Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named
Carrollwood Day School announces that Leah Vicencio has been named the valedictorian and Abriana (Abri) Weissman the salutatorian for the graduating class of 2017, the ninth graduating class in the school’s history. Both students are well respected by the entire CDS community and epitomize the characteristics of an IB learner.
Leah Vicencio, the valedictorian, has been recognized with the Princeton University Book Award and has been awarded the academic excellence awards in world history and theatre. She was named the Best Student Director at the Florida Thespian District 9 One Act Festival.
Leah started at Carrollwood Day School at the Early Childhood Campus and through the years has become an integral part of the school, especially during her high school years. She serves as an officer in the National Honor Society, the secretary of the Key Club, the fundraising chair of the Dance Committee, and the co-captain of the cheerleaders. Leah has also served as the secretary of the Thespian Troupe.
She has been a critical component in the growth of the CDS theater program, not only as a lead performer (which she has been cast in six different lead roles) but also in roles outside of the spotlight that are required to stage a production. Leah is very helpful in working with the younger children in the troupe, helping them to develop their skills as performers and contributors to the troupe.
Throughout her high school years Leah has volunteered at the Sunday Market of a local organic farm. She has worked in a variety of tasks with increasing responsibility. Leah is very proud of her part in helping the community make more healthy choices in the food they consume. Leah has also participated in an Outreach360 service trip to Nicaragua.
Leah has been an active participant in all of the TEDx events at CDS. Serving as a behind the scenes technical advisor, presenting a talk with a classmate on the “Presence in the Arts,” and serving as an emcee.
Leah reflected on her time at CDS, “CDS has become a second home to me over the past 15 years. My time at CDS has surely had its ups and downs, but has taught me how to cherish each moment and take nothing and no one for granted. From my happiest to my saddest moments, first and to my last experiences, CDS will always be a place where I realized my dreams and watched them become a reality.”
Leah is planning to attend the University of Florida and major in advertising and marketing.
Abriana (Abri) Weissman, the salutatorian, has been recognized with the Harvard University Book Prize, as well as the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award from the Florida Holocaust Museum. She has received the Academic Excellence Award in mathematics and the Academic Commitment Award in Language B.
Abri is extremely active in all school activities, but she doesn’t just join a club or activity – she usually takes charge. She has earned the respect of her peers and the trust from her elders and never seems to take either for granted. She has served as both the president and secretary of the National Honor Society, the vice president and treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society, the president of the Making Caring Common Committee (formerly, Student Advisory Board). She is also a senior class representative and a member of the Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Ambassadors, and the Thespian Troupe. Abri is equally comfortable on the athletic field where she has represented CDS in soccer, serving as team captain, tennis, and cross country.
Abri is a caring individual both in our school and our community. She has participated in Pets Uplifting People, an activity in which she would bring her pet to an assisted living facility as therapy for the residents. Abri worked with the staff from these facilities to plan and organize this activity. She has also participated on the Outreach360 service trips to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Additionally, she has organized community walks to raise funds for the construction of an Outreach 360 learning center in Nicaragua.
When she was asked to reflect on her tenure here at Carrollwood Day School Abri responded, “I’m truly grateful that I attended CDS and have enjoyed my high school experience. The friendships and memories I’ve made here are each very special to me. Looking back at my time at CDS, I will remember the laughs shared, the bonds between my teammates, and the endless support that radiates from my classmates, teachers, and CDS faculty.”
Abri is planning to attend the University of Virginia and major in commerce.