By Angie Latham Kozlowski

St. Vincent Pallotti High School’s valedictorian, Connor Olsen, tested into the school’s accelerated science program and its engineering program his freshman year. He adjusted well to online learning  during the pandemic and said that the virtual format  served him during the “dramatic change from middle school to high school, where it was more hand’s off and there was more freedom.” 

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St. Vincent Pallotti High School’s valedictorian, Connor Olsen
Courtesy of Connor Olsen

Olsen said his class did not have a normal year until their senior year. The experience taught him that “the world changes and you have to adapt with it.” He also learned how to make new friends while readjusting to in-person learning. 

Olsen said he was proud of being the class valedictorian. In his speech at graduation, he thanked the teachers, encouraged his classmates to keep some friendships from high school and celebrated some of Pallotti’s winning sports teams. A swimmer and soccer player himself, Olsen highlighted the boys 2021 soccer championship, the boys lacrosse championship and the track team’s success. 

Olsen will be an honor student at the University of Maryland (UMD) this fall  and is considering majoring in biology or environmental science.

Christy Ha was Pallotti’s salutatorian where she was enrolled in the school’s fine arts program. She said she was proud of her ability to maintain her grades during sophomore year when classes were held online. She said that she acquired better time-management skills and a good mindset  for her junior year. During her speech at the senior banquet, Ha touched on these themes and reflected on her time at Pallotti.

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Christy Ha, Pallotti’s salutatorian
Courtesy of Christy Ha

Ha plans to major in marketing and fine arts or international business at UMD and is looking forward to having new friends on campus. She also hopes to study abroad in Korea or Europe.