta’ is in: Carroll valedictorian and salutatorians announced
By Audrey Scaer, News Editor
Recently, the Carroll administration announced that the valedictorian for the class of 2016 is senior Rocktim Datta. They also named not one salutatorian, but three— seniors Julie Ho, Michaelle Dimaggio-Potter, and Corey Miller—because their GPAs were extremely close.
Datta is happy that he placed where he did, as it means that his efforts have paid off.
“It’s a very high honor,” Datta said, “It’s the highest by the school, so I’m very proud.”
Datta says that his success at Carroll began years before he entered its walls.
“I’d say for me really,” Datta said, “it started in the seventh grade, when I got a bit of a kick start, and I was really motivated by one of my seventh grade teachers. Ever since then, I’ve just been trying to carry on with that zeal.”
Miller also pinpointed a single class that changed his work ethic. Taking Honors Chemistry taught Miller that doing well in an upper level course was something that he was capable of.
“I guess up until sophomore year I never really pushed myself to do that much stuff outside of school,” Miller said, “but…Honors Chemistry kind of was the class that did it for me, that like you have to work hard to do well in these upper level classes.”
Ho attributes her success not to a single class, but to the way she was raised and to the people that she chooses to spend her time with.
“My family, they raised me to get everything done on time, like ‘Don’t be lazy or you’re going to get in trouble,’” Ho said, “and then my friends, we all took the high, advanced courses, and that convinces you that maybe, yeah, I’m a little bit better than the rest, I should maybe put my talents to work.”
Dimaggio-Potter placed emphasis on the individual work that got her where she is.
“I think I work harder than most people,” DiMaggio-Potter said. “All of us at the top work a lot harder than other people.”
But was the hard work worth it? While DiMaggio-Potter was “elated” when she found out her rank, the journey to it wasn’t always so sweet.
“I feel like, yeah it’s great that I’m where I am,” DiMaggio-Potter said, “but all of the stress and the depression and everything I had to go through, I just don’t know if it was worth it honestly.”
Miller similarly warned against the dangers of spending all of high school focused solely on academics. He says that his extracurricular activities, like Cross Country, are what he’ll remember most.
“Care about your grades but don’t worry about them so much,” Miller said. “High school, the four years go by really fast, and you don’t want to just totally neglect your grades, but you don’t want to spend hours and hours every night worrying about them.”
On the other hand, Ho enjoyed her fight for salutatorian, because she fully appreciates the award that comes along with it. She advises that those who have a passion for what they do are the ones who will end up making it the farthest.
“Never stop doing what you love,” Ho said. “I don’t necessarily love getting A+’s and stuff, but I love succeeding, and if that’s what I have to do in high school to do that, then yeah, I’ll do that.”
Datta feels that the way to get to the top is simple: working at it. He recognizes that neither he, nor anyone, is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that improvement is impossible.
“Study, work hard, and turn in assignments on time,” Datta said. “Don’t procrastinate. I’m not a perfect time manager, you know; you get better at it, so keep at it. Always improve it. Maximize the good, minimize the bad.”
In the fall, Datta will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology where he will study Aerospace Engineering. Ho will be enrolled at the University of Southern California in their international relations program, Miller plans to study finance at the University of Notre Dame, and DiMaggio-Potter will major in creative writing, film, and theatre at Columbia University.