2024 Top Ten Seniors

Picture collage of ORHS Class of 2024 Top 10 seniors

Updated 6/04/2024: The full press release may be viewed here.

Principal Rebecca Noe and the ORHS team wish to acknowledge and celebrate the Top Ten Seniors of the Class of 2024.

In alphabetical order following the valedictorian and salutatorian: Landon Wolph, Katherine Stone, Maya Grainger, Chris Hawley, Ella Higginson, Marlise Hyde, Benjamin Limric, Abigail "Abby" Owens, Molly Schmidt, and Erin Turnbull.

Landon Wolph is the son of Kimberly and Shanti Wolph of Madbury, NH. Landon is graduating with the distinction of valedictorian of his class.

His leadership and love of learning are evident as he was nominated for the HOBY Youth Leadership Award, Exercise, Physiology & Wellness Award, Business Plan of the Year Award, NH Teachers of Mathematics Award and American Legion Award. He was also nominated as a U.S. Presidential Scholar and is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEM emphasis.A photograph of Landon Wolph

Landon is equally skilled, committed, and passionate outside of the classroom. He is a certified black belt in Isshin-ryu Karate, and both continues to train and mentor in his discipline. He has been an instrumental member of both Best Buddies, a club that promotes inclusion for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and End 68 Hours of Hunger throughout his high school career. He is eager to be able to continue with Best Buddies in college and intends to continue to work with efforts to address food insecurity issues in his community.

Landon chose to attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the fall with a major in Computer Science. His desire is to work in data science and finance, especially as it relates to machine learning.


Katherine Stone is the daughter of Elizabeth Stone of Lee, NH. Kate is graduating with the distinction of salutatorian of her class. She was the recipient of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s humanitarian book award and the Coolidge Cup Award. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society. Tri-M Music Society and is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.A photograph of Katherine Stone

Outside of the classroom, Kate is deeply involved in a variety of activities. She is the captain of the Debate Team, a member of the JV cross country state championship team and has run both track and cross country throughout high school. She has also played the violin for the past fourteen years.

Having been accepted to the University of Connecticut, Emerson College, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and University of Colorado-Boulder, Kate will be attending the University of Vermont where she will be majoring in hearing sciences. Her plans are to become an audiologist.



Maya Grainger, is the daughter of Eric and Margaret Grainger of Durham. Maya is the President of Best Buddies, a club that promotes inclusion for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Maya’s leadership extends to the National Honor Society, where she also serves as chapter President. Maya is a former Level 7 gymnast and is a coach and Level 7/8 judge and is the youngest judge in New Hampshire and Maine. Maya volunteers with the food pantry, is a mathematics teaching assistant as well as a student facilitator of the Bringing in the Bystander program. She enjoys photography and CrossFit in her free time. A photograph of Maya Grainger

Maya is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society and is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEM emphasis.  Maya was selected as the recipient of the Bryn Mawr College book award her junior year.  She earned 2nd place in the New Hampshire National History Day competition and went on to compete in the national competition. Maya was nominated to represent ORHS at Girls State and was selected as an Executive Council member based on her leadership ability.

Maya will attend the University of New Hampshire Honors College as a UNH Hamel Scholar in the fall. She will major in mathematics with a minor in education as she pursues her career goal of Professor of Education.


Chris Hawley is from Durham, NH, the son of Beth and Mike Hawley.  Chris is a dedicated and exceptional high school senior and has been recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar, a recipient of the Rensselaer Metal, a FIRST Robotics dean’s list semifinalist, and the recipient of the American Public Works Association Timothy J O’Leary Award.  Chris has been recognized as a New Hampshire Scholar with an emphasis in STEAM, reflecting his aptitude and passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. His commitment to advancing his skills is evident through his participation in math courses at the University of New Hampshire.A photograph of Chris Hawley

Chris has been a dedicated team leader of design on his FIRST Robotics team while being a committed member of the mechanical/robot assembly team. This team’s work and commitment led the robotics team to qualify for the district championship. Chris is also a member of ORHS’ varsity golf team and trivia team.  Chris plays the guitar and is skilled in music production. Chris produced, wrote, and recorded a collaborative album, demonstrating his versatility and dedication as an artist.

Chris has been accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Southern California, and California Polytechnic State University where he will be attending next fall.  Chris will be studying mechanical engineering with a focus in product design.


Ella Higginson resides in Madbury with her parents, Lizzie and Matt Higginson.  Ella is a dedicated oboist, having played in NH All-State and All State Chamber Festivals. She has been a member of the University of New Hampshire’s Youth Band for seven years and is also a member of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensemble. A photograph of Ella Higginson

Ella is a member of the National Honor Society, The Tri-M Honor Society and will be recognized as a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEAM emphasis. Ella has pursued multiple science opportunities including the Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Science Fellowship, and Extended Learning Opportunity at the University of New Hampshire as a research assistant investigating ocean biochemistry, and an independent research project at UNH’s Hubbard Center for Genomic Studies sequencing bacterial genomes. Ella attended the St. Paul’s Advanced Studies program with a focus on ecology and has received the Rochester Institute of Technology Science and Math Award, as well as the University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science award. 

Ella will begin her studies in the fall at Northwestern University in Biology with a concentration in molecular genetics and geonomics and a minor in music. Ella will follow her passion, to become a scientist pursuing research in genetics and hopes to have a career in academia. 


Marlise Hyde, of Durham, is the daughter of Duane and Noreen Hyde.  Marlise is a member of the ORHS Red Cross Club, the ORHS Swim Team, and the ORHS theatre program. She is a lifeguard and swim instructor and swim coach. Marlise is a tour guide at the Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, providing historical context for visitors. She also volunteers at the Strawberry Banke Museum as an educator and role player, combining her passion for theatre and history. A photograph of Marlise Hyde

Marlise is a New Hampshire State Scholar with STEM emphasis. She was a New Hampshire National History Day state finalist and was chosen as the Smith College Book award recipient. She also received the ORHS Swim Team Sportsmanship award. Marlise attended the University of New Hampshire in the CATS program completing four courses in the Italian language supporting her future aspirations.

Having been accepted to UMASS Amherst, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, Pennsylvania State, Seton Hall and the University of New Hampshire, Marlise will travel abroad in the fall to begin her studies at Marist College’s Florence, Italy campus. She will major in Art Restoration and Conservation Studies in preparation for a career as a Historic Conservator. 


Benjamin Limric resides in Madbury and is the son of Kathryn Mears-Limric and Scot Limric. Ben aspires to enter the world of academia, concentrating on becoming a research professor in physics.A photograph of Benjamin Limric

Benjamin is a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis in commendation of his grade point average and focus on college preparatory coursework rooted in science and mathematics. He is the 2023 recipient of the Elmira College Key Award, which highlights academic excellence, community engagement, and leadership. He was also celebrated in 2023 as an AP Scholar: an honor given to any student who takes three or more Advanced Placement exams in a year, averaging a college readiness score on each of the exams. This year, Benjamin is vying for the AP Scholar with Distinction.

Having received acceptances to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer, Northeastern University, Stony Brook, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of New Hampshire, Benajmin will embark on a degree in physics at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst next fall.


Abigail “Abby” Owens, of Barrington, is the daughter of Cathy and Bill Owens. She has an insatiable thirst for learning, which has been predominantly displayed through academic pursuits in world languages and journalism.A photograph of Abby Owens

She has studied French through coursework at ORHS and the University of New Hampshire, as well as through an immersive summer experience in France. Abby is also a UNH student of Arabic. With respect to journalism, Ms. Owens is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of our school publication, Mouth of the River (MOR). Last August, she had the unique opportunity to freelance report with Maui Now and their coverage of wildfire relief efforts.

Abby was celebrated as the recipient of the 2023 Yale University Book Award, and last summer attended the esteemed St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Summer Program where she studied journalism. Her accolades are also recognized through her role in the National French Honor Society and the awarding of the 2023 NHPA Distinguished Journalism Award, first place in feature writing, for her MOR article “Walking the Tightrope.” She is also commended as a New Hampshire Scholar to acknowledge her completion of a strong college preparatory program of study; she will receive distinction as a New Hampshire Scholar with a STEM emphasis in recognition of her grade point average and a primary elected focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics courses.

Aspiring to become a foreign correspondent, the next chapter in Abby’s journey takes her to New York City in the fall where she will study at Columbia University.


Molly Schmidt is the daughter of Kim and David Schmidt of Durham, NH. She is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and received the Wells College 21st Century leadership award. She has performed in the Jazz All State Honors choir and All State treble choir. Additionally, she is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.A photograph of Molly Schmidt

Molly is the embodiment of the performing arts. She has performed in play productions both at Oyster River and outside of school. She has been taking voice lessons for eleven years, and it shows in each and every performance. She plays the guitar and regularly performs in a rock band, where she is also a songwriter. Molly played volleyball from her freshman to junior year, but this year she opted to dive deeper into her musical pursuits, certainly a worthy endeavor.

Having been accepted to Lebanon Valley College, Susquehanna University, Clark University, Endicott College, and Binghamton, University, Molly will be attending Berklee College of Music, where she will major in professional music.


Erin Turnbull is the daughter of Megan and Brian Turnbull of Durham, NH. She was the recipient of the Clarkson University Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, the World Language department’s Excellence in French Award. She was named in the All-State Orchestra for the violin in 2021, 2022 and 2024. Additionally, she is a member of the French Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, the National Honor Society and is a New Hampshire State Scholar with a STEAM emphasis.A photograph of Erin Turnbull

Her love of the arts extends well beyond the classroom, as Erin has committed herself to the Northeastern Ballet Theater for the past sixteen years. In addition to being a member of our String Orchestra, Erin takes private violin lessons and has been the concert master for both the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra and the ORHS orchestra.

Having been accepted to Bucknell University, Colgate University, University of Richmond, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of New Hampshire- Honors, Michigan State University- Honors, and Indiana University Bloomington Hoosier Scholar, Erin will be attending the University of Virginia where she will pursue a degree in Chemistry with the desire to become a chemistry researcher.