One Detroit High School has a graduating class of 27 seniors valedictorians.
Earlier this month, the Class of 2023 co-valedictorians at Cass Technical High School (Cass Tech) was celebrated with a lunch at Jo Jo’s restaurant in Detroit. The high school’s alumni association sponsored the event.
Cass Tech’s principal Lisa Phillips surprised her students with the luncheon.
Detroit Public Schools Community District Assistant Superintendent for High School Transformation Dr. Derrick Jones Lopez explained to WXYZ that the 27 valedictorians were a phenomenon even though the school is widely known for its exemplary high schoolers.
“Never 27; this is pretty spectacular,” he said.
Some of the students who are co-valedictorians persevered through life’s challenges while maintaining impeccable grades.
Cass Tech senior and valedictorian Ismael Olivarez lost his sister after she succumbed to lupus. The young lady was a DACA student. With his stellar grades, Olivarez has a full scholarship to Columbia University in New York City.
“I’m doing this as a way to honor her and my parents,” Olivarez said.
Erykah Boynton battled to keep it together during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bright teen managed to be an honor student while taking online classes, but Boynton also cared for and tutored her siblings while her mother provided for the home.
“With that, I had to make an example of myself and be an example for them so that they could see what success could look like,” the co-valedictorian told the news outlet.
Lisa Gooden, the student’s guidance counselor, wanted to recognize her selfless deed.
“When you’re trying to make sure that three people are where they should be and you’re trying to make sure you take care of yourself as well, I just think she’s an amazing young lady,” Gooden explained.
“I want to be an orthodontist and get my own practice and eliminate healthcare disparities in my community,” said Mariama Stewart, another co-valedictorian said.
To applaud the 27 co-valedictorians, job well done; Cass Tech administrators gave the seniors medallions they will rock on graduation day– with their caps and gowns.
The well-deserving seniors are the crème de la crème of one of Detroit’s largest high schools.
Under the leadership of Principal Phillips, Cass Tech students have secured $300 million in scholarships and grants. The high school is also the first and only International Baccalaureate High School in the Detroit Public Schools System.
As of the 2020-21 school year, Cass Tech has a graduation rate of 94%. Eighty-six percent of the graduates from the educational institution go on to colleges and universities.