With dedication and humility

Class of 2023 valedictorian and salutation are crowned


Eiffel Sunga

Senior Stephanie Ling walks to the Associated Student Body office to submit papers for the TEDx Bonita Vista club. Along with being president of TEDx, Ling is also the class of 2023 valedictorian.

On April 4, Bonita Vista High (BVH) principal Lee Romero announced the class of 2023’s valedictorian and salutatorian: senior Stephanie Ling and senior Reuben Broudy, respectively. By the first semester of Ling’s senior year she had a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.73, while Broudy had a 4.71. Romero explains how he had delivered the news to Ling and Broudy in their second period. 

“It’s a tradition every year. The principal and counselor call the valedictorian and salutatorian’s parents— because we want the parents there for pictures— and the administration went with me to celebrate them in their class,” Romero said.

Ling expressed the academic dedication she had to put in to receive her title. She explains she pushed through her struggles to understand class material in order to get straight A’s.

“It took a lot of dedication and humility. I don’t always understand everything I’m supposed to learn in class, so I had to ask a lot of questions,” Ling said. “You have to decide that it doesn’t matter if people think you’re dumb [when asking questions]. I am still somewhat self-conscious when I ask questions, but honestly I’m more curious than self-conscious.”

I didn’t even expect to become the salutatorian. I just went by the principles that my parents gave me, which was ‘if you work hard, eventually it will pay off.’

— senior Reuben Broudy

Ling further explained the grand accomplishment made by her and Broudy. Receiving such high academic titles shows the academic success of both seniors and how far they excel in their studies at BVH. Broudy shares his thoughts on being selected the 2023 salutatorian.

“It’s a great honor to have been salutatorian. I didn’t even expect to become the salutatorian. I just went by the principles that my parents gave me, which was ‘if you work hard, eventually it will pay off.’ And I did,” Broudy said.

Despite being selected valedictorian or salutatorian Ling and Broudy still needed support when it comes to academics. Broudy shares who had supported him when it came to academics.

“My parents did help me with my homework but it was more trying to find ways to do my homework independently. Creating a structure like that and that allowed me to do well in school,” Broudy said.

While a great academic accomplishment Ling and Broudy also faced challenges along the way. Broudy identifies class size as one of the struggles he had to face when coming to BVH. He had to adjust to the community to set himself up for success.

“Going from a private middle school to public high school was difficult. My entire class size and [the amount of students at] my school [grew]. My private school size was 300 people,” Broudy said. “There’s about 500 people [in my grade]. So having to adjust to that was a really big challenge for me.”

Ling was also confronted with her own struggles when it came to balancing all of her extracurricular activities. More specifically, Ling is the vice president of Quiz Bowl and the president of TEDx Bonita Vista HS, Robotics Club and president and founder of the Hookes club. 

“Difficult classes come with the territory of being valedictorian or salutatorian because you need a weighted GPA,” Ling said. “Having to balance those amongst other extracurriculars that I am doing was harder.” 

Broudy said that he worked hard in school to enrich his learning, not just for the grade. Similarly, Ling explains how being selected the valedictorian or salutatorian wasn’t her ultimate goal.

“It’s not about working for the GPA. For me, I wanted to take certain classes [this year] and I wanted to challenge myself, and [the GPA] just kind of came with it,” Ling said.

Broudy will attend  University of California, San Diego (UCSD) once he graduates from BVH. Ling is committed to the University of California Berkeley with a major in Aerospace Engineering. She will be involved in the United States Space Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Romero feels a great sense of pride for the two. 

“I’m proud of these two, valedictorian and salutatorian, who are not only academically successful, but also two students of good character,” Romero said. “They’re kind people, they care about their school, about their classmates, and I know that their good character will take them [far] and allow them to be successful in the future.”