Class of 2018 Top Three

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Rocky Point High School is pleased to announce the top three students of the Class of 2018 – Valedictorian Connor Middleton, Salutatorian Kyle Markland and Exhortation Speaker Jade Pinkenburg. 

All three students are noted for their exceptional commitment to academics, 
extracurricular activities, community involvement and the pursuit of greatness in their higher education and beyond.

Connor has had an impressive list of achievements throughout his academic career at Rocky Point, including receiving a perfect score of 800 on his SAT II U.S. History test, taking 22 honors and AP classes, and being vice president of the Human Rights Club. He is a member of the New York State Math Honor Society and History Honor Society and has been nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Engineering and Technology and the Global Young Leaders Conference. His studies took him to Spain as part of a student-exchange program, which he documented in his personal blog. Connor is a varsity lacrosse player and has a black belt in martial arts. He will attend Williams College to study economics and philosophy with a concentration in global studies. He would like to combine what he learned in the school’s Human Rights Club to be a change agent in the world and focus on human rights abuses, trafficking and helping those affected by natural disasters.

“It’s important to me to do everything with passion,” Connor said. His words of wisdom to others are to “take pride in everything you do, from homework to college applications; be proud of your accomplishments.”  

Kyle, who states that everything is an opportunity to learn, has already put a mark on the world with his formidable high school résumé. He has been a member of the cross-country team and the track and field team. He has played double bass in the school’s pit orchestra and jazz band and has been in the guitar ensemble for all four years of high school. He has his own YouTube channel where he posts tutorials on robotics and has published a book on robotics. His musical accomplishments include being the first Rocky Point student to perform at the state level, and he will be going to Carnegie Hall to perform with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.

Kyle focuses on the inspiring words of his cousin in many aspects of his life: “There’s nothing more powerful than one who plans his work and works his plans.” 

He will attend MIT for mechanical engineering with a concentration in computer science.

As the Exhortation Speaker, Jade Pinkenburg also has a comprehensive list of accomplishments. He is gifted in science and research and pursued a rigorous course of study while in high school. His LEGO League Robotics team placed fifth at an international competition and he is the captain of Long Island's only community based FIRST Robotics Competition team. Beyond the classroom, he is a musician, an athlete and a tutor. He has not decided on where he will attend college but has narrowed it down to Cornell or Stony Brook University, where he would like to pursue the study of biomedical engineering with a focus on nanotechnological applications.

“I encourage others to go for it,” Jade said. Whatever it is they want to pursue, “don’t let obstacles get in your way; do what you feel is right.”