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Ward Melville High School Announces Top Of The Class 2024

Pictured: From left, Ward Melville High School Class of 2024 co-salutatorian Michael Zhang, valedictorian Katherine Liang and co-salutatorian William McGovern.

Photo courtesy of the Three Village Central School District

Ward Melville High School in the Three Village Central School District is proud to announce the top of the Class of 2024. Congratulations to valedictorian Katherine Liang and co-salutatorians William McGovern and Michael Zhang.

Valedictorian Katherine Liang is an exemplary student and a kindhearted individual who has demonstrated a commitment to her academics, community and peers. Liang’s academic interests have been nurtured through her endeavors both inside and outside of the classroom, with a special focus on the STEM curriculum. Impressively, she was named a National Merit Semifinalist for her high achievement on the PSAT exam. Liang currently serves as the vice president of the math club and has won many awards for her participation in model bridge building, programming and math competitions. Most recently, Liang was named one of the top 300 scholars in the 2024 Regeneron Science Talent Search for her computer science project, “Differentially Private Deep Learning in Biomedical Research,” completed at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Liang’s passion for academics and helping others continues outside of the classroom. She is the co-founder and co-president of the math club and physics club for Long Island Youth Development Inc., where she teaches young students and community members math and science.

Co-salutatorian William McGovern is a hardworking individual and an active member of the Three Village community. He is an excellent student whose academic accomplishments have earned him membership in the National Honor Society. He has won various honors and awards, including being named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Semifinalist. At Ward Melville High School, McGovern is a member of the key club, computer science club and the varsity tennis team. In addition to these school-based organizations, McGovern collaborated with a local nonprofit organization to create a club where he tutors high school students in math, science and for the SAT.

Within the local community, McGovern has dedicated countless hours to an organization called SVOSH Eyeglass Donation Project, a nonprofit organization with a focus on spreading vision around the world. McGovern single-handedly worked to send over 3,300 pairs of eyeglasses to those in need.

Co-salutatorian Michael Zhang is an exceptional student who is actively engaged in the Brookhaven National Laboratory High School Research Program. Through this program, Zhang conducts rigorous bioinformatics research. As a junior, he ambitiously aimed to develop a machine learning model capable of automatically interpreting bar graphs and potentially revolutionizing literature analysis efficiency. Alongside his academic pursuits, Zhang serves as secretary for the Quiz Bowl A team and qualified for prestigious national tournaments. Additionally, Zhang is involved in the fine arts at Ward Melville High School. He is a dedicated violinist and a member of the chamber orchestra, an audition-only ensemble at the high school. Zhang was selected to perform with the top musicians from across New York State in the chamber orchestra at the All-State conference.

Zhang dedicates time to contribute to organizations in the greater community. He is a founder and instructor of Long Island Youth Development Inc. where he shares his passion for chemistry with younger students. Zhang’s proudest achievement is earning an honors designation in the United States Chemistry Olympiad, a testament to his dedication and hard work in mastering chemistry concepts.

The district congratulates Liang, McGovern and Zhang for achieving the top academic honors of the Class of 2024 and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.


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