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Class of 2019 Top Scholars
Posted 05/16/2019 11:41AM

Valedictorian and Co-Salutatorians Named

Carrollwood Day School is pleased to announce that Ria Patel has been named the valedictorian and Aliya Olson and Atiriya (Ati) Saxena the co-salutatorians for the graduating class of 2019. The CDS Mission statement encourages students to “develop their own talents and interests and use these to better the world and themselves.” These three well-rounded students have already made significant contributions to CDS and our greater community.

Ria - ValedictorianRia Patel, the Class of 2019 valedictorian, has been a CDS Patriot since 2nd grade. She epitomizes the qualities of an IB scholar and is sure to follow the IB mission to be a lifelong learner. Ria has earned numerous awards in a variety of academic subjects. Ria was recognized with the Harvard Prize Book for excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievement and leadership in non-academic areas.

Ria has earned stellar academic achievements due to her inordinately high work ethic combined with discipline and intellectual passion. Ria has consistently pursued educational opportunities for enrichment, enrolling and excelling in numerous pre-college and summer programs. Ria is unique in that she is exceptional as a STEM student who is just as dedicated in the humanities and fine arts. Ria won first place in the Hillsborough County National History Day individual dramatic presentation category. She gave a TEDx talk. She is a gifted musician who relentlessly trains in classical Hindustani Music as a vocalist and harmonium player. She is a classical Indian singer who competes and performs at traditional Indian festivals throughout Tampa, and has a deep penchant for art and fashion design.

Ria is not only recognized for her intellectualism and earning accolades, but she is respected and endeared for her quiet dignified leadership and kind-hearted nature. She has been active in student life at Carrollwood Day School as president of the Human Rights Club, and in National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Beta Club. She founded “Music is Medicine” and performs in the Tampa area. 

Ria will attend Northwestern University and intends to major in biomedical engineering with a career focus in medicine.

Aliya - Co-SalutatorianAliya Olson, the Class of 2019 co-salutatorian, is a pillar in all aspects of the Carrollwood Day School community. Aliya shines in the classroom, on the athletic field, and on the stage. Aliya was selected as the recipient of the Brown University Book Award for her academic achievement and excellence in written and spoken expression. She served as co-captain to both our varsity girls’ soccer and cross-country teams, all while maintaining key roles in CDS theater productions each year.

Aliya is active in National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Student Advisory Board. She is creative and talented, earning many prestigious honors in state competitions with the Florida Thespian Society. After the spring musical production at CDS, Aliya is well known to Patriots of all ages as “Mary Poppins.” Quite fitting, as Aliya could be described as “practically perfect in every way.”

Aliya has a strong passion for serving her community and mentoring children. She volunteered with the CDS aftercare and summer camp programs as well as with Metropolitan Ministries. During her junior year, she joined a group of CDS students on a service trip to the Dominican Republic with Outreach360 where she taught English to local children.

Aliya will attend University of Florida in the fall where she was invited to join the Honors Program. She intends to major in political science.

Atiriya (Ati) Saxena, the Class of 2019 co-salutatorian, was one of twenty students across the country chosen to found the inaugural Youth Advisory Board at Harvard Graduate School of Education working on the Making Caring Common project. Along with serving on the national panel, Ati was also a leader on the Student Advisory Board at Carrollwood Day School as a voice of change and promoting kindness to others. She was also recognized by the Florida Holocaust Museum with the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award. 

Ati is extremely active in school life at Carrollwood Day School. She is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, CDS Ambassadors, and Key Club. Ati is an exemplary student-athlete who is equally comfortable in the classroom and on the athletic field participating in Varsity Soccer and Cross-Country. Ati also served as the manager of the first CDS lacrosse team. 

Ati is principled, kind, and caring in school and the community. She tutors classmates, teaches pre-school students at her Temple, and traveled with Outreach 360 to the Dominican Republic to work in underprivileged schools teaching English to primary and elementary students.

Ati is well respected by peers and teachers for her intelligence, integrity, and enthusiastic spirit.

Ati will attend Barnard College in New York City and intends to major in financial engineering.


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