The Oyster River Cooperative School District wishes to recognize and congratulate the top 10 students in the Oyster River High School Class of 2023.
Graduation is scheduled for Friday, June 6, beginning at 6 p.m. at the UNH Whittemore Center.
Kelly Zhang is the Valedictorian and Class President for the Class of 2023.
Kelly Zhang is the daughter of Chris and Jessica Zhang of Durham. She is graduating as the Class of 2023 Valedictorian and Class President. Her academic prowess is evident, as she is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, a U.S. Presidential Scholars semi-finalist, and AP Scholar with Distinction. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Computer Science Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. Kelly will be recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.
Extracurriculars are pursued with the same vim and vigor. Kelly is the founder and president of Code Runners, ORHS’s computer science club. She is a captain of the hockey team, captain of the cross-country team and a member of the Student Athletic Leadership Team. She became a trained SAT/PSAT tutor and college essay help instructor and provided this service for free through a four-week test prep boot camp for 90 ORHS students.
In the fall, Kelly will be attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology, double majoring in math and science, with the intent of working in academia.
Katherine McEwan is Salutatorian for the Class of 2023.
Katherine McEwan, of Madbury, is the daughter of Rebecca and Robert McEwan. She is graduating as the Class of 2023 Salutatorian. Outside of the classroom, Katherine is a competitive rower and captain of the Great Bay Rowing crew team. Her club recently received a spot in the USRowing 2023 Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Katherine also possesses creative talents that she has showcased in school through knitting and crocheting, specifically with various unique hats on display in the hallways.
Katherine was celebrated as a 2022 semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program, having been selected as one in the top 1% of over 1.5 million eligible students. At Oyster River, her leadership and character accolades are recognized through her roles in the National Honor and French Honor Societies. She is also commended as a New Hampshire Scholar to acknowledge her completion of a strong college preparatory program of study; she will receive recognition as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis in celebration of her grade-point average and a primary elected focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics courses.
She has received offers of admission from Smith College, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and the University of Maine. Katherine will be rowing, while also pursuing world domination through artificial intelligence by studying Computation and Cognition, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next fall.
Maya Ajit is from Durham, daughter of Sunitha and Janardhanan Ajit. Maya has been a strong component of ORHS’s math team all four years of her time in high school. She was a founding member of our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion club and a dedicated member of our Robotics team.
Maya is a member of the National Honor Society and Computer Science Honor Society. She will be awarded New Hampshire Scholar with a distinction in STEAM to recognize her grade-point average and a primary elected focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses along with Fine Arts. As a junior, Maya was the recipient of the Bryn Mawr College President’s Book Award due to her dedication to making a meaningful contribution to the world. She is an AP Scholar and was a National Merit Finalist this year.
Maya has been accepted to University of Texas Austin, University of Maryland, College Park, University of California Irvine, Purdue, Union College, University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of New Hampshire. Maya has decided to pursue computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she aspires to become a software developer.
Henry Hagen, of Madbury, is the son of Stephen Hagen and Shelley Girder. Henry is a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field teams. Henry has participated in the music program as a member of the concert band throughout high school. Henry enjoys the outdoors and is a counselor in training for a summer day camp.
Henry was recognized as National Merit Commended Student in recognition of being in the top 3 percent of students testing. He is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEAM emphasis recognizing his GPA and extensive coursework in the arts as well as mathematics, science and technology. He was awarded the George Eastman Young Leaders Award in recognition of his scholastic achievement and leadership qualities. He was accepted to and attended the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies program focusing on Physics and Sustainability.
Having received acceptances to Hamilton College, Colgate University, Connecticut College, Skidmore, University of Rochester, William and Mary, University of New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University, and University of Vermont, Henry has chosen to attend St. Lawrence University in the fall to focus on his goal of becoming an environmental scientist.
Chloe Hawkes, of Lee, is the daughter of Mary and Randy Hawkes. Chloe has been an integral member of the Oyster River High School community in her role on the Sustainability Club where she serves on the executive board. Chloe is an accomplished athlete participating on both club and ORHS Volleyball teams throughout high school.
As Co-Captain of the Varsity Volleyball team, she was named to the All-State first team. Chloe has been named a National Merit Finalist having been chosen as one of 15,000 recipients in a pool of over 1.5 million eligible students. She was selected as the recipient of the Yale Book Award for her strength in humanities. She is a teaching assistant for AP U.S. History and is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEM emphasis highlighting her GPA and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses.
Chloe is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society and has spent her summers volunteering with the Blue Ocean Society delivering education and leading hands-on activities at the Discovery Center.
Having been accepted to Tufts University, Bates College, Wesleyan University and McGill University, Chloe will attend Dartmouth College in the fall where she will study environmental studies and history with the goal of becoming an environmental lawyer.
Haley Pickering resides in Lee and is the daughter of Troy and Carolyn Pickering. She is goal-driven to become a doctor. At ORHS, Haley serves as the President of the Red Cross Club where duties include organizing blood donation drives, networking with local agencies, and running regularly scheduled meetings. She is also a member of the Unified Soccer program as well as a sprinter on the indoor and outdoor Track and Field teams.
Haley is a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis in celebration of her grade- point average and focus on college preparatory coursework rooted in science and mathematics. She is celebrated as a New Hampshire Scholar Athlete in commemoration of her academic achievements and athletic commitment. Haley also received the Clarkson University Achievement Award in spring 2022 in recognition of demonstrated leadership qualities and academic performance within the top 15% of her class.
Having received acceptances to Purdue University, Fordham, University of New Hampshire, Florida State, Penn State, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Indiana University Bloomington, Haley will embark on a pre-medical pursuit at the University of Wisconsin-Madison next fall.
Zoe Selig is the daughter of Todd and Loren Selig of Durham. She is a member of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. She was a recipient of the Brandies Book Award and was a regional winner for Poetry out Loud. Additionally, Zoe is a Co-Editor in Chief of the school’s publication, Mouth of the River. Zoe will be recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis.
Zoe’s involvement, passion, commitment, and success extends well beyond the classroom. She is an instrumental member of the Superintendents’ Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee. She was a student ambassador intern with When We all Vote, a national voting organization, and was both dependable and creative in her roles as stage manager and student director for the Drama Department.
Having been accepted to American University, Denison University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Ithaca College, Muhlenberg College, State University of New York Geneseo, University of New Hampshire, and the University of Vermont, Zoe will be attending Dickinson College with the intention of double majoring in Political Science and English.
Siddharth Srivatsan is the son of Srivatsan Chetlur and Uma Rao of Lee. His academic talent is impressive as he is a National Merit Scholarship recipient, U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program candidate, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. He received the University of Michigan Book Award, New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics Award, and will be recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.
Outside of the classroom, Siddharth pursues excellence with the same breadth and depth. He is a captain of the varsity tennis team and was instrumental in winning the school's first-ever state championship. He plays both the violin and viola in the orchestra and chamber orchestra and was invited to the All-State Festival. He has also played for the University of New Hampshire Youth Symphony Orchestra for six years. To further dive into his love of science, Siddharth has been a chemical engineering intern for the past two summers at the University of New Hampshire, where he focused on polymer science.
Having been accepted to Bates College, Wake Forest University, Penn State University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Maryland, University of Connecticut-Honors Program, University of Minnesota-Honors Program, Lehigh University, and University of Pittsburgh, Siddharth will be attending Colby College, to pursue a degree in Biology and Statistics on the pre-med track, as he aspires to be an Oncologist.
Devon Wasiewski is the son of Doreen and Richard Wasiewski of Lee. He will be recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis.
Devon has a passion for basketball and the outdoors. He has played basketball year-round and has been a member of the basketball team for all four years, earning the coaches award. His love of the outdoors takes him hiking, fishing, and learning bushcraft, which are skill sets that allow one to thrive in the wilderness. This interest, coupled with his carpentry skills, inspired him to build a log cabin on his property from trees he felled.
Having been accepted to Bates College, Emerson College, Providence College, Quinnipiac University, Seton Hall University, University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Curry College, Franklin and Marshall College and High Point University, Devon will pursue a double major in Health Sciences and Business Administration at Northeastern University, as he is interested in possibly becoming a Physician’s Assistant or entrepreneur.
Grace Webb is the daughter of Kate Haley Webb and Dr. Gavin Webb of Durham. She was the recipient of the Smith College Book Award and the Southeast Land Trust Sustainability Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society, holding the role of volunteer coordinator. She is the Opinion Editor for the school’s publication, Mouth of the River, and will be recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.
Grace’s commitment to service, both to the community and planet, is prevalent, as she
volunteered over 200 hours during high school. Grace is a member of her youth ministry leadership team, a volunteer member of the Teen Advisory Board for the Durham Public Library, and secretary for the Red Cross Club. She is committed to effecting positive change for the planet as a sustainability club leader and executive director of the New Hampshire non-profit Seacoast Students for Sustainability. She still finds time to dance at Sole City, where she studies hip hop, modern, jazz, and aerial.
Having gained admission to University of Vermont, Fairfield University, American University, George Washington University and St. Lawrence University, Grace will be attending Connecticut College where she will be pursuing majors in Environmental Studies and Anthropology while minoring in dance.